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Eggs: good or bad?

Authors
  • Griffin, Bruce A1
  • 1 Department of Nutritional Sciences,University of Surrey,Guildford,Surrey GU2 7WG,UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of The Nutrition Society
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Publication Date
August 2016
Volume
75
Issue
3
Pages
259–264
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1017/S0029665116000215
PMID: 27126575
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Eggs have one of the lowest energy to nutrient density ratios of any food, and contain a quality of protein that is superior to beef steak and similar to dairy. From a nutritional perspective, this must qualify eggs as 'good'. The greater burden of proof has been to establish that eggs are not 'bad', by increasing awareness of the difference between dietary and blood cholesterol, and accumulating sufficient evidence to exonerate eggs from their associations with CVD and diabetes. After 60 years of research, a general consensus has now been reached that dietary cholesterol, chiefly from eggs, exerts a relatively small effect on serum LDL-cholesterol and CVD risk, in comparison with other diet and lifestyle factors. While dietary guidelines have been revised worldwide to reflect this view, associations between egg intake and the incidence of diabetes, and increased CVD risk in diabetes, prevail. These associations may be explained, in part, by residual confounding produced by other dietary components. The strength of evidence that links egg intake to increased CVD risk in diabetes is also complicated by variation in the response of serum LDL-cholesterol to eggs and dietary cholesterol in types 1 and 2 diabetes. On balance, the answer to the question as to whether eggs are 'bad', is probably 'no', but we do need to gain a better understanding of the effects of dietary cholesterol and its association with CVD risk in diabetes.

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