Eating just 3-4 eggs per week increases your risk of heart disease, death

Eating just a few eggs a week is too high in cholesterol and significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and death from other causes, a new study finds.

Photo by Autumn Mott

No one can eat 50 eggs! Or even three or four per week, new research shows.

A major new study from Northwestern Medicine, published in JAMA, found that adults who ate three to four eggs per week, or an excess of dietary cholesterol, were significantly at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease – and death from any cause.


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Researchers studied a pool of 29,615 people over 31 years old.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans needs to be re-evaluated, researchers say, because it currently doesn’t limit dietary cholesterol or the number of eggs, also high in cholesterol, that one should eat.

The average U.S. adult gets about 300 milligrams of cholesterol in their diet per day and eats 3-4 eggs per week. An egg yolk contains about 186 milligrams of cholesterol.

Some findings:

  • Eating 300mg of dietary cholesterol per day was linked with a 17% higher risk of incident cardiovascular disease and 18% higher risk of death from all causes.
  • Eating 3-4 eggs per week was linked with a 6% higher risk of cardiovascular disease and 8% higher risk of death from all causes.

“The take-home message is really about cholesterol, which happens to be high in eggs and specifically yolks,” said co-corresponding study author Norrina Allen, Ph.D., in a release. “As part of a healthy diet, people need to consume lower amounts of cholesterol. People who consume less cholesterol have a lower risk of heart disease.”

Eating egg whites might be a healthier option.

“We want to remind people there is cholesterol in eggs, specifically yolks, and this has a harmful effect,” said Allen. “Eat them in moderation.”


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.