If you have been anywhere near a computer in the past few days, you have most likely seen an alarming headline about how eating eggs will lead to immediate death. Here are a few of my favorites:
“Eating three or more eggs a week increases risk of heart disease and early death, study says”
“Eating just three eggs a week linked to early death”
“Oh no: Eggs are bad for you again”
Oh boy, where to start with this…
Here is the quick and dirty
If you are worried about this study or eating eggs, I would exhale. The headlines have sensationalized a study that really drew very vague conclusions. If you want to really focus on your cholesterol I would read this blog: Do This One Thing Now to Lower Your Cholesterol
If you want to understand the limitations of the study and the real big takeaway, keep reading.
Here is an overview of some of the things to consider:
- It is an observational study, meaning it took data from a bunch of different experiments and drew conclusions. Since it was not controlled, this can show a correlation but not necessarily causation.
For instance, I have dated 5 guys named Mike over the past 10 years. They were all jerks. In conclusion: Decade long study shows all men named Mike are big jerk-faces.
Yes, what I said was true, but was it their name that caused their jerkiness? Perhaps, but follow up studies really are warranted…and you’re going to have to find another lab rat?
- It was based on a single dietary questionnaire and assumed that their diet did not change over 17 years. Are you eating the exact same thing you were 17 years ago?
In addition, as a person who asks people what they eat for a living, I can say that there is usually a big discrepancy between what people think they eat and what they actually eat.
- It conflicts with many, many, many other randomized controlled scientific studies as well as anecdotal proof. This should not invalidate it, but it is something to consider. Nutrition science is an imperfect science. Both because it is notoriously hard to accurately assess what people eat, and so many factors play a part in our health. Although a single study is important to take note of, it makes a better headline than piece of advice. Just ask Mike.
Here is the big takeaway
It is also important to remember that eggs may not be the heart attack maker that the headlines portray, but they are not the elixir of health either. Nothing is, not even kale…I know, mind blown! ?
Last week we spoke about how we eat food not nutrients. To build on that, we eat meals not just ingredients. An egg omelet mixed with veggies and avocado is very different than eggs fried in butter and bacon, which is very different from an Egg McMuffin.
When it comes to your health, if you want to put all your eggs in one basket, I would pick the diverse and balanced basket every day of the week. See what I did there?