13 juillet 2018

Hot Off The Press – Eggs every day are totally okay!

Blogue de la présidente
Margaret Hudson
Présidente et directrice générale des Fermes Burnbrae
4e génération d'agriculteurs

Hi, my name is Margaret Hudson, my family owns and operates Burnbrae Farms and has been farming since 1891. I am passionate about nutrition and health and of course eggs! I am excited to share some of my learnings from almost 30 years of working in our family’s egg business and a lifetime of being around our farm.  If you have enjoyed receiving this information and would like to receive more posts, please sign up in the link at the bottom of the page for our company newsletter.

My breakfast almost always includes eggs, so I was pleased to read about two new studies published in May that further support my daily decision. Remember a few years ago when eggs were much maligned in the popular press, and were wrongfully associated with high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes? The tides have turned, and this new research further supports what we’ve said all along: Eggs every day are totally okay!

The background:

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that’s naturally made by the liver. Our bodies use it to make hormones and vitamin D, so it’s completely essential. Only a small portion of cholesterol in the body comes from dietary cholesterol found in foods, such as meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs and milk products. These foods have little effect on blood cholesterol levels in most people.

So cutting out eggs is not going to lower your blood cholesterol levels or protect you against heart disease.

Health professionals generally agree that for heart health and balanced cholesterol levels, it’s best to pay attention to the quality of your overall diet rather than focusing on any one food or nutrient. Since 2007, research studies have overwhelmingly shown that healthy adults can enjoy an egg a day without increasing their risk of high cholesterol, heart disease or stroke. Two newly published research papers provide even further evidence.

New studies:

First, a study from the University of Sydney’s Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition . Researchers looked at the effects of the consuming eggs as part of a weight loss plan for people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Researchers wanted to see if eating a lot of eggs would negatively affect their cholesterol or blood sugar levels.  Study participants were instructed on a healthy diet with specific calorie levels, the types and amount of food to eat, and the right amount of “healthy fats.”

There were two diet protocols in the study:

  • - High-eggs diets (12 eggs per week)

  • - Low-egg diets (less than two eggs per week)

The researchers checked in periodically to assess participants’ weight, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and other markers. After 12 months, those who consumed a high-egg diet had no adverse changes in any of the tests (blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.) and both groups had the same amount of weight loss.

Dr. Nicholas Fuller, one of the researchers, commented that "despite differing advice around safe levels of egg consumption for people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, our research indicates people do not need to hold back from eating eggs if they are part of a healthy diet. While eggs themselves are high in dietary cholesterol – and people with type 2 diabetes tend to have higher levels of the 'bad' low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – this study supports existing research that shows consumption of eggs has little effect on the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the people eating them."

In another study published in April 2018, eating an egg a day was shown to lower the risk of heart disease. The observational study, published in the journal Heart , looked at the association between eggs and different types of heart disease, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), ischaemic heart disease (IHD), major coronary events (MCE) and strokes. Note that as an observational study, it shows patterns, not cause and effect.

The researchers collected data on food intake from over 400,000 adults in China, and participants were specifically asked about their egg consumption. Results showed that those who reported eating an egg daily had a lower risk of CVD, IHD and stroke. CVD includes heart failure, abnormal heart beat, heart attacks and valve problems.

Based on the results, study researcher Yu Guo said “eating eggs in moderation is associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Even more, the new research is by far the most powerful project to detect such an effect.”

Wonderful news for egg lovers like me. Now the only question that remains is hard boiled or scrambled?

Margaret Hudson

President, Burnbrae Farms