When You Stop Eating Eggs, This Is What Happens To Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure contributes to the number one killer in the United States: heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half the people in the United States have blood pressure at 130/80 mm Hg or higher, yet just one-fourth of those with high blood pressure take measures to treat it. Many people don't even know they have high blood pressure because it doesn't come with symptoms. That's why you should have your blood pressure checked every year if you're over 40 or have other health conditions.

One of the ways you can manage your blood pressure is through diet. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Eating Plan focuses on foods that are rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein while limiting foods high in sugar, sodium, and saturated fats.

Are eggs included in the DASH Eating Plan? You'll need to be careful. Although a 2020 review in Current Hypertension Reports analyzed 15 randomized controlled trials and found no link between egg consumption and blood pressure, eating too many eggs over time could raise your blood pressure.

Too many eggs a week can be bad for your health

You might cringe to know that a large egg has 186 milligrams of cholesterol, which is 62% of your daily value. A 2020 study in Nutrients took a deep dive into the relationship between eggs, cholesterol, and high blood pressure in older women. The researchers looked at how many eggs and total cholesterol the women ate at the start of the study. Years later, the women who had more cholesterol in their overall diet were 22% more likely to develop high blood pressure. Those who ate up to seven eggs per week were 14% more likely to have high blood pressure. However, when the researchers statistically adjusted for total cholesterol, eggs didn't pose a higher risk for blood pressure. In other words, the cholesterol in foods was likely causing the high blood pressure.

Eggs aren't quite off the hook, according to a 2021 study in the European Journal of Nutrition. Eating more than four eggs a week is linked to a 50% higher risk of overall death, a 75% higher risk of cardiovascular death, and a 52% higher risk of death from cancer compared to eating less than one egg a week. Even eating two to four eggs a week increases your risk of all-cause mortality by 22% and cardiovascular death by 43%. The researchers said the dietary cholesterol from eggs explained more of the association with mortality than people's blood cholesterol levels.

Eggs are still healthy

You might not want to eliminate eggs completely from your diet because they are packed with nutrition. A large egg has 72 calories, almost 5 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein. Eggs don't have a ton of potassium or calcium — less than 2% of your daily needs — but you'll get plenty of selenium and a sufficient amount of phosphorus. Eggs are packed with vitamins A, riboflavin (B2), B5, B6, folate (B9), B12, D, and E. You'll get lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs to help with your eyesight. Eggs also provide 27% of your daily recommended amount of choline to keep your brain and nervous system functioning. According to the National Institutes of Health, choline might also reduce your blood pressure.

Although giving up eggs won't cause your blood pressure to plummet, you'll need to consider what foods you'll eat instead. Will you choose fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy, and whole grains, which are part of the DASH diet? Or will you opt for bacon, a high-sugar energy drink, and a large blueberry muffin topped with butter? Processed meats, sugary drinks, and foods high in sugar and sodium aren't the wisest choices to reduce your blood pressure. It might be better to stick with a single egg or egg whites.