You see, I like eggs and tend to eat a lot of them. I mean, who doesn’t love a good omelet, right? I have eggs most every day, usually with vegetables and not much cheese and I am laying off the bread, kinda a keto combo thing I
am integrating with good results!
Now, I’m sure you’ve heard a time or two before that you should be mindful of consuming too many eggs as their cholesterol content is rather high. I mean, that’s what mom says and of course our trusted family doctor, right?!
I’ve even heard the recommendation that eggs should only be eaten once per week to avoid cholesterol issues. And what about being allergic to white eggs, brown eggs, scrambled eggs, wth????
The fact is, despite the bad press, cholesterol is as necessary for human health as water or oxygen. Cholesterol is an essential building block of your cell walls (i.e., cell membranes), it helps form the protective covering that surrounds your nerves, and it’s used to synthesize important hormones, like testosterone and estrogen.
Cholesterol is so important, in fact, that your body (e.g., liver) produces it. Indeed, the average person’s liver produces about 75% of the body’s total cholesterol, far outweighing any potential contribution from dietary sources. And when dietary intake of cholesterol is decreased, the liver compensates by producing more cholesterol, leaving total cholesterol levels relatively unchanged.
Numerous studies have shown that egg consumption does not significantly affect total cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, or the so-called “bad” cholesterol), and observational studies have found no evidence of a negative association between egg consumption and heart health.
Egg allergy develops when the body's immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to proteins in egg whites or yolks. When eggs are eaten, the body sees the protein as a foreign invader and sends out chemicals to defend against it. Those chemicals cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Egg allergy can occur as early as infancy. Most children, but not all, outgrow their egg allergy before adolescence (From the Mayo Clinic Staff).
So, pay attention, because one day you will probably be eating eggs again!
What’s more, the egg eater’s also experienced significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and increases in HDL and LDL particle size. Particle size is noteworthy because small, dense particles are considered more detrimental than large, fluffy particles (regardless of whether they’re HDL or LDL).
Perhaps the most striking evidence on the topic came in 2015 when America’s top nutrition advisory panel, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), which is responsible for publishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans based on the body of scientific and medical evidence, stated,
“Cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”
In other words, you don’t need to worry about the cholesterol in your food.
Given this information, you may be wondering why the body would ever produce more cholesterol if cholesterol is so “bad,” and that’s a good question.
Metaphorically speaking, cholesterol accumulation on the walls of arteries can be compared to Pepto Bismol at a hot pepper eating contest. Along those lines, you wouldn’t accuse the Pepto to be the problem because they’re at the scene of a fire in your gut, right!?. Rather, you brought the Pepto to respond to a problem.
Cholesterol acts in much the same way, as it is sent to “patch up” damaged arterial walls, which may be induced by several factors, including diet and lifestyle. Of course, genetics play a role, but the fact of the matter is there are many factors within your control that can impact blood levels of cholesterol.
On one hand, dietary fiber has well-known cholesterol-lowering properties. It can interfere with the amount of bile, which is necessary for the breakdown of dietary fats, that is reabsorbed in the intestines. To make up for this loss, the liver must produce new bile salts, which are composed of cholesterol. So, increasing fiber intake by eating more vegetables, fruits, legumes, etc., can have a cholesterol-lowering effect.
On the other hand, consuming trans fats (in any amount), excess consumption of saturated fats, and regular consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars can increase cholesterol levels. Interestingly, some studies have shown that replacing saturated fats with processed carbohydrates leads to an increased risk of heart issues. In addition, lack of physical activity and weight gain also contribute to suboptimal levels of cholesterol, while regular exercise and stress management help lower cholesterol. There are natural alternatives and organic cannabinoid based anti-inflammatory solutions that can help as well.
So, the answer to decreasing blood cholesterol levels is not avoiding omelets and not necessarily decreasing dietary cholesterol intake, but rather improving one’s diet overall by eating healthier in general and avoiding the other harmful types of foods mentioned.
Combine that with increased physical activity, maybe a sublingual cannabinoid based product and both you and your cholesterol levels will be in even better shape.