Unfortunately, eggs were an innocent victim of the cholesterol myth (or, more specifically, the lipid hypothesis posited by Ancel Keys in the 1950’s – see earlier posts on this). Once the mainstream media got hold of the idea that foods containing cholesterol were bad for you, in a panic, doctors and nutritionists alike began recommending patients with high cholesterol or heart problems to avoid eggs at all costs – and so they did – never realizing that by doing so, they were essentially throwing the baby out with the bathwater!
For many years, we have been told that we should keep our cholesterol intake as low as possible, as this will help decrease blood cholesterol, and improve our health. While this makes sense on a superficial level, if you really understand how the body works, it actually doesn’t pan out that way at all.
In fact, for most people, the majority of cholesterol in the blood does not come from food at all – it’s produced by your liver! Your body works to maintain a state of balance, and if you eat less cholesterol, well, guess what – your body just produces more of it to compensate! If you eat more cholesterol, your body regulates the production, and keeps your blood cholesterol levels more or less steady, so regardless of how much cholesterol you eat, your blood cholesterol will be about the same. (This is why low-fat diets have been notoriously unsuccessful at controlling cholesterol – hence the incredible surge in the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs over the past 20 years.
…the answer to decreasing blood cholesterol levels is not avoiding eggs, and not necessarily decreasing dietary cholesterol intake, but rather improving your diet overall by eating healthier in general (healthy, quality, organic proteins, lots of fresh vegetables, naturally fermented foods, etc.) and avoiding the other harmful types of foods mentioned – such as processed oils, simple carbs, sugars, and other highly processed foods.
Combine this with regular physical activity and both you and your cholesterol levels will be in even better shape.
So if you want to eat healthier this year, welcome yummy eggs back into your diet! Eat fresh, whole eggs from chickens raised on pasture, eating bugs and grass and all the things they’re naturally supposed to eat, and you’ll get even more heart-healthy fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidant vitamins. Plus they taste 10 times as amazing!