Do You Get High Cholesterol from Eggs?

January 26, 2023

With the price of eggs at an all time high, I will frequently hear people make the comment “I eat eggs every day, and my cholesterol is fine”.  As a board certified clinical nutritionist and a functional medicine practitioner let me weight in on this.

A Natural Molecule


1. Cholesterol is a natural molecule that is synthesized in the liver. It is the precursor for all of your steroid hormones. What is a steroid hormone? Testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, aldosterone and progesterone are all examples of steroid hormones. You need cholesterol to make these hormones. Cholesterol is not your enemy.

You Do Not Get High Cholesterol from Dietary Cholesterol

cholesterol in blood

2. You do not get high cholesterol by eating cholesterol rich foods. That’s not how it works (despite the medical establishment drilling this into our heads for years).  High cholesterol comes from overconsumption of certain carbohydrates (like fructose – a sugar that is naturally found in fruit). You do not get elevated cholesterol from eating eggs. You don’t have to limit yourself to the egg whites either. That “Heart Healthy” nonsense is being promoted by certain restaurants as a healthy alternative. I went to a restaurant, and saw the “Heart Healthy” item on their menu. It consisted of an egg white omelet, whole wheat toast, a fruit cup. Toast (white or whole wheat has a high glycemic index, as does the fruit selection which consists of grapes, pineapple and melon).

Not the Cause of Heart or Circulatory Disease


3. Cholesterol has never been proven to be the cause of heart disease (or any other disease). The theory of this started with a researcher named Ancel Keys. In the 1950’s, Keys was looking for the cause of heart attacks and strokes. He postulated that elevated serum cholesterol caused the development of plaque on the walls of arteries. This eventually led to big pharma developing medicines that could block the production of cholesterol.

statin medications

Today, the classification of these drugs is called statins. Some common examples of statins are Crestor and Lipitor. (There is evidence of the use of these drugs being associated with decreased brain function as well as peripheral neuropathy, and muscle cramping and weakness). Many of my patients are being prescribed statins by their primary care physician despite their lab tests all falling in the normal range. The doctor’s justification for this is to “prevent” cholesterol from eventually, someday getting too high. They claim there are other ancillary benefits. I feel this medical malpractice.

The Problem Is Inflammation

blood vessel inflammation

4. If cholesterol isn’t the villain we have been conditioned to view it as, what is the mechanism of what is causing cardiovascular disease? This is a topic of debate. However, the current thought is it’s due to inflammation and oxidative stress. When the blood vessels are inflammed, the inner walls of the vessel breaks down and sustains some damage. Cholesterol flows throughout your body and attempts to patch the damage (like filling a pothole).

clogged blood vessels

Through a chemical process called oxidation, the cholesterol patches eventually become a “foam cell”. These foam cells grow into what is now known to be arterial plaque. It creates turbulence in the blood flow, and eventually it can block the vessel. When this happens, you can’t deliver oxygen to the part of the body that vessel goes to. If this happens to the brain, it’s called a stroke. when thishappens to the heart, it’s called a heart attack. If it happens to the nerves that go down your leg, the nerves start to shrivel up and die (like a house plant you forgot to water for a few weeks).


You can enjoy eggs all you want without fear of dying from a heart attack or stroke. There is a lot of nonsense in the medical world (much of it is rooted in junk science, tradition, politics and big money).