At risk of stroke? Don’t eat egg yolks, professor explains

Chris Fountain says he ‘felt really stupid’ after mini-stroke

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Strokes can leave people severely debilitated for the rest of their lives. They happen when parts of your brain are deprived of blood and become damaged or die. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are considered at risk of a stroke. According to research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), these people shouldn’t eat egg yolks.

Professor David Spence of the Robarts Research Institute suggested in a BMJ review that egg yolks contain a chemical called phosphatidylcholine that increases the risk of your arteries becoming blocked by fat – known as atherosclerosis.

These blockages can hold away blood from the brain, causing a stroke.

Egg yolks are also high in cholesterol, which in high amounts can be bad for you. However, according to the cholesterol charity Heart UK “the cholesterol in eggs does not have a significant effect on blood cholesterol”.

Professor Spence advised people at risk of strokes: “No egg yolks: use egg whites, egg beaters, egg creations, or similar substitutes.”

Past studies have found that diabetic people who consumed one egg a day doubled their risk, compared to less than one egg a week.

Another study in Greece found that an egg a day hiked stroke risk by five times in people with diabetes.

Spence noted that “even 10g per day of egg (a sixth of a large egg) increased coronary risk by 54 percent”.

Egg yolks are also high in cholesterol, which in high amounts can be bad for you. However, according to the cholesterol charity Heart UK “the cholesterol in eggs does not have a significant effect on blood cholesterol”.

It’s important to note that people who aren’t at risk of stroke, are likely to be okay eating an egg per day.

Some studies suggest that one egg a day may even help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The BMJ review also recommends that you make the following dietary changes:

  • Seldom red meat, mainly fish and chicken.
  • High intake of olive oil and canola oil.
  • Only whole grains.
  • High intake of vegetables, fruit, and legumes.
  • Avoid deep-fried foods and hydrogenated oils (trans fats).
  • Avoid sugar and refined grains, and limit potatoes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has several lifestyle recommendations for reducing the risk of stroke. For one, they advise against drinking excessive alcohol.

It says: “Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure levels and the risk for stroke.

“It also increases levels of triglycerides, a form of fat in your blood that can harden your arteries.”

The CDC also recommends against tobacco use. Cigarette smoke, for example, can damage your heart and blood vessels and nicotine can raise your blood pressure.

It added: “Carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry.

It’s also wise to cut down on salt, which can also increase blood pressure.

The NHS recommends a maximum of six grams of salt per day.

That’s roughly a teaspoon of salt per day.

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