Are Egg Yolks As Bad For You as Smoking? New Study Says Yes
A new study suggests that eating eggs could be just as bad as smoking, depending on how many you eat.
"Eating egg yolks is as bad as smoking in speeding up coronary heart disease" the Daily Mail says, reporting that egg yolks contribute to the clogging up of arteries which, in turn, can increase the risk of heart disease.
The news is based on a Canadian study which used ultrasound to look at the fatty build-up in the arteries of around 1,200 adults who were attending a clinic because they had pre-existing risk factors for heart disease.
The adults were questioned on their smoking history, the number of egg yolks eaten per week and how long they had eaten this amount of egg yolks.
The study's lead author said while the general public believes smoking is far worse for your health, smoking and eating cholesterol both increase cardiovascular risks.
The results show patients who ate three or more yolks each week had significantly more plaque in their arteries than patients who ate fewer than three per week.
This study does contain some important limitations, such as:
- the accuracy of the participants’ recollections of their egg yolk consumption
- a lack of detailed information on how the eggs were cooked
- there may have been additional risk factors contributing to artery ‘clogging’, not assessed by the study, such as lack of exercise or alcohol consumption
- while it is reasonable to assume that fatty build-up in the neck arteries can increase the risk of heart disease, it is uncertain exactly what the increased level of risk would be
The study was carried out by researchers from the Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre, Robarts Research Institute, and other research institutions in Canada and was funded by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal: Atherosclerosis.
While the Mail reports that eating egg yolks is two-thirds as bad for you as smoking when it comes to artery build-up, this cannot be concluded when you consider the limitations of this single piece of research.
Also, the headline does not make it clear that the researchers were only looking at people with pre-existing risk factors for heart disease and not the population at large.