Enjoy Your Eggs

Don't believe the myths about eggs...

In 1999, I was sitting in a breakfast dive studying for medical school when I took a break and read the recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

I had just finished my "dry rye" toast with eggs over easy... when I was surprised by an article that confirmed what I'd always suspected. The study showed that eating eggs DID NOT increase people's chances of getting heart disease or suffering a stroke. This was a shock because the dogma then, and sadly even now, is that cholesterol (and fat, for that matter) in food causes heart disease.

The truth is that, all day long, your body manufactures cholesterol. Every cell in your body needs cholesterol because it makes hormones and steroids. Without it, you would die within days. And consuming cholesterol isn't dangerous...

Previous dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) limited the amount of cholesterol people should consume to 300 milligrams. But last October, we told you to ignore the cholesterol myth.

And now the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) suggests removing that limit. According to its 2015 report, "Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption."

The recommendations from the DGAC helped shape the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the USDA. The DGAC's findings aren't surprising to me. The previous guidelines were just more examples of government idiocy and reasons why you shouldn't blindly trust these institutions.

However, if you have a parent or grandparent who died early from a heart attack (at 50 years old, for instance), you should have your cholesterol checked. You could have familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetically linked high cholesterol disorder, which is dangerous. Normal levels of cholesterol run in the 180-220 range. Familial hypercholesterolemia is suspected when your cholesterol hits 350 or more. In that case... you really will have to pass on the huevos rancheros.

If you had a family member die early from a heart attack and you want to be checked, a cholesterol test is easy to get... You just need to fast for nine to 12 hours before a blood test, called a lipid panel. The test measures the levels of four common types of lipids in the blood – total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. A doctor determines if your cholesterol levels are too high based on the quantities and ratios of these lipids.

Unless you've got super-high levels, enjoy your eggs over easy like I do. In addition, lab research shows chemicals, called ACE inhibitors, are abundant in fried eggs. ACE inhibitors stop the body's production of angiotensin-converting enzymes. These enzymes are known to cause blood vessels to narrow, making the heart work harder.

This is one of the best treatments doctors know of to lower blood pressure.

And since cooking the eggs releases the chemicals, feel free to eat your eggs fried, boiled, poached, or scrambled. (We also have a brand-new study on eggs in our latest issue of Retirement Millionaire. Subscribers can read it online here. And if you're not yet a subscriber, you can learn how to join (and how to get a FREE hard copy of my Big Book of Retirement Secrets) by clicking right here.

What We're Reading...

  • Something different: The idea that Mozart makes your baby smarter is one of parenting's most persistent myths. (Doc's note: Though there are still plenty of reasons why music is beneficial to your health.)