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February 11, 2009

Eating Eggs Has Little Effect On Cholesterol

New research from the University of Surrey has confirmed that limiting egg consumption has little effect on cholesterol levels, BBC News reported.

The study suggests that most people could eat as many eggs as they wanted without damaging their health.

Numerous studies of egg nutrition were analyzed and the team found that the idea of eating more than three eggs a week was bad for you is still a widespread misconception based on out-of-date evidence.

In fact, eating saturated fats was far more likely to cause health problems.

"Eggs are actually a key part of a healthy diet, as they are particularly packed full of nutrients," researcher Professor Bruce Griffin said.

He said the ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected.

"The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol," he added.

Nutritionists agree that while elevated blood cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease, only around a third of the cholesterol in the body comes from the diet.

Things like smoking, being overweight and physical activity are considered more likely to influence blood fat and cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.

In light of new evidence, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) dropped its advice to limit egg consumption to three a week in 2007. But research by the British Egg Information Service suggests 45 percent of consumers still believe it was sensible to limit consumption.

"We recommend that eggs can be eaten as part of a balanced diet," said Victoria Taylor, a senior BHF dietician.

She said while there is cholesterol present in eggs, it doesn't usually contribute much to the body's level of blood cholesterol.

"If you need to reduce your cholesterol level it is more important that you cut down on the amount of saturated fat in your diet from foods like fatty meat, full fat dairy products and cakes, biscuits and pastries."

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