A new research on the role of eggs in increasing a person’s risk for heart disease has emerged, questioning the existing belief that eggs are safe to frequently consume.

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), eating two eggs a day makes a person 27 percent more at risk of developing heart disease.

The observational study monitored the health of 29,615 adults over 17.5 years and found that every extra 300 milligrams of eggs (or dietary cholesterol) per day was linked to an increased risk for CVD and all-cause mortality. These findings question the status quo, which states that eggs are good for the health and can be consumed daily. 

According to Victor Zhong, a postdoctoral fellow at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the study’s lead author, the yolk part of eggs is a major source of dietary cholesterol. The over 29,000 people were followed for an average of 17.5 years, during which 5,400 CV events happened, including 113 heart disease deaths, 1,302 fatal and non-fatal strokes, and 1,897 fatal and non-fatal heart failure.

Past researches yielded inconsistent results, mostly because they did not account for other dietary and lifestyle factors. Zhong said that their latest findings included a comprehensive assessment of such factors, and recommended that the issue be further explored and considered when health departments draft their wellness guidelines. In an interview with CNN, University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Dr. Robert Eckel said that given the scope and comprehensiveness of the latest study, the negative consequences of consuming eggs frequently should not be dismissed. 

In a related but earlier study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists found that eating a minimum of 12 eggs per week for three months did not increase the risk for heart disease among people with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes. 

The key, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center professor of clinical nutrition Jo An Carson, is to have a balanced diet. It is also important how eggs are prepared: they should be stored in the refrigerator and cooked fully to decrease the risk for salmonella. The most common ways to prepare eggs are poaching, frying, scrambling, and boiling. 

If cholesterol is the problem, she recommends cooking a low-cholesterol version that minimizes the yolk from the recipe. Two eggs plus two egg whites for scrambled eggs is a good suggestion. For frying, the healthiest options would be canola, corn, or olive oil.

Fried Eggs A new study shows that eating two eggs a day makes a person 27 percent more at risk of developing a heart disease. Pictured: A waitress serves breakfast for two, including eggs, cheeses, salad, orange juice, coffee and fresh baked bread Photo: Getty Images/David Silverman