Nothing goes better with breakfast than eggs. But the go perfect with many other foods and mealtimes. The one thing stopping eggs from being consumed each and every meal is likely the cholesterol.
One egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which amounts to more than half of the recommended daily intake (300 mg). That’s a problem — and now new evidence is linking egg intake and cholesterol with a greater risk of dying, but it depends on how you take your eggs.
Eggs aren’t all bad though. They have many health benefits. While the yellow and soaked appearance might turn off some, eggs are known to be some of the most nutrient-filled foods know. Eggs contain protein and a number of vitamins, like vitamin D and vitamin B6. They’ve been linked with reducing the risk of heart disease and can even boost eye health.
New research published in PLOS Medicine found that the cholesterol of two whole eggs can increase your risk of death due to the yolk of eggs containing high levels of cholesterol and fat.
The study, headed by Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China, reviewed data from over 520,000 participants in a diet and health study. Participants were older — aged 50-71 — and were from six states and two cities in the US. The period of the study of the initial study was from 1995 to 1996, but researchers did a follow up of 16 years, where they discovered nearly 130,000 deaths occurred.
That’s where whole egg consumption took a roll in those that died. After reviewing the food survey that participants filled out at the time of the study, researchers said that whole egg consumption was significantly linked to a higher “all-cause mortality.”
The study found that there’s a 19% increased chance of dying prematurely when individuals consumed an additional 300 mg of cholesterol, and by adding an additional half of a whole egg, there was a 7% higher risk of mortality.
For egg lovers, this news isn’t likely going to make your day any better. But if you’re willing to make one small change to your breakfast, it could provide a different outlook.
Researchers said replacing half a whole egg with egg whites or egg substitutes reduce cardiovascular disease mortality by 3%.
“Our findings suggest limiting cholesterol intake and replacing whole eggs with egg whites/substitutes or other alternative protein sources for facilitating cardiovascular health and long-term survival,” the authors said in a press release.
This isn’t the first time egg consumption was linked to health decline. A study by the University of South Australia found that excessive egg consumption can increase the risk of developing diabetes by as much as 60% when someone eats one or more eggs every day, while those that regularly eat less than one egg daily were associated with a 25% higher diabetes risk.