A recent study has been grabbing headlines thanks to its incendiary claim that eggs are bad for your overall health, particularly when they're regularly consumed. This has led many people around the nation to substantially change their diets, with others decrying the fact that it "took us so long" to figure out that eggs are bad for your health. There are plenty of reasons to believe that recent studies claiming eggs are unhealthy are less than accurate, however, with the ongoing health debate lacking nuance.
Those in healthcare, who are hyper-aware of health threats, are particularly apt to read headlines about studies and react prematurely. With the best intentions, they seek to embrace a healthy lifestyle and encourage their loved ones to do the same. Unfortunately, this sometimes feeds the fuel of sensational claims that later prove untrue.
Are eggs really bad for your health? Not particularly - here's why a recent study has misled people.
You have to read past the headline
Much of our news and information ecosystem has pivoted to the internet. Many people simply take everything they read at face value, seldom digging deeper to find the sliver of truth that exists amongst a torrential downpouring of speculation and misinformation. One recent example that has snatched global headlines claims that eating eggs is bad for you. Many people simply read the headline and decided to change their diets. If you read past the headline, however, you'll soon discover that the study didn't claim that eating eggs is going to endanger your health.
The research in question was published on JAMA, where it quickly captured the attention of journalists and health enthusiasts. People saw the incendiary title - "Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality" - and concluded that egg consumption was putting them at risk of contracting a cardiovascular disease. This is a good example of how misinformation spreads like wildfire in our digital ecosystem; healthcare professionals soon found themselves inundated with questions about whether eggs were safe to eat or not.
The research claims that the dietary cholesterol found in eggs diminishes your health and makes you more vulnerable to disease. Nonetheless, federal dietary guidelines continue to list eggs as a healthy addition to your diet, and you should conduct more thorough research before you head to your kitchen to throw out that carton of eggs. As a matter of fact, recent federal dietary guidelines even dropped the recommended cap on dietary cholesterol that should be consumed.
Similarly, research can always be misleading or disputed by other research. One study that was published just last year claimed that eating one egg every day would bolster your overall health while keeping heart disease away, for instance--the exact opposite of the recent study. It's important to find and rely on authoritative sources.
Healthcare workers need to think critically
Healthcare workers must read and act critically and holistically. It's much more important, for example, to ensure that your clothing and shoes support good health. Comfortable shoes with arches alleviate back pain and spinal damage and wearing looser clothing promotes circulation. It makes sense, therefore, that comfortable scrubs and shirts allow a wider range of motion than ill-fitting ones. You don't have to give up looking good if you choose the right brand.
When it comes to eating eggs, it's important to put this study into perspective when answering your own questions or inquiries from patients. It's just one data set among a body of research that ultimately leans toward including eggs in a healthy diet tempered by moderation.
Listen to the CDC
The Center for Disease Control is coming to the rescue by offering clear, accurate guidelines that should be followed if you want to maintain not only a healthy diet but a healthy lifestyle at large. This is because a healthy diet is only part of being a healthy person - if you're someone who eats well but skips exercise or doesn't get enough sleep, for instance, your stellar diet probably means little. As the CDC illustrates, maintaining a healthy body weight and keeping yourself in shape demand a healthy approach to life in general that emphasizes hydration, exercise, good sleep, and a positive state of mind along with eating healthy food like fruits and veggies.
Furthermore, if you're worried that eggs are going to give you heart disease, you should also cut some other things out of your daily diet. Smoking tobacco, for instance, is disastrous for your long-term health and can diminish the wellbeing of people around you through second and third-hand smoke. Limiting the amount of alcohol you consume on a regular basis is also a surefire way to bolster your body's wellbeing. This doesn't mean you have to skip out on beer, wine, or champagne forever, but rather that you should be consuming everything in moderation with an eye towards the future.
You can rest assured that eggs aren't your enemy. Besides the fact that yolk is a natural source of vitamin D, which many Americans lack in their diets, eating eggs in moderation can also be part of a robust, healthy diet that keeps you around for a long time. Just remember that being healthy and avoiding diseases is about much more than what you eat - you also need to factor in your sleep schedule, your exercise regime, your habits (e.g. smoking), and other considerations like surrounding yourself with healthy and happy people.
Healthcare workers are scientists by nature, so headlines including the word "study" make a digital headline seem bona fide. However, despite your busy lifestyle, do yourself and your patients a favor and read past the headline to discern the truth.