By the way, doctor: An egg a day? Is that okay?

An egg a day? Is that okay?

Q. Ever since the 1960s, I haven't eaten more than one egg a week because egg yolks have a lot of cholesterol. Now my wife says she heard on the news that it's okay to eat eggs every day. What do you think?

A. Listen to your wife. Here's why she's right: In the 1960s, doctors had solid evidence linking heart attacks and strokes to higher levels of cholesterol in the blood. So it just seemed like common sense to avoid foods rich in cholesterol, including eggs.

But in this case, common sense was wrong. In 1999, a large Harvard study found that people who ate one egg a day were no more likely to have heart disease or strokes than those who ate eggs less often than once a week. It turns out that much of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver, not absorbed from the food you eat. In other words, the cholesterol in food doesn't affect the levels in your blood all that much.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »