There has been much confusion about whether eggs should be included in a heart healthy diet, especially for anyone with known heart disease or history of heart attack. If your cholesterol level is already high, your doctor has probably asked you to avoid saturated fat and foods naturally high in cholesterol - like eggs, but particularly the yolk.
But a newer study from Canada suggests if you have metabolic syndrome you might benefit from incorporating eggs in your diet.
Eating foods high in cholesterol is believed to lead to the formation of atherosclerosis or plaques in the arteries that can lead to blockages and cause heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
In the latest study, researchers looked at 2 groups of middle-aged adults with metabolic syndrome who were overweight to find out if eggs - complete with the yolk - promote unhealthy cholesterol levels.
One group ate 3 whole eggs a day. The second group ate a low carbohydrate diet for weight loss and one egg substitute daily.
At the end of the 3-month study, there was no change in LDL or bad cholesterol levels among the group given whole eggs.
Both groups lowered their triglyceride levels and had an increase in their 'good' HDL cholesterol.
The caveat is that the group given whole eggs had greater improvements than those given egg substitute.
The authors concluded eggs don't contribute to high cholesterol and and might be beneficial for lowering risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
It's important to remember that studies have been mixed. The debate over eggs as part of a heart healthy diet isn't solved yet, but the newest study does suggest the high protein food might not be as harmful as previously believed and might even help improve your cholesterol profile, combined with a low carbohydrate diet.
Blesso CN et al. "Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome."