Unlike cardiovascular disease, which describes problems with the blood vessels and circulatory system as well as the heart, heart disease refers to issues and deformities in the heart itself. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia. One in every four deaths in the U.S. occurs as a result of heart disease.
If your worried about heart disease, there’s a lot that you can do to give your cardiovascular health a boost. Cutting out smoking, even if it’s just one a day, is one of them. Walking for just 40 minutes several times per week is another (especially for post-menopausal women). Going to the sauna on a regular basis helps, as does eating the right food.
Now, a new study, published in the journal Heart, has found that eating one egg every day can significantly reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
While eggs have long been considered a staple in a healthy diet, they’ve also gotten a bad reputation as of late due to their high cholesterol. And previous research on the link between heart health and eggs have had relatively small sample sizes.
On the other hand, this study, led by Canqing Yu, an associate professor in the Peking University School of Public Health in Beijing, analyzed the results of a whopping 416,213 Chinese adults between the ages of 30 and 79 over the course of nine years.
A little over 13% of these participants said that they ate an egg every day, while 9% abstained from them altogether. The results found that the daily egg eaters had a 26% lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke, a 28% lower risk of dying from this type of stroke, and a a 12% reduced risk of ischemic heart disease.
The study has its drawbacks, most notably that it’s purely observational, and therefore does not control for other factors that might have impacted the heart health of its participants. Yu herself also noted that translating the results to an American audience is complicated by the fact that the Chinese have a very different overall diet than ours.
Still, the results suggest that eating one egg a day, or slightly less, is beneficial to a healthy heart, especially because they are packed with high-quality protein and other disease-fighting nutrients. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating one a day as well in order to get all of the benefits while limiting your daily cholesterol intake to 300 mg.