Looking at the nutritional facts on an egg carton, I see that one medium sized egg satisfies 71% of the daily nutritional requirements for cholesterol. Many bodybuilders eat up to a dozen of eggs per day, putting them well over the suggested amount of cholesterol. For example, Jay Cutler eats 2 whole eggs and 10 egg whites for breakfast. This puts him at 142% the suggested cholesterol, if we're being conservative and assuming most of the cholesterol is in the yolk. His 4 other meals throughout the day will put him even more over the limit. If you're an active person like Jay Cutler, can you safely consume more than the suggested daily requirements for cholesterol without damaging the heart? Does exercising flush out cholesterol at many magnitudes faster than being sedentary?

  • +1 Id like to know this too as I've been eating 4 eggs some days for a while.
    – Nobody
    Jun 30, 2011 at 10:19
  • All the cholesterol is in the yolk. That's why Jay limits himself to 2. 12 would probably be unhealthy, even for an active person. Jun 30, 2011 at 13:32
  • "Normal plasma cholesterol in an 88-year-old man who eats 25 eggs a day" New England journal of medicine (28 Mar 1991). I think 12 seems like a lot, and therefore would be bad, but I'm not sure there is any research to back up what seems like common sense.
    – michael
    Jun 30, 2011 at 14:02
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    Look at this one, guys. Is cholesterol bad for you? @rmx
    – user5279
    Feb 24, 2013 at 21:54
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    I'm trying to remember where I read it, but there's an effect from 20-30 minutes of exercise that sharply reduces the negative effects from various diets. I think it's somehow tied in with that ancient gene shift that led to humans being able to consume meat-heavy diets.
    – Sean Duggan
    Feb 22, 2016 at 15:39

4 Answers 4


Recent research has moved away from total cholesterol counts to pay attention to good HDL, neutral LDL, bad LDL and triglycerides. It has been found that some foods with high cholesterol raise the total cholesterol number, but they do it in ways that are not bad (raising large LDL and HDL). Other foods with low or no cholesterol (sugars), raise the bad LDL cholesterol and suppress HDL.

But, your question centers on eggs, so here is an abstract from 2006: Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations Fernandez, Maria Luz

The lack of connection between heart disease and egg intake could partially be explained by the fact that dietary cholesterol increases the concentrations of both circulating LDL and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in those individuals who experience an increase in plasma cholesterol following egg consumption (hyperresponders). It is also important to note that 70% of the population experiences a mild increase or no alterations in plasma cholesterol concentrations when challenged with high amounts of dietary cholesterol (hyporesponders). Egg intake has been shown to promote the formation of large LDL, in addition to shifting individuals from the LDL pattern B to pattern A, which is less atherogenic.

It is important to note that the end goal is not cholesterol numbers, but heart disease avoidance. The first sentence in that abstract tells the tale: there is not a connection between eggs and heart disease.

There is an abundance of research showing that exercise improves your cholesterol profile. Here is the first result I got on google scholar: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=3498824


I can't name sources or studies, but I believe the warnings about dietary cholesterol are obsolete. Cholesterol in your diet has little effect on cholesterol in your blood.

Other factors like carbs in your diet, exercise and your genes do have an effect, so a physically active person should have lower cholesterol.

  • I would love to see sources instead of "I believe". Although, I do remember reading what you've written, so I'm guilty of that too.
    – Gabe
    Sep 4, 2011 at 19:29

USDA's Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee states (page 17):


Previously, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that cholesterol intake be limited to no more than 300 mg/day. The 2015 DGAC will not bring forward this recommendation because available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol, consistent with the conclusions of the AHA/ACC report. Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.

(my emphasis)

However, just above that is a section on saturated fat the conclusion of which is:

Saturated fat is still a nutrient of concern for overconsumption, particularly for those older than the age of 50 years

So it would seem that the cholesterol in eggs shouldn't concern you, but perhaps the saturated fat should. Then again, apparently they got it wrong for the last 30+ years, so who's to say if this is right.


This would also be a good link Risk Assessment Tool for Estimating Your 10-year Risk of Having a Heart Attack Also consider vLDL

Total cholesterol - Total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol in your blood. The higher your total cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease. Here are the total values that matter to you:

Less than 200 mg/dL 'Desirable' level that puts you at lower risk for heart disease. A cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or greater increases your risk.

200 to 239 mg/dL 'Borderline-high.'

240 mg/dL and above 'High' blood cholesterol. A person with this level has more than twice the risk of heart disease compared to someone whose cholesterol is below 200 mg/dL. top HDL cholesterol - High density lipoproteins (HDL) is the 'good' cholesterol. HDL carry cholesterol in the blood from other parts of the body back to the liver, which leads to its removal from the body. So HDL help keep cholesterol from building up in the walls of the arteries.

Here are the HDL-Cholesterol Levels that matter to you:

Less than 40 mg/dL A major risk factor for heart disease

40 to 59 mg/dL The higher your HDL, the better

60 mg/dL and above An HDL of 60 mg/dL and above is considered protective against heart disease. top Smoker - Select “yes” if you have smoked any cigarettes in the past month. top Systolic blood pressure - Systolic blood pressure is the first number of your blood pressure reading. For example, if your reading is 120/80 (120 over 80), your systolic blood pressure is 120.

  • 1
    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review
    – Alec
    Feb 15, 2016 at 17:43
  • Yes I know, but since I have only 7 reps I can't add comments. You should have considered this before voting "-1" :-) no problem by the way.
    – bantandor
    Feb 17, 2016 at 9:48
  • I haven't downvoted your answer, since I'm choosing to give feedback first. But one thing you can do to improve the answer is to cite the relevant parts from the link. That way, if the link dies in the future, your answer will still hold value. :)
    – Alec
    Feb 17, 2016 at 10:23
  • you are right, I will add the text part of it, but not the calculator :-) thanks
    – bantandor
    Feb 17, 2016 at 10:25

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