Should people with high blood lipid levels eat eggs?

January 26, 2024 | 04:00 pm PT
I have a high blood lipid level, so is it necessary for me to avoid eggs because they contain a lot of cholesterol? (My Chi, 55, Tien Giang)


Cholesterol is a type of lipid that plays a crucial role in various essential functions in the body, including aiding in cell and hormone production, forming bile acids, and facilitating the absorption of vitamins.

Experts used to consider eggs to be a food that was not good for those with high lipid levels due to the food’s huge amount of cholesterol, which could potentially contribute to heart issues. However, current medical understanding does not classify eggs as a food that is bad for cardiovascular health.

Food-derived cholesterol has only minor impacts on the overall cholesterol level in our body. The primary factors influencing this process are not the amount of cholesterol consumed but other factors, such as genetics, the family’s disease history, egg cooking methods, and overall dietary patterns.

Meanwhile, eggs are a common food in daily diets, which is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and fats. According to the American Heart Association, a large egg contains around 186 mg of cholesterol, which is considered relatively high. However, it does not have a significant impact on the overall cholesterol level in our body.

So if your daily diet is low in cholesterol, you can consume eggs regularly. Conversely, if you already consume a significant amount of cholesterol-containing foods, it is advised to limit your egg intake.

Boiled eggs in a bowl. Illustration photo by Freepik

Boiled eggs in a bowl. Illustration photo by Freepik

An average adult with a normal cholesterol level and no risk factors for heart diseases can safely consume one or two eggs a day, which is beneficial for one’s overall health as this food is highly nutritious.

People who have high levels of cholesterol should keep in mind these things when consuming eggs:

Firstly, avoiding consuming eggs together with foods that contain unhealthy fats, namely saturated and trans fats. Combining eggs with these fat types can lead to an increase in the cholesterol level in your blood.

Foods that contain saturated fats include fatty meats, poultry, and dairy products high in fat, while trans fats can be found in desserts, microwave popcorn, margarine, and coffee creamer.

Secondly, increasing the consumption of eggs with vegetables is also beneficial. Vegetables such as kale and Brussels sprouts are rich in soluble fiber, which helps reduce the cholesterol level. Eating eggs along with these vegetables can enhance the absorption of nutrients present in vegetables like vitamin E and beneficial carotenoid antioxidants.

Some breakfast options that help reduce cholesterol intake from eggs include frying eggs with olive oil or canola oil instead of margarine. Eating eggs with fresh salad instead of sausages or hams is also beneficial, resulting in a lower amount of cholesterol intake.

People with high cholesterol levels should have regular cardiovascular health check-ups and consult with their doctors or nutritionists for appropriate diets. They should also inquire about the safe number of eggs for them to consume each day.

Dr. Huynh Thanh Kieu

Tam Anh General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City

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