It’s widely known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but a new egg-citing study has revealed that what you consume at the breakfast table is just as important.
The findings from the Association of egg consumption, metabolic markers, and risk of cardiovascular diseases: A nested case-control study suggests that eating up to one egg a day may help lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
According to scientists, eggs go hand in hand with the classic breakfast staple, orange juice, and offer just as many essential nutrients.
To test their findings, first author of the research, Lang Pan, Msc, from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, at Peking University, China, and her team conducted a population-based study that looked at how egg consumption affected heart health.
“Few studies have looked at the role that plasma cholesterol metabolism plays in the association between egg consumption and the risk of cardiovascular diseases, so we wanted to help address this gap, Pan said
Pan and the team selected 4,778 participants from the China Kadoorie Biobank, 3,401 of which had cardiovascular disease and 1,377 who didn’t.
They used a technique called targeted nuclear magnetic resonance to measure 225 metabolites in plasma samples taken from the participants’ blood. Through this technique, researchers were able to identify 24 that were associated with self-reported levels of egg consumption.
The study found that individuals who ate a moderate amount of eggs had higher levels of a protein in their blood called apolipoprotein A1– a building block of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “good lipoprotein”.
In particular, individuals who consistently ate eggs have more large HDL molecules in their blood, which help clear cholesterol from the blood vessels, protecting them against blockages that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
Overall the team identified 14 metabolites that are linked to heart disease. They found that participants who ate fewer eggs had lower levels of beneficial metabolites and higher levels of harmful ones in their blood, compared to those who ate eggs more often.
“Together, our results provide a potential explanation for how eating a moderate amount of eggs can help protect against heart disease,” adds study author Canqing Yu, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Peking University.
The National Health & Medical Research Council’s Australian Dietary Guidelines have also confirmed that consumption of eggs every day is not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and that there do not appear to be any increased health risks associated with the consumption of eggs.
Eggs are a superfood and a nutritional powerhouse packed with benefits that include a contribution to long term eye health and brain health and helping with memory.
Even better, to maintain lean muscle mass, combine the consumption of eggs with resistance exercise. This is particularly essential for older Aussies who may have weaker bones and age-related muscle loss.
So, when it comes to counting your eggs, if you are healthy, just go for it! The latest Heart Foundation recommendation also puts no limit on how many eggs healthy people can eat each week.
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.