Should I eat eggs? (high cholesterol) - Healthy Eating

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Should I eat eggs? (high cholesterol)

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I've got high cholesterol - the bad type :( Should I be eating eggs? The scientific/medical advice appears to be divided.

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The best advice will come from your clinician. They have details of your condition, and you can discuss it properly with them. Eggs are an excellent source of nourishment.If we ate less fat and sugar, avoided processed foods and concentrated on food as near to the source of production as possible we'd benefit.

When my husband was first diagnosed with 'high cholesterol' mine was the same but I had never been told it was 'high'. I said we'll tackle this with diet. Which worked very well initially and then mine crept back up by the end of the year. This told me that my body needed that anyway. Now we are told that women should never be on statins anyway and that for optimum brain health you do need a good level of cholesterol otherwise you will end up with dementia etc.

The most recent info I have is that most people can eat 1 egg per day unless advised otherwise by their dietician. Only a small amount of cholesterol in our circulation is absorbed directly from food, but our body uses saturated (mostly hard) fats from the diet to manufacture the bad type of cholesterol. It is best to keep your intake of saturated animal fats low by choosing lean cuts of meat, or by eating pulses, poultry and fish, cutting off visible fat from meats, avoiding frying foods or basting meats and poultry, not eating large amounts of high fat dairy products such as hard, processed or cream cheeses, or full fat milks and yoghurts, or creams, and using vegetable oils such as rapeseed, sunflower, safflower, grape seed, olive, peanut, hemp seed, walnut and almond cooking and salad dressings. Coconut and palm oils are the only vegetable oils I am aware of containing a higher proportion of saturated fat, but they are O.K. in moderation and are not as saturated as animal fats. Fish fats are good for you as they are unsaturated and help you to produce the helpful type of cholesterol, but omega 3 and fish liver oil supplements are not usually recommended for pregnant ladies.

Eating foods with a fair amount of soluble fibre such as oatmeal, pearl barley and peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans helps to reduce the absorption of saturated fats and slow down and even out the absorption of carbohydrates. They can be added to casseroles and stews to thicken them and take on the flavours they are cooked in.

Casseroles, stews, curries, bolognaise sauces etc. and gravies can have their fat levels reduced by putting them in the fridge once they have cooled down. Saturated fats will rise to the top and solidify, so they can be easily lifted off the surface.

Do not reuse fats for frying, as each time they are reheated they will become more saturated, and if you fancy chips try the oven baked varieties that are cut thickly and graduate to the lower fat ones in stages as your tastes adapt.

Some meats have a naturally low levels of saturated fats e.g. game meats such as rabbit, hare, venison, and game birds, but you can also select meats such as e.g. heart, pork loin and shoulder or gammon steaks, middle or back bacon as most of the fat is on the outside and is easily removed with scissors before cooking. It is even possible to find lamb steaks and beef mince with about 5% fat content, so check nutrition labels on the back of packs in store or online when shopping.

Baked shop bought goods such as biscuits, pastries and ready prepared meals and snacks tend to have more saturated fats in them than home made as it helps to increase the shelf life. I find that pastries and cakes made at home can usually be made with only three quarters of the fat in the recipe, and low fat recipes can mostly be frozen to keep.

I know that this has been a wordy reply, but I hope you find it helpful.

Concerned profile image
Concerned in reply to MaggieAnne

I'm sorry, for appearing antagonistic; if you consider that the evidence for saturated fat being harmful is based on flawed observational studies and consequential dogma, how useful would this advice be?

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Hidden in reply to Concerned

So it is very useful in many ways. You shouldn't keeo frying oil as it becomes oxadized and damaged by heat ..that is pretty much undisputed. Also oil oil lying on the shelf and oil that is highly procecced and bleached whether it is saturated or not. I usually go by smell but I have acute sense of smell. Other people don't seem to notice.

Fibre is also useful advice and not disputed.

Where it is useful is if one assumes someone is eating too much saturated fats in all they eat and that they may eat many processed foods. In that case avoiding added saturated fats and advising people to do so would be useful but its not the full picture. If someone cuts out butter and fat from meat or cheese and are still eating low fat highly processed food of food with saturated fats then cutting out some obvious things like butter would reduce their overall intake and by replacing butter with oilive oil say, a balance would be assumed to be better.

The information I have is from my mom growing up which is that people need a balance of saturated polyun and monunsaturated fat in their diet. The rsrion she gives me is a third of each or 1:1;1 rafio. I've not read anything that seems to argue with that..but because an assumption is made that everyone is getting too much saturated they will say cut out the butter and eat vegetable oil. If you don't assume this then you would say eat a balance of them. In the items we call saturated fats like butter lard tallow meat there is a combination of saturated polyun and monoun sat fats. This is never really said. So I'm not sure of the rstio but the ratio is more sat to unsat in those things. In other things like fish the rsrio is more unsaturated and in other things like vegetable oils more poly in some oils the ratio has more mono. So if you eat meat and put olive oil on it its gonna have more of a good ratio than if you had meat fried in lard for example. So in a way its helpful advice that makes some assumptions and doesn't credit the audience of the advice with the capacity to figure a more complex system. For most people they just want to be told what to do and they won't change very much anyway but if they at least cut down the butter or lard they might have a better balance.

Cakes and processed foods is good advice although not because of saturated fat content but because of trans fat content sugar and other things which damage and oxidize cholesterol.

