Entire nutritional concept crucial: effects of eggs on health
People with high cholesterol are usually advised quickly to eat healthier and, above all, to avoid eggs. But are they really to blame? According to health experts, this question cannot be answered in a general way. How eggs affect cholesterol depends on the overall nutritional concept.
Elevated cholesterol levels can be dangerous
Around one in three Germans have high cholesterol. An elevated cholesterol level can lead to diseases of the vessels, with possible consequences such as a heart attack or stroke. Patients are often advised to take cholesterol-lowering drugs. However, some experts believe that they do more harm than good because they can cause muscle problems and increase the risk of diabetes. The most important thing anyway is a change in diet to lower the level. Above all, a lower egg consumption is often mentioned here. But are eggs really that harmful?
The entire nutritional concept is crucial
According to many health experts, the years-long warnings about eggs and butter related to high cholesterol no longer apply.
However, this is not that easy, says the German Heart Foundation. In a recent communication, the foundation points out that it is not the egg alone, but the entire nutritional concept that is decisive for whether there is a health risk.
"How exactly eggs affect cholesterol levels cannot be answered in general because cholesterol intake depends very much on the rest of the diet and other factors and not solely on the consumption of eggs," explains cardiologist Prof. Dr. med. Helmut Gohlke from the board of the heart foundation.
Avoid unhealthy saturated fats in sausage, bacon and Co.
According to the experts, the view while eating should not only focus on the individual food component egg. The overall nutritional concept is much more important.
According to Prof. Gohlke, the LDL cholesterol level in young men rose by 1.5 mg / dl and increased for several weeks per 100 mg of daily cholesterol intake due to egg consumption (one egg contains about 250-280 mg cholesterol) young women by 2.1 mg / dl.
“However, the effect on serum cholesterol levels is heavily dependent on the rest of the diet. A high proportion of polyunsaturated fats in the diet reduces cholesterol intake, ”explains Prof. Gohlke.
“However, the higher the proportion of saturated fats in the food, the greater the cholesterol increase. The saturated fats also increase the clotting activity in the blood. As a result, they favor coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke, ”said the expert.
Saturated fats are found in considerable quantities in meat, bacon, sausage, ham and lard, for example.
Saturated fats can also be found in milk products such as cheese, but the saturated fats from the milk of cows, sheep and goats are judged to be rather cheap.
How many eggs it can be
In a Spanish observational study on a group of 14,185 healthy university graduates, no increased risk of CHD (coronary artery disease) was found in the group of people who consumed more than four eggs per week.
US studies, in turn, found a link between increased egg consumption (more than four eggs per week) and an increased risk of diabetes; however, this connection did not exist for studies carried out outside the United States.
"This suggests that the common and popular preparation of eggs in the USA, for example with bacon, may play a greater role than the egg itself."
Therefore, if you want to eat a heart-healthy diet, the best way to emphasize your diet is on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, poultry, fish, legumes, rapeseed and olive oil (no coconut or palm oil) and nuts.
The Mediterranean diet is particularly recommended.
"This varied diet best fulfills these characteristics without having to pay particular attention to the individual components mentioned," says Prof. Gohlke. (ad)