Eggs are Bad For You Again

by updated 2012/08/15

Chicken laying a deadly egg

Twister arrested for attempted murder!

Poor Twister. Her eggs are back in the news and… stop the presses…  that news is not good.

For years it was said that eating eggs was bad for you, raising your cholesterol level and clogging your arteries. One recommendation was to eat 3 or fewer eggs per week and maybe even eat only the whites. Egg consumption dropped a bit during that time until a few years ago when newer studies seemed to show that eggs really were not bad for you after all. In recent years there has even been an explosion of “high omega” eggs which are touted as actually being beneficial to your cardiac health.

Well, just like debate over is coffee bad for you, and countless other health recommendations with conflicting advice, eggs are back in the news. This time the news harkens back to the “eggs are bad for you” days. Supposedly a lifetime of egg consumption is almost as damaging to your heart health as a lifetime of cigarette smoking! What?!?!

The average U.S. citizen eats 6-7 eggs per week but like any other statistic, we need to think about the numbers. Since not everyone eats eggs, the average number of eggs consumed by actual egg eaters is higher. I was not able to find out if this new study recommends a “safe” level of egg consumption. I suspect not since if eggs are as bad for you as cigarettes, and even one cigarette a week can be deadly, it stands to reason that the best advice is to eat no eggs.

Really??? This is not what I want to hear. I eat a basically healthy diet, pretty much all vegetable based and non-processed. I am not a fanatic though. If I could say anything to these diet researchers, it would be “please lay off the cigarette scary headlines and for **&&%%$# sake let me have my occasional 3-egg omelet in peace. Even going to websites like the Mayo Clinic, there is no recommendation for a safe level of egg consumption. All advice in that regard does not make for good headlines and is as bland and uninteresting as well, an egg white omelet.

Will Sig
1 Anthony Samsel

I wouldn’t get too worked up about this study as it is fatally flawed. After reading the paper, you will see that that it was not a feeding study but a reuse and adaptation of data. The author of the study did not examine the quality of the eggs fed the subjects as there was no feeding study conducted. This paper gets an ‘F’ grade.

There are differences between eggs from chickens fed an organic diet versus chickens fed a diet of genetically engineered corn and soy, contaminated by chemical residues. Identifying the toxins, then looking at associated disease and possible causal relationships would be more meaningful. Determining the causal agents of plaque would be an appropriate study to conduct. Manipulating data as the study’s author did and ignoring the obvious necessary variables in the health equation is not good science.

The industrial system of agriculture is a dangerous system. Pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide residues, Bt toxins and never before seen mRNA’s are now being found passed through the food chain with detrimental effects. Increases in many of the modern diseases seen today are now being linked to industrial agriculture.

I do not have coronary plaque problems and will continue to eat organic eggs in moderation. Always choose to eat organic eggs, poultry, meat, fruit and vegetables. Avoid the products of industrial agriculture, your body will thank you !

Anthony Samsel is a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment and a retired consultant to Arthur D. Little, Inc.

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2 Will

As always, Anthony – Thank you for your very helpful comments!

What you say makes perfect sense. For a while I was buying the high omega eggs. But then I thought about it and came to think pretty much what you say. We now buy our eggs from a lady down the street. Her chickens roam free outside during the day. When they do eat feed, it is locally produced organic feed.

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3 Sailing somehwhere

You are almost in the right path.
But you need to ask more questions from the lady down the street, what it is that is locally produced.
As such that not all herbal medicine is good for you, or all natural foods are healthy.
by the same token you need to help your lady down the street,
First by holding her accountable
Second by helping to educate her more.
Third by getting involved and helping her, so you understand what is going on.
for example you can help her create 10 plots of land that everyday the chickens rotate through, and in these plots you plant, clover and comfrey and dandelion and turnips and other high calcium veggies.
Also help educate her by learning and help ingrowing spirulina and other algae to feed as additional supplement to her chickens.
each chicken needs about 10 sq feet per day. so you should have a 100 sq feet per chicken, and you rotate through everyday, so the land recovers, every 10 days.
In winter time, you help her by growing sprouts, instead of giving direct feed.
Organic food doesn’t mean crap. because you will be shocked at all the things that is in it. You and your family need to get involved, so you have a better understanding of the process, and simple act of getting involved holds the grower accountable.
Imagine how much better everything else would be when people get involved and how much the processes improve.

would be nice if there was a date on these comments, so there is a time reference.

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4 jan

Sometimes you just feel like beating your head against a brick wall! It was yet another incredibly badly designed bit of “research” with not enough checks and balances. Mark Sisson wrote a great review of it at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/are-eggs-really-as-bad-for-your-arteries-as-cigarettes/#axzz23lxcwR6V
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5 Will

Yes, I have a permanent lump on my head as this sort of thing is all too common. Something I found REAL interesting in the article you linked to Jan – “a trio of researchers (two of whom with extensive ties to the statin industry)”. I just hope that their “ties” did not financially contribute to the publication of this tripe.

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6 Binky

Egg yolks are very high in arachidonic acid which supposedly contributes to inflammation. In the article I read, it said when people ate more than two or three yolks a week, the incidence of damaging effects was much higher.
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7 Will

This is true but as usual not totally clear to me. I guess too much arachidonic acid is bad for you, but you do need some. Linoleic acid is normally converted to arachidonic acid in the body so maybe we don’t need it in our diet directly? And maybe 3 eggs a week is the tipping point to harm? I plan to have a 3 egg omelet tomorrow which I do 3 or 4 times a month. Probably the good rich cheese I use in it is also deadly. And the butter I cook it in. Guess I am just a living dangerously kind of guy!

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8 Chris Hemmel

I have cholesterol issues. I had one doctor tell me to stay away from eggs, and have them in strict moderation. My new doctor (I moved to a new part of the state) said that eggs were absolutely fine, and it was good cholesterol.

I’m just flat out confused on whether eggs are good or not, but the studies seem to be confusing the doctors as well. I think that’s very scary.

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9 Tony McGurk

The so called “Experts” change their advice like the wind changes direction. I find it very hard to believe an egg is as bad for you as a cigarette. I like eggs & will continue eating them in moderation as usual. As far as the experts go I had a boss once who said that an “Ex” is a has-been & a “Spurt” is a drip under pressure.
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10 James

Thanks for the article.

It seems that ‘experts’ change their minds weekly about eggs. I personally use the omega-enhanced free range eggs, and (although I haven’t had a health check-up for a while), I eat upwards of 4 whole eggs a day and have had no issues whatsoever.

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11 Kelly Williams

Eating way too many eggs does have negative effects on you. But eating moderately? I think that’s still good since there are nutrients found in eggs as well that is needed in our body to stay healthy and strong.

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12 Ardell Navaretta

My understanding is that what would be bad for your health is consuming the “oxidized” cholesterol. Cholesterol becomes oxidized when exposed to oxygen in the air. Hence, over medium or easy is better than scrambled or omelet. Sooner or later, though, it will be exposed to oxygen.

And, Will, cooking with coconut oil is better (health wise) than with butter. The fats are solid at room temperature and liquid at body temp. Proven health benefits for your brain, too. Don’t we all need that nowadays! I usually add some salt for flavor when cooking, though it tastes fine without.

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