Eggs are a fickle staple of nutrition, and it’s a bit of a pop-culture mainstay that the breakfast standards are considered a food powerhouse one week, and the satan of Sunday breakfasts another.
One of the greater nutritional debates of our time — right up there with whether carbs are the devil and whether wheatgrass is really worth choking down or just makes you look enlightened when your order it at Jamba Juice — is whether eggs are a diet goldmine or basically death lurking in your fridge, personified in a smooth, easy-to-dye shell.
But research this week has settled on the latter, pegging eggs as a danger to your arteries up there on par with smoking, which is basically the most dangerous consensual act in which an adult can legally engage other than leaving a Los Angeles hotspot with Lindsay Lohan behind the wheel.
The egg yolk indictment comes from a study of around 1,200 patients, and the results are kind of jarring if you think egg white omelettes are totally pointless and prefer your Denny’s Grand Slams leaking on your homefries. Research suggests that regular consumption of egg yolks carries a stunning two-thirds the risk of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, as smoking.
ScienceDaily quotes Dr. David Spence of Western’s Schulich School of Medicine Dentistry, who led the study. Spence explains:
“The mantra ‘eggs can be part of a healthy diet for healthy people’ has confused the issue. It has been known for a long time that a high cholesterol intake increases the risk of cardiovascular events, and egg yolks have a very high cholesterol content.”
“In diabetics, an egg a day increases coronary risk by two to five-fold… What we have shown is that with aging, plaque builds up gradually in the arteries of Canadians, and egg yolks make it build up faster — about two-thirds as much as smoking. In the long haul, egg yolks are not okay for most Canadians.”
Researchers urge those at risk of cardiovascular disease to avoid regular consumption of egg yolks.