Eggs could be as dangerous to your heart as smoking

By WEEK Producer
By NBC News

Eggs could be as dangerous to your heart as smoking

August 17, 2012 Updated Aug 17, 2012 at 10:22 AM CDT

ONTARIO, Canada -- You may need to think twice when ordering an omelet for breakfast. A new study suggests eating whole eggs could damage your heart arteries nearly as much as smoking.

Researchers in Canada studies over 1,000 patients who had suffered a mini stroke. Each participant filled out a survey detailing their egg consumption and smoking and exercise habits.

The thickness of their heart arteries was also measured.

They found those who ate the most eggs had heart arteries that had narrowed in a similar fashion to those of smokers.

Outside experts say smoking affects heart arteries in a different way than eggs. They say smoking has a direct effect on plaque in the arteries while eggs are high in cholesterol, which has a gradual effect on the health of arteries.

Experts also say people who are eating whole eggs several times a week may be eating them with sausage or grits, and have a diet that is high in cholesterol in general.

The National Heart Blood and Lung Institute recommends Americans get no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. One egg has 200 mg. They say Americans should not have more than 4 whole eggs a week.

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