So all in all its good advice just a bit omissive of some of the information.

The polyunsatured seed oils you recommend are not a natural foods for man they are manufactured for profit and based upon a flawed hypothethis. There is no scientific evidence that I have seen that demonstrates that your recommendations are right. Ancel Keys wrote a flawed paper way back in the 1950s by cherry picking results to suit the hypothethis he wanted to prove. The food industry jumped on it to make a lot of money. Saturated fats are vital for health and do not raise the cholesterol level. The villain is sugar not in fruit etc but when added, that causes inflamation in the blood vessels; this inflamation has to be repaired and it is cholesterol that does the repair work. I suggest that you have a look at the articles firstly at; then follow that up with the article on saturated fats by pressing the button at the bottom of the page.

By the way, some while ago an experiment was done by a man eating as many eggs as he could at one time; there was no change in his cholesterol level.

On the same web site there is an interesting article written by a heart surgeon which kills the cholesterol theory. Tibbly

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Hidden in reply to MaggieAnne

I think i read that The bad type of cholesterol is not manufactured...when its frrshly manufactured its good...when it is doing its job...when it has to deal with a problem it gets damaged and if it hangs around damaged that's when its bad. So the damage which I think is oxidative stress is the thing that makes it bad. Just like air oxadises your apple and makes it from a good apple into a brown horrid bad apple. You need to manufacture cholesterol to do its job healing things and transporting things about ..doing essential processes in the body responding to damage and brining packets of things to the site its needed... But once its damaged it just seems to clog everything up. So you if damaged postmen were lining the streets you can lessen the amount of postmen but you could also lessen the amount of damage that way they'd be happy postmen instead of clogging the place up with their useless old worn out bodies. Excuse my simple minded way of thinking I find it all complicated and I make stories for myself to remember the Cos I'd never remember all the technical terms!

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Hidden in reply to MaggieAnne

Also fats do not become saturated they become damaged.. They are called trans fats I think.

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Thank you - I've drastically reduced the amount of saturated fat in my diet. Was hoping a could still have eggs and prawns every now and then.

Concerned profile image
Concerned in reply to Hidden

It is carbohydrate that leads to the production of very low-density lipoproteins - the bad cholesterol. Also, only one carbohydrate molecule is needed to form the backbone of three fatty-acids in triglycerides, as the name implies. I wish you luck.

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Get your RDA of it and no more. Getting less than you need isn't good either. And don't forget a balance is important too. With mono and poly fats. If you get too much of something that's not good but neither is not getting enogih and fat is an essential food. That's why there called essential fatty acids. Our body can't make them and rely on the fat in our heads to remember to eat them so they have enough to function well. Just like if you eat too much starving yourself isn't the solution.... And better to get what the body needs than starve it because before we gorged. You can of course still have eggs and prawns are virtually fat free meat! The butter you will put on them isn't but just put less than you want to and add some olive oil to balance out the saturation. Butter and meat fat also contain mono and poly fats too just not in the right proportions. But essential fatty acids means essential. Anything more than that is indulgence but don't deny yourself an essential nutrient completely. And the best sources of essential fats are from fresh food. If you cut something out let it be the processed foods and trans fats and damaged fats and keep the wholesome butter and meat fats which are fresh sources of fatty acids. And the eggs and fish and if you can find them nuts and seeds avocados etc. You don't need a lot but you do absolutely need them. And there are days I thought I had got plenty and my app tells me I'm only half way to the RDA for me. Usually I always hit the saturated target but not the omegas etc. The only time I seem to hit those is when I eat fatty fish like salmon. Prawns are virtually fat free I'd get a nice darn of salmon the side if I were you. And a nice bit of garlic butter. Not too much but a small nob. Perfection.

Most people think that eggs contain cholesterol. It is an essential form of dietary cholesterol and yet many believe that it might lead to an increase in cholesterol levels. Too much cholesterol in the blood is harmful but not eating eggs is not a solution. A better way is that of reducing the intake of the saturated fats like found in butter, meats and meat products, cakes, puddings, and dairy products. When the saturated fats are cut down there is a decrease in the cholesterol in diet. About 1 in 500 people suffer from a condition known as familial hypercholesterolaemia or FH. These people need to be very careful regarding the cholesterol dietary sources, as they have cholesterol levels which are double of the normal levels. Don’t stop eating eggs until your GP recommends.

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Hidden in reply to Shubhra-Rastogi

Why would a doctor recommend dietaey advice. Lol?

I guess when a big pharma industry is worth billions they’ll make sure info is put out to their benefit, the mega money food industry also have a agenda to supply foods we all believe to help with this or that condition, at the tender age of 67 I find it difficult not to be skeptical, I have my health problems like many but I eat foods that are as natural as poss, herbs fruit etc, simply ditch the garbage, man made stuff ie: creams, prossesed foods etc, its not difficult to eat properly just takes common sense, cornish pasty or salmon lol, a lot of sense talked on this site as well ...

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Yes you should be eating eggs they're an eggcellent source of nutrients and because they're a living creature they have some cholesterol. There's not a living creature on the planet who's life does not depend upon cholesterol. That I know of. And of all the things that you could eat on the planet an egg is extremely nutritious. So yes you should eat eggs. Don't only eat eggs though try to get some fibre and some fruit and veg in too lol!

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