New research suggests that consuming whole eggs may improve blood lipids
It is estimated that 34% of Americans are affected by an increasingly prevalent condition known as metabolic syndrome which is a combination of at least three of the following risk factors: large waistline, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar. These individuals have a variety of risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Decades of mixed messaging regarding dietary cholesterol have led to avoidance of certain foods, such as eggs, particularly among individuals who are faced with health conditions. However, a recent study published in Metabolism suggests that including whole eggs as part of a weight loss diet may have positive effects on lipoprotein profiles for individuals with metabolic syndrome.
In this study, middle-aged men and women with metabolic syndrome consumed either three whole eggs or an equivalent amount of egg substitute daily as part of a carbohydrate-restricted, weight loss diet. Although participants eating the whole eggs were consuming twice as much cholesterol as they had at the beginning of the study, the researchers observed no effects on total blood cholesterol or LDL cholesterol levels after 12 weeks on the diet. All participants, including those consuming whole eggs, had improved lipid profiles with decreases in plasma triglycerides and increases in HDL cholesterol.
"Eating egg yolks was actually associated with enhanced health benefits in these high-risk individuals," explains Dr. Maria Luz Fernandez, lead study author and Professor at the University of Connecticut, "Subjects consuming whole eggs had greater increases in HDL cholesterol and more significant reductions in the LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio than those who ate the cholesterol-free egg substitute."
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