Yesterday, I asked you on Instagram what you wanted me to share today. Quite a lot of AENpeeps wanted to know the deets on eggs and cholesterol. Is cholesterol bad? Since eggs have a higher amount of cholesterol, should you be avoiding them?
Well... egg breakfast fans rejoice! Because I'm about to give you some pretty awesome news.
The Cholesterol Concern
When I was in undergrad for Nutrition + Dietetics, I remember teachers would always emphasize the importance of reducing cholesterol for heart disease clients. Even back as a student, this didn't make sense to me. Yes, higher levels of cholesterol are found in those with heart disease, but does that mean cholesterol is the problem? Remember that old saying... correlation is not causation? Well, the whole "cholesterol is bad" dealio relied pretty heavily on correlation meaning causation.
If you didn't take stats and don't understand that phrase, it basically means that just because you see two things happen together, it does NOT necessarily mean that one is the cause of the other. My high school AP stats teacher would always say "just because you find a 'correlation' between increased rainfall in Canada and crime rate in Cuba, it doesn't mean that Canada's weather is causing the crime". Kind of a silly example, but that's the point. Relying on correlations as your explanation for everything can lead to some pretty silly statements.
Plus, cholesterol has many important jobs! One of the jobs is that it's essentially used as the "band-aid" for damaged arterial walls so that your heart can still pump blood while your body heals the crack. So if you go back to the correlation of people with heart disease having higher levels of cholesterol... this totally makes sense! The cholesterol is a SIGN of the problem, it's not the problem itself! The question now turns to... what caused the crack in the first place? But that's for another blog post...
BIG News Dropped in 2015
Every 5 years, the USDA comes out with Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They review the current research and adjust their recommendations accordingly. WHELP. In 2015 they dropped some INSANE news... they REMOVED their previous recommendation on limiting dietary cholesterol to 300mg per day to not having ANY limitation. Does that mean you should eat all of the cholesterol rich food at every single meal? Maybe not - but not because it contains cholesterol. Mostly because you will be replacing a variety of nutrient dense foods with on single food type (animal based products).
So... Can I Eat Eggs Then?!
Yup! Eggs contain some pretty amazing micronutrients such as selenium, which is needed for thyroid function. It also contains high levels of choline, which studies have found that when we are deprived of choline, we undergo hepatosteatosis (aka Fatty Liver) and even liver cell death. Just 3 eggs gets you to your total daily choline needs. Other foods contain choline as well, but eggs are one of the richest sources of this essential nutrient.
Eggs are actually something I use on a lot of my salads from The 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Program + Level Up Guide. I personally am not a HUGE eggs for breakfast person, but I do like using eggs at lunch as my protein because they are generally more affordable and super easy to prepare.
If you're interested in more Nutrition Myths getting busted, definitely check out my "STOP CALLING THEM HEALTHY FATS" vid below!! This was one that I was pretty nervous to share, but it's a message we all need to hear!
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I appreciate YOU! Keep spreading the word ❤️
Autumn Elle Nutrition