- With Mayo Clinic cardiologist
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D.
Dr. Thomas Behrenbeck is a native of Germany, where he received his medical education at the Westfalian Wilhelm University in Munster and became board certified in internal medicine and cardiology.
He also received a Ph.D. in biophysics and physiology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Behrenbeck joined the Mayo Clinic staff in 1990 and is currently an associate professor at Mayo Medical School and an academic faculty member at the Westfalian Wilhelm University. He is the past chair of the Cardiovascular Medicine & Surgery NetWork of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Dr. Behrenbeck is a noninvasive cardiologist, specializing in cardiovascular (CV) imaging modalities (echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and CT), coronary artery disease and prevention of coronary artery disease. His research interests are the application of imaging technology to early recognition and treatment of atherosclerosis. He is passionate about patients' involvement in their health issues.
"The Internet and patient education present ideal synergies in the ever-growing field of knowledge in cardiology," he says.
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Eggs: Are they good or bad for my cholesterol?
Are chicken eggs good or bad for my cholesterol?
from Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.
Chicken eggs are high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. However, how much the cholesterol in your diet can increase your blood cholesterol varies from person to person. Although eating too many eggs can increase your cholesterol, eating four egg yolks or fewer on a weekly basis hasn't been found to increase your risk of heart disease.
When deciding whether to include eggs in your diet, consider the recommended daily limits on cholesterol in your food:
- If you are healthy, it's recommended that you limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams (mg) a day.
- If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") blood cholesterol level, you should limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day.
One large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol — all of which is found in the yolk. Therefore, if you eat an egg on a given day, it's important to limit other sources of cholesterol for the rest of that day. Consider substituting servings of vegetables for servings of meat, or avoid high-fat dairy products for that day.
If you like eggs but don't want the extra cholesterol, use only the egg whites. Egg whites contain no cholesterol. You may also use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, which are made with egg whites.Next question
MUFAs: Why should my diet include these fats?
- Zazpe I, et al. Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in the SUN Project. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011;65:676.
- Djousse L, et al. Egg consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease mortality: The Physicians' Heart Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87:964.
- Large egg, whole, raw, fresh. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Cooking for lower cholesterol. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/PreventionTreatmentofHighCholesterol/Cooking-for-Lower-Cholesterol_UCM_305630_Article.jsp. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed Oct. 18, 2011.
- Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (ATP III Final Report). U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp3_rpt.htm. Accessed Oct. 18, 2011.