Someone who is a lacto-ovo vegetarian has decided not to consume any meat but is still consuming eggs and dairy products. A recent EPIC-Oxford study published in 2019 shows that vegetarians have a lower rate of ischaemic heart disease but a “higher rate of hemorrhagic and total stroke.” (1) How can this be? What is the explanation? A question comes to mind, “is eating eggs actually can be worse than eating chicken?” 

More cholesterol in eggs than in chicken! 

Did you know, in 1 large egg, there is about 186mg cholesterol,(2) while in 100 grams of skinless chicken breast, only about 82 mg of cholesterol? (3) There is more cholesterol in eggs than in chicken! On top of that, when people make scrambled eggs, they usually use more than one egg. Imagine how much cholesterol they’ve ingested in one single breakfast? The American Heart Association has set a daily limit for cholesterol intake or around 300mg cholesterol/day. (4)

Well, eating two eggs during breakfast already passes the daily cholesterol intake limit! This is concerning because one of the risk factors of stroke is high cholesterol. It has been known that an additional 100mg intake of cholesterol from eggs can increase LDL cholesterol (“the bad cholesterol”) by 4.5 mg/dL.(5)

Who is behind the egg study? 

What about the many studies that have shown eggs can decrease the risk of stroke? Well, check who funded the research. A 2019 study reviewed all eggs and cholesterol studies that are out there. What did they find? The egg industries themselves fund about 60% of the research on eggs and cholesterol from 2010-2019. The role of industry in funding research studies can be biased. This is what makes it hard to see accurate, evidence-based research on eggs and cholesterol. 

Though many people see the benefits of omega three and protein in eggs, their cholesterol should be considered before eating them. After seeing the amount of cholesterol in eggs compared to chicken, let’s rethink eggs before buying and eating them!

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels