Readers, I want to let you in on a little dietary experiment I've been running.
Over the past year or so, I've made one modest adjustment to my diet: I've been starting my days with a simple breakfast of... two eggs. Sometimes I'll include some fruit, occasionally I'll add a third egg, and once in a while I'll add bacon, sausage or some other easy-to-prepare meat. But most of the time, my breakfast is just eggs, a big splash of Tabasco and nada más.
Which means for more than a year, I've been eating about fourteen eggs a week.
More importantly, here's what I don't eat for breakfast: I skip the orange juice, I skip milk. I skip overpriced cereal, toast, and all the rest of the mostly unnecessary foods our society considers "normal" parts of a balanced breakfast.
Other than this change to my breakfast, I've otherwise maintained my reasonably healthy diet and lifestyle.
As a breakfast food, eggs fit my needs perfectly. Unlike carb-heavy cereal, eggs don't leave me ravenous ninety minutes later. They won't give me a brief burst of glucose spaz and then leave me dragging the rest of the morning. Because they're high in protein, eggs are a "slow burn" food with a high satiety factor, so it's sometimes four or five hours before I feel hungry again. Plus, it's easy (and laughably cheap) to fry up a couple of eggs: in 3-4 minutes you're fueled up and ready to go.
Well. A few weeks ago, I went in for a physical and bloodwork. Laura makes me go every so often, so I make sure I go grudgingly and make a big passive-aggressive production out of it.
This year, however, I was really interested to see my cholesterol levels. Would this egg-heavy diet impact my blood cholesterol? I've always had good numbers and good ratios, and my total cholesterol has been stable for years in the 160-170 range.
And the results were a huge surprise. My cholesterol fell even more: from an already-low 165 on my prior test... to a hard-to-believe 146. With good ratios.
After all those eggs--fourteen eggs a week for more than a year--my cholesterol numbers went from excellent to kickass.
Is this a controlled study? No. Is this a scientifically defensible experiment? Duh, of course not. And no, "kickass" is not (yet) a scientifically valid term. This is just a single anecdote, from one guy, with his own genetic and environmental markers. Your mileage is almost guaranteed to vary.
But there's one conclusion you can safely consider here: the link between dietary cholesterol and blood serum cholesterol is far more tenuous than you think. Food for thought, isn't it?
For Further Reading:
Understanding Cholesterol Numbers at WebMD
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