Do Eggs Raise Your Cholesterol?

Experts debunk myths, advise on how to eat eggs to maximize nutritional value, calcium absorption, and blood replenishment

Do Eggs Raise Your Cholesterol?
(Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock)
Amber Yang

For years, there have been debates in the nutritional world about how healthy it is to eat eggs.

Some people believe that eggs can cause cardiovascular disease due to their high cholesterol content and say that you can eat egg whites but not egg yolk.

Dr. Wu Hongqian, the author of "Egg Therapy," deciphers the myths around eggs and cholesterol and shows how to eat eggs to protect the eyes, replenish blood, and increase calcium absorption.

The question most people ask is: Will eggs increase your cholesterol intake?

The statement “eating eggs increases your cholesterol level” stemmed from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines said people should not consume more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol daily. However, one egg a day would not exceed this ideal cholesterol level since one egg's cholesterol content is about 186 milligrams.

Our liver and intestines produce 80 percent of our body's cholesterol, and only 20 percent is obtained from the diet.

Eggs also have high-density lipoprotein, a scavenger to human blood vessels, bringing excess cholesterol to the liver.

Therefore, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans removed the daily intake limit of cholesterol.

Medical Values and Nutrition

Now that we have debunked the misconception that even moderate consumption of eggs increases cholesterol levels, let's dive into what nutrient values eggs have.
Wu mentioned the five nutrients in eggs:

1. Amino Acids

Egg contains nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot synthesize itself. Additionally, the human body requires 20 different types of amino acids to grow and function normally.

2. Lecithin

Lecithin repairs cells and brain nerves, prevents Alzheimer's disease, and aids brain development in children.

3. Multiple Vitamins

Egg contains multiple vitamins, such as A, B, and C.

4. Carotene, Zeaxanthin, Lutein

Carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein provide the necessary nutrients the human eyes require.
Wu mentioned that he eats eggs daily. As a 58-year-old man, he has yet to have myopia or presbyopia.

5. Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid

Both vitamin B12 and folic acid are vital for replenishing blood. In the past, Chinese women would eat fried eggs with sesame oil after giving birth for blood replenishment and body recovery.

Every Part of the Egg Is Nutritional

In addition to their nutritional value, eggs are a sacred food with medicinal value in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
  1. Eggshell: In ancient times, eggshells were grounded into powder to treat excessive gastric acid and gastroesophageal reflux. Eggshell is an effective TCM ingredient for treating stomach ailments.
  2. Egg membrane: The white film on the interior of an eggshell was used to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma and nasal allergies in ancient China.
  3. Egg white: Protein, or egg white, can reduce inflammation. In ancient China, women would apply egg white to their faces to remove heat and detoxify the body. It was also used to reduce inflammation and firm one's skin.
  4. Egg yolk: In TCM, egg yolk is an ingredient for replenishing deficiency and blood. Egg yolk is also a remedy for insomnia. Huang Lian E Jiao egg yolk is a dietary prescription for insomnia.
For stomach issues, Wu recommends calcium citrate made from eggshells and lemon juice, as it is currently the best calcium supplement in the world. You can make calcium citrate from home easily.

How to Make Calcium Citrate


Step 1: Wash eggs thoroughly. Then place them in a bowl filled with water. Step 2: Add a few drops of lemon juice into the bowl before steaming it in an electric pot. Step 3: The calcium will dissolve in citric acid and become calcium citrate, which can be taken directly.

How Many Eggs Should You Eat Daily?

Wu suggests adults should eat two to four eggs a day. However, he recommends about six to 10 eggs daily for vegetarians.

Since muscle loss is common in old age, older people should consume about twice as many as younger adults, or four to eight eggs daily.

The doctor himself starts his day with two to three eggs for breakfast. He also advises his parents to have two eggs per meal.

Cooking makes some of the nutrients easier for digestion.

Best Way to Cook Eggs

Wu says poached eggs are the best way to cook eggs, as their absorption can reach 98 percent.
However, eggs are suitable for all kinds of cooking. Whether it is scrambled eggs with tomatoes or onions or fried eggs, you can be creative with egg dishes to avoid eating the same thing for a long time.

Who Should Not Eat Eggs?

Although eggs have incredible nutritional value, Wu warns that three types of people should not overeat them.

1. Patients With Kidney Degeneration

People with chronic kidney diseases should follow a low-protein diet.

Patients with chronic kidney disease cannot excrete nitrogen-containing waste produced by protein metabolism. Hence it is necessary to reduce protein intake.

However, patients on dialysis can eat eggs without worrying because they are prone to anemia and need more protein. Since kidney dialysis removes nitrogen waste, there is no need to worry about additional bodily burdens.

2. Patients With Liver Disease

As protein requires the liver to metabolize, consuming too much protein will increase the liver's workload for someone with liver cirrhosis or liver failure. In a worse case, it may trigger hepatic coma.

3. People Prone to Gastric Flatulence

Consuming large amounts of eggs causes the digestive tract to produce excessive gas. In ancient China, people ate eggs with soy sauce and salt to minimize bloating.
Wu advises chewing eggs slowly. Once polysaccharide is digested, the food enters the stomach. Chewing thoroughly allows stomach acid and digestive juices to break down food fully, preventing bloating or discomfort.

Side Effects of Eggs From Chickens Treated With Antibiotics

Do eggs with antibiotics impact our health negatively?

Huang Jianzhong, the Antibiotic Free Farming Association chairperson, explains that hormone-solute eggs are eggs with antibiotics.

In the 1960s and 1970s, low levels of antibiotics were put in chicken feed so the chickens would not get sick and could grow up healthily.

Bacterial resistance has since increased with the growth of large-scale farming operations. Therefore, the amount and usage of antibiotics have also risen.

An antibiotic is a drug that kills all bacteria, whether good or bad. Once consumed, it weakens the immunity of the chickens that don't have good bacteria, making them more prone to sickness.

When people consume chickens treated with antibiotics, it weakens human intestinal health. Additionally, and more seriously, once the human body develops drug resistance, it affects drug efficacy against bacterial or viral infections.

3 Rules for Choosing Eggs

How do you choose from the different types of eggs available, such as brown eggs, white eggs, lutein eggs, and DHA eggs?

Huang says the quality of brown eggs is much better than white eggs.

Functional eggs, or eggs altered by adding nutrients to chicken feed, include supplemental nutrients such as lutein and seaweed essence.

However, functional eggs' absorption rates and efficacy in the human body are yet to be determined.

Huang recommends selecting a merchant with good inspection reports that list the nutritional content of the eggs whenever buying functional eggs.

How to Tell an Egg Is Healthy

  1. Richness: The richer and bouncier the egg white, the fresher the egg.
  2. Firmness: The firmer and more elastic the egg yolk, the more nutritional the egg.
  3. Hardness: The harder the eggshell, the healthier the hen.
Amber Yang is a certified personal trainer. She met all the requirements of the American Council on Exercise to develop and implement personalized exercise programs. She worked as a marketing manager for natural skin care products for years and as a health and beauty reporter and editor for ten years. She is also the host and producer of the YouTube programs "Amber Running Green" and "Amber Health Interview."
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