The cholesterol in eggs

The cholesterol in eggs

In the past, there’s been a lot of confusion about this topic. Egg nutrition experts have now updated previous advice about cholesterol in your diet and the risk of heart disease. Today, they agree you can safely enjoy as many eggs as you like as part of a balanced diet.

What do the experts say?

Until fairly recently, eating lots of eggs was thought to have a negative effect on your cholesterol levels. But thanks to recent scientific research by the British Heart Foundation, the advice on eggs and cholesterol has now changed.

The research proves that in most healthy people, eggs won’t raise cholesterol levels or lead to heart disease. As a result, the British Heart Foundation, the Department of Health and all of the major UK health and heart advisory groups have lifted their previous recommended limits on how many eggs we should eat. Great news for egg lovers.

Why the change?

People used to think that the cholesterol levels in our bodies were directly influenced by the cholesterol in our food. Because there’s cholesterol in eggs, people were advised not to eat too many. But the British Heart Foundation’s study means all of that’s changing.

The study looked at 30 years of research into the risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) and found no relationship between the cholesterol in your diet – or eating eggs – and CHD. In fact, it found that high cholesterol levels are usually caused by eating too much saturated fat, rather than eating too much cholesterol itself.

So, while eating lots of fried eggs might risk raising your cholesterol, that’s because of the fat you’d use to fry the egg, not the egg itself. Poached, boiled, and scrambled eggs (without butter) can be enjoyed as often as you like as part of a balanced diet.

The only people still advised to limit the cholesterol in their diets are those with diabetes or familial hypercholesterolemia, a condition that affects 1 in 500 people in the UK.

Cholesterol per egg

Today, the average medium egg contains about 186mg of cholesterol. Surprisingly, that’s about 12% less than you’d have found in an egg 20 years ago.