There’s no need to worry about consuming egg yolks.
Long thought to contribute to the body’s cholesterol levels, groups like the American Heart Association recommended against their consumption.
That has changed in recent years, with studies finding only slight links between dietary cholesterol and the kind that can lead to heart disease. But confusion still abounds.
The New York Times points out that “public health authorities place more emphasis nowadays on the influence that dietary fat has on cholesterol levels,” and that “the American Heart Association no longer condemns eggs in its guidelines.”
It says the AHA recommends consuming at most 300 mg per day of cholesterol – about one and a half eggs worth.
Writing for The Huffington Post, nutritionist John Berardi, Ph.D. disagrees with the AHA’s recommended limit.
He points to the variety of functions that cholesterol performs in the body, saying “Unless you have diabetes or a rare genetic disorder, eating a few eggs every day is not bad for you.”
He also says that eating egg whites without the yolk excludes people from consuming nutrients like Choline, Lutein, and omega-3 fatty acids, all found primarily in the cholesterol-full yolks of the eggs.
Livescience quotes Harvard’s School of Public Health professor Walter Willett as another to come to defence of the egg, saying “The amount that one egg a day raises cholesterol in the blood is extremely small,” and that “Elevations in LDL of this small magnitude could easily be countered by other healthy aspects of eggs.”
Beyond that, some say dietary cholesterol may actually be of benefit. In 2012 The Atlantic described research underway at MIT that pursued the idea that people need more cholesterol in their diets, not less.
It discussed MIT researcher Stephanie Seneff’s belief that foods with high levels of cholesterol “are key to improving heart health, maintaining a healthy weight, and staving off many diet-related diseases.” It mentioned that Seneff thought people should eat more eggs – and their yolks, in particular.