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Wellness Tip from Beneplan’s Nutritionist: Dispelling Myths of the Egg Yolk Study

Dr. David Spence of Western University in London, Ontario has conducted a study of more than 1,200 people and found egg consumption accelerates atherosclerosis or plaque build up on arteries.

He claims the cholesterol found in the yolk is almost as dangerous as smoking, containing 237 mgs of cholesterol in a jumbo egg.

“It’s more than the cholesterol in a Hardee’s monster thick burger which is two-thirds of a pound of beef, three slices of cheese and four slices of bacon,” said Spence.

Karen Harvey is the nutrition officer with Egg Farmers of Canada and a registered dietitian and states that “we have decades of clinical research demonstrating no link between egg consumption and an increased risk of heart disease,” said Harvey.

Spence says, he’s looked at that research and accuses the egg industry of being selective about what it shares with the public.

Canada’s food guide lists two eggs as an alternative serving to meat.

So what are we to believe.  According to Dr. J. Mercola, while it’s true that fats from animal sources contain cholesterol, this is not necessarily something that will harm you. Cholesterol is in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat.  While organic pastured eggs are some of the healthiest foods you can eat, you’ll want to avoid omega-3 eggs, which typically come from chickens that are fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. You also want to eat your eggs raw, or lightly cooked, as cooking the egg will oxidize the cholesterol.

So what’s the rest of the story.  The “study” is based on interviews of 1,200 stroke patients and their recollection of egg intake and admission of smoking history.

The authors do acknowledge that the results are weak because they’re dependent on the patients’ self-reporting, memory, and honesty. They also say the finding that people with heart disease shouldn’t consume eggs is just a hypothesis and should be tested further. That hasn’t stopped the conventional media from running with it without further investigation and leaving the public to sort it out themselves or worse yet, being scared by it.

So what nutritional benefits do egg yolks have?

Some consider it to be a superfood – inexpensive, good source of protein, making them an ideal food for energy.  It contains only 63 calories for medium size egg.

While the egg yolk does contains all the cholesterol, it also contains vital nutrients, vitamins A, D, E, and several B’s and choline, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosporus, magnesium, iron, zinc & selenium. To help maintain eye health, it contains beneficial carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.

Even if you believe the cholesterol in egg yolks are culprits contributing to atherosclerosis or plaque build up on arteries, you must understand that this is only one factor for heart disease.  Other areas of nutrition and lifestyle must be addressed to keep inflammation levels low in the body by exercising daily and consuming adequate amounts of fibre daily.  Limit refined sugar and grains, and trans fats.  Avoid oxidized cholesterol, that is cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs and don’t cook foods at high temperatures.  Address your stress levels and achieve a healthy weight, especially important is your waist size.   There are many beneficial supplements that will aid in reducing your cholesterol levels.  Contact a Certified Nutritionist or other health practitioner to assist you with your diet and devise an overall heart healthy regime.
by Evelyne Mitskopoulos, C.N.P.
Director of Wellness for Beneplan


Before starting any new health program or before you begin taking any medication, natural medicine, or supplement, always check with your primary health care provider.