Researchers in Canada claim it’s more dangerous to your health to eat a single egg yoke than to consume a KFC Double Down. At least that’s the case if you’re concerned about cholesterol.
According to researchers, one large egg yolk contains about 275 milligrams of cholesterol; whereas the notorious KFC Double Down, which is loaded with fried chicken, cheese, and bacon, contains about 150 milligrams of sodium.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should feel you have a green light to eat fast food if you’re at risk of cardiovascular disease. Rather, the researchers were attempting to overturn what they feel is a misconception among the public at large and even health professionals that consuming egg yolks is perfectly safe for those at high risk of heart disease.
Although the study was published in the most recent Canadian Journal of Cardiology — other reports have been less kind to the Double Down, with some claiming the sandwich has 540 calories, 32 grams of fat and as much as 1,380 milligrams of sodium.
Still, the authors hold fast in their critique of the egg.
“Dietary cholesterol, including egg yolks, is harmful to the arteries,” wrote lead study author David Spence with the University of Western Ontario Robarts Research Institute. “Patients at risk of cardiovascular disease should limit their intake of cholesterol. Stopping the consumption of egg yolks after a stroke or myocardial infarction would be like quitting smoking after a diagnosis of lung cancer: a necessary action, but late.”
Dr. Roger Blumenthal, spokesman for the American College of Cardiology and director of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center, reviewed the study and told AOL Health he takes a more moderate view.
“The prudent thing would be to minimize egg consumption,” he says. “I am skeptical of the conclusion to completely eliminate egg yolks from the diet.” He says even someone at high risk of cardiovascular disease should safely be able to consume one or two egg yolks a week without risking adverse effects.
But not all cardiologists agree. Dr. Adolph Hutter, a cardiologist with the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center, told AOL Health, “I don’t think it’s a debate. I don’t think anyone with cardiovascular disease should eat egg yolks. If you have any risks, you should avoid them.”
Blumenthal feels that the risks of cholesterol consumption are often emphasized over what he feels are the much more important dietary considerations of eating more fruits, vegetables and fiber, as well as the need to exercise regularly. “It would be prudent to curtail consumption of egg yolks,” he says, “but the impact of eating one or two eggs a week is very small.”