Egg Cholesterol Myth and Other Cholesterol Myths

Is what you know about cholesterol valid, or is it a cholesterol myth?  Cholesterol Myth

We hear the term “cholesterol” and we immediately imagine clogged arteries. But the fact is we need dietary cholesterol just like any other nutrients.  If your body doesn’t get enough from good omega 3 fatty acid sources, it will try to produce it in any way it can.  Unfortunately it may include producing bad cholesterol.

Cholesterol Myth #1: Eggs are high in cholesterol, so they are bad for heart health.

This is the egg cholesterol myth which is probably the most common.  Although eggs are high in cholesterol, it is not as bad as we think. Research says that dietary cholesterol may have little or no effect on the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Eating eggs does not directly affect the blood vessel lining and its functions. In fact, there are some studies that suggest that men with higher egg consumption have lower risk of stroke.

So, can we all eat eggs?  Yes, except if you are obese, diabetic/have insulin resistance, and you consume a lot of  trans fats.  People with these conditions that consume trans fats and cholesterol are the ones at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

Cholesterol Myth #2: Lower cholesterol means lower risk of heart disease.

Low cholesterol levels do not mean lower risk of having a heart condition. There are different types of cholesterol in our bodies, such as low density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) and high density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol).  They have different functions, as well as different particle sizes, such as HDL2b and HDL3.

HDL2b, which are more protective of blood vessel linings, have bigger particle size than HDL3 particles. On the other hand, the denser and smaller of the LDL particles can get easily damaged through oxidation. These oxidized LDLs are the ones responsible for the development of arterial wall plaque and inflammation.

The standard lipid panel testing measures total HDL, total LDL and triglycerides, while advanced lipid panel testing measures the inflammation in the lining of the blood vessels. The latter provides a more accurate insight on the condition of the blood vessels.

For further reading, see The Case Against Lowering Cholesterol For Decreased Risk of Heart Disease.

Cholesterol Myth #3: High HDL cholesterol is a good thing!

High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol is also known as the “good cholesterol”.  One of its functions is to protect the blood vessel lining.  However, an HDL level over 80 indicates the presence of inflammation, toxins or virus.  These are all damaging to the body and are often missed by many doctors.

I encourage you to watch Dr. Sinatra’s “Essence of Heart Disease” video where he discusses a major cholesterol myth, that is, that cholesterol is a major factor in cardiovascular disease.