Eggs are bad for you. Or good for you. Or, as a new study persuasively argues, really quite dangerous for your health, the Telegraph reports. Northwestern University researchers reached this conclusion by analyzing data on 29,516 American adults across the ethnic and racial spectrum for up to 31 years—a more diverse and long-range look than you'll find in most similar studies. "The take-home message is really about cholesterol, which happens to be high in eggs and specifically yolks," says study co-author Norrina Allen in a press release. "As part of a healthy diet, people need to consume lower amounts of cholesterol." The study shows that two people with the same diet, eggs aside, had a marked difference in heart disease.
That's because one large egg yolk has 186 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. Those who ate 300mg of dietary cholesterol daily had a 17% bigger chance of incident cardiovascular disease and 18% higher chance of death by any cause. Those who downed three to four eggs weekly had a 6% higher chance of cardiovascular disease and an 8% higher chance of death. This after the US dropped its 300-milligram cholesterol limit from dietary guidelines in 2015. Yet researchers warn against abandoning cholesterol-rich foods like eggs and red meat altogether—they do contain vital nutrients like choline, iron, and amino acids. "Eat them in moderation," says Allen. (See how many eggs Americans generally eat a year.)