Sunny Side Down: Study Compares Eggs' Effect On Your Arteries To Smoking

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(Violetriga on Wikimedia Commons)
(Violetriga on Wikimedia Commons)

Now, I'd thought eggs were what I call a pendulum food: The studies say they're good for you. No, they're bad for you! In fact, they're really bad for you! No, they're okay, just eat them in moderation. That kind of thing.

But this latest study does seem to tip the balance toward bad — at least, for the yolks, with their high cholesterol. From the Atlantic:

RESULTS: Aging was associated with a linear increase in arterial plaque after age 40, but smoking and egg consumption were each independently associated with an exponential increase in plaque. Egg consumption had two-thirds of the effect of smoking.
IMPLICATION: While the link between eggs and cholesterol — and between cholesterol and heart disease — is well established, this study sheds light on the extent of their potential harm if eaten routinely in large quantities. A single large egg contains more than 180 mg of cholesterol — more than a third of a person's daily recommended intake. By this measure, a typical American breakfast alone, with two eggs (plus bacon!), would push well past that. Egg whites, meanwhile, remain excellent.

Sigh. Anybody have some good ways to transform egg whites from white rubber into something resembling food? Personally, I use ketchup.

This program aired on August 15, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.