Q&A: Can I add egg yolks back into my diet based on the 2015 Nutrition Report?

ID-10038221Ultimately, the food we eat is what raises our blood cholesterol. Saturated fat and trans fat raise our “lethal” LDL cholesterol. Most foods that are high in dietary cholesterol are also high in saturated fat. If you read the U.S. Health Department’s Nutrition Report recently released by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) and compare it to Prescription for Life, you will see the same items stressed: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, pasta, fish, and the good oils: canola and olive.

Nowhere are egg yolks listed as a “health food.” The dietary cholesterol in egg yolks can raise the LDL blood cholesterol in some people but the DGAC is not encouraging, nor restricting, it to be eaten. Other medical reports state that the consumption of egg yolks increases the onset of diabetes and cause an increase in cardiovascular disease in diabetics.

A large egg yolk contains 2grams of saturated fat and 210mg of cholesterol. In Prescription for Life, it is advised for a heart healthy diet to limit saturated fat to foods with 0-0.5 grams of saturated fat. So, even from a saturated fat standpoint, we recommend not eating egg yolks. If you enjoy eggs, the American Heart Association Dietary recommendations suggest substituting two egg whites, which contain no cholesterol, for an egg white and yolk.

A Mayo clinic cardiologist has also responded to the question regarding egg yolks with the advice to consider the recommended daily limits on cholesterol in your food, and that if you are healthy, to consume no more than 300mg of cholesterol a day. But, if you have diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease, limit your daily cholesterol intake to no more than 200mg a day.  Additionally, a Harvard report concerning dietary cholesterol, stated that people who have difficulty controlling their total and LDL cholesterol may want to be cautious about eating egg yolks, and suggests using egg whites or cholesterol-free egg substitutes instead.

The bottom line conclusion is that egg yolks are not something that should be eaten arbitrarily with out consideration to diabetic or cardiovascular risk. Prescription for Life is all about prevention. We want to prevent cardiovascular disease. We want to prevent diabetes. We encourage you to do all you can to prevent these diseases. For you to quit eating egg yolks after your develop diabetes, high blood cholesterol, or heart disease would be similar t one of my lung cancer patients deciding to quit after his diagnosis. It would be good to do – but a little late.




“Egg” photo courtesy of nixxphotography at www.freedigitalphotos.net