The Canadian study found that people who consume egg
yolks regularly had 2/3 the plaque buildup of smokers.
Think twice before you bite into a hearty breakfast of eggs
benedict slathered in hollandaise sauce — you may as well
be lighting up, according to a new study.
In terms of cardiovascular risks, the yolk-based sauce that
makes the dish so good is almost as bad for you as smokin
g cigarettes, researchers in Canada found.
“One jumbo chicken egg yolk has about 237 milligrams of
cholesterol,” study author Dr. David Spence told CNN.
Spence explains that eating large amounts of cholesterol
causes plaque buildup in the blood vessels, the same way
When plaque builds up, the artery walls become thicker,
limiting the amount of blood that can get through the vessels
to the heart and upping risk for heart disease.
His research, published online in the journal Atherosclerosis,
found that people who eat egg yolks regularly have about
2/3 as much plaque buildup as smokers.
Yolk-lovers’ buildup “follows a similar pattern to that of
cigarette smoking,” researchers wrote.
People who ate three or more yolks per week had significantly
more buildup than those who ate two or less yolks per week.
Spence, a neurology professor at the University of Western
Ontario’s medical school, and two colleagues looked at more
than 1,200 patients for the research.
All already had carotid plaque issues or a family history of
cardiovascular disease. Their average age was about 60
years old, but Spence stresses that cardiovascular health
is important at all ages.
“Just because you are 20 doesn’t mean egg yolks aren’t
going to cause any trouble down the line,” he told CNN.
Spence says researchers chose to compare the effects of
eating egg yolks with the effects of smoking to provide people
with perspective, as eating yolks is typically considered
“insignificant” compared to smoking.
But some health experts say it isn’t a fair comparison.