NEWS ON EGGS
N It’s very good news for egg consumers and the egg industry: the NZHF has relaxed its previous recommendations on egg consumption, recommending that those at risk of heart disease can eat as many as six eggs per week – up from the previous three. For the general population who have a heart-healthy diet, there is no restriction, but pay special attention to foods that are eaten alongside eggs.
Eew Zealand’s Heart Foundation endorses the egg ggs are a nutritious whole food that can be part of a heart-healthy dietary pattern. They are an inexpensive source of protein and other nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamin D, B12, selenium and choline. While egg yolks are high in
cholesterol and are a major source of dietary cholesterol, it is saturated fatty acids that have a greater effect on blood cholesterol levels and, therefore, your risk of heart disease.
Previously, the NZHF recommended that people at high risk of heart disease limit egg intake to three per week. However, since the original position paper was published in 1999, most organisations around the world have relaxed their advice on eggs. In line with this, the Heart Foundation last year commissioned an independent scientific report, which involved a thorough review of the existing research. Based on that review, the overall evidence for the effect of eggs on blood cholesterol or on those at risk of heart disease has been deemed inconsistent. There are strong limitations to many of the studies reviewed, including differences in findings between cohort and intervention studies, plus a high level of industry-funded research.
Although eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, the weight of evidence suggests eggs have only a very small effect on blood cholesterol levels, especially at normal levels of intake in New Zealand. For most people, any such increased risk is not likely to be clinically meaningful.
While the evidence is not clear enough to say there is no association between dietary cholesterol and heart disease risk, the evidence is also not strong enough to warrant continuing recommendations to limit egg intake to three per week.
Overall, epidemiological evidence suggests six to seven eggs per week does not increase heart disease risk.
There has been a limited amount of research since 1999 in people with hyperlipidaemia, and epidemiological research