Eat eggs without guilt…even if you have heart problems, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
That’s the message from a new study that debunks warnings from mainstream doctors that we shouldn’t eat eggs.
For decades, conventional physicians have been telling us that eggs are one of the worst foods for your heart. They raise cholesterol, they said. They increase the risk of heart attack, they said.
This turns out to be complete bunk.
The research comes from the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Health Sciences. Scientists analyzed data from three major studies. The research included 146,011 people from 21 countries.
The bottom line: The scientists found eggs will not hurt you…even if you have heart disease.
Researcher Mahshid Dehghan said moderate egg intake—about one a day—doesn’t increase “the risk of cardiovascular disease or mortality even if people have a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.”
What’s more, Dehghan said that contrary to doctors’ warning, eggs do not raise cholesterol levels.
Lead study author Dr. Salim Yusuf said that past, negative egg studies were flawed. Most of them “were relatively small or moderate in size.”
Which Kind of Eggs Are Best?
Eggs are an excellent nutrient-dense source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Both promote heart health.
Eggs are also high in choline, which is linked to better brain function, and selenium, which reduces inflammation.
Which kind of eggs are best?
Egg labeling is confusing because there are so many designations. Here’s what they mean:
Caged/Conventional: Over 90% of the eggs sold in the U.S. come from chickens raised in indoor cages. They are fed corn and soy feed. And they are typically treated with antibiotics. Caged/conventional eggs have no designation on the carton. 
Omega-3 enriched: These are the same as caged/conventional eggs except the chickens are given feed supplemented with an omega-3 source like flax seeds. This results in eggs with extra omega-3s.
Organic: These are eggs from birds that are given organic feed. They are not dosed with antibiotics. They may or may not be raised in cages.
Cage-free: These come from hens that have more room than caged chickens. They are raised indoors, typically in crowded barns. They are fed corn or soy and are often dosed with antibiotics.
Free-range: These are eggs from birds that have access to the outside. They may or may not eat corn and soy feed in addition to natural foods they forage outside.
Pasture-raised: This is what you should look for. Hens laying these eggs graze freely on pasture land. They eat a natural diet of grass, worms, bugs, and anything else they can forage. They may be given grain feed as needed, but they are not given antibiotics. Pastured birds are typically allowed to roam outside all day. At night, they roost in hen houses.
A 2010 study at Cambridge University found that pasture-raised eggs have a far superior nutrition profile compared to conventionally raised ones:
- 67% more vitamin A
- Twice as much omega-3 fatty acids
- Three times more vitamin E
- Seven times more beta carotene
- Six times more vitamin D
- No residual antibiotics
When buying eggs, you should also be aware of labels that are misleading:
Hormone-free: No chickens receive hormones. So saying eggs are “hormone-free” is meaningless.
Vegetarian-fed: This is not a good thing. Don’t buy them. Chickens are natural omnivores. They eat worms and insects, which are both animals. “Vegetarian” hens must be kept inside to prevent them from foraging for bugs. They are fed an unnatural diet of corn or soy, which leads to deficiencies.
Blake Alexandre is a chicken farmer in northern California. He said that vegetarian chickens often fall ill because they lack methionine, an essential amino acid. The birds then start to peck at each other in an effort to get meat.
“The idea that chickens ought to be vegetarian is ridiculous,” he said.
One more thing… Brown eggs are not healthier than white ones. They are simply a different breed of chicken.
Pasture-raised eggs are now available at many supermarkets, including Walmart and Target grocery stores.
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