Eggs and Cholesterol — How Many Eggs Can You Safely Eat?

As we continue to learn how eggs interact with cholesterol and chronic diseases, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the risk associated with eating too many eggs differs among individuals.

Factors like your genetics, family history, how you prepare your eggs, your overall diet, and even where you live could influence how many eggs you can safely eat per day (28, 29).

Also, consider the amount of total cholesterol in your diet from foods besides eggs. If your diet is relatively low in cholesterol, you may have more room in it for eggs. However, if your diet is higher in cholesterol, it may be best to limit your egg intake.

For a healthy adult with normal cholesterol levels and no significant underlying heart disease risk factors, some research suggests that 1–2 eggs per day can be safe. It may even be healthy and benefit your heart health (30, 31, 32, 33).

A small study in 38 healthy adults found that as many as 3 eggs per day improved LDL and HDL levels and the LDL-to-HDL ratio. Yet, experts might shy away from suggesting more than 2 eggs per day, with many still suggesting that you stick to 1 (34).

A study in Korean adults further observed that eating 2–7 eggs per week helped maintain high HDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. Meanwhile, eating 2 or more eggs per day didn’t have the same protective effects (35).

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Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that include high blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood fat levels, plus weight gain around the waist. Together, they contribute to an increased risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease (36).

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The risk could vary for different groups

Though it appears that having a couple of eggs a day is safe for most healthy adults, it’s important to note that some research still suggests otherwise — particularly for certain groups (28, 37, 38).

One study in nearly 200,000 U.S. veterans associated eating just 1 egg per day with a slightly elevated risk of heart attacks. The effect was strongest in those with diabetes or overweight, suggesting that overall health status influences how many eggs are safe to eat (39).

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Similarly, in European and Korean adults, eating 2–4 eggs each week may contribute substantially to dietary cholesterol intake and increase the risk of heart disease, especially in people with diabetes (40, 41, 42).

Another study looked at a sample of more than 100,000 U.S. adults and found that older adults who ate more than 5–6 eggs per week had a 30% increased risk of heart disease. However, it’s no guarantee the increased risk is due to eggs alone (43).

Regardless of egg intake, heart disease risk increases as you age due to changes like fat buildup and stiffening of the arteries. Therefore, it’s important to consider your overall picture and health status when deciding how many eggs are safe to eat.

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If you have high LDL cholesterol levels, overweight or obesity, a chronic disease like diabetes, or a family history of heart disease, it may be best to eat no more than 1 egg per day or 4–5 eggs per week.

It can be hard to evaluate so many different risk factors on your own. Therefore, working directly with a physician, dietitian, or trained healthcare professional may be the best way to decide how many eggs are safe to eat each day or week.

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Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-eggs-should-you-eat

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