Eating an apple a day may be the secret to staying healthy, as the old saying goes. But eggs might be even better.

Yes, the humble egg is tied to a lower risk of heart disease, new research suggests. Specifically, people who eat about one egg every day may significantly lower their risk of heart attack and stroke, according to a Chinese study.

While eggs have always been a go-to food for bodybuilders, they’re only now getting the recognition they deserve. After years of vilifying eggs for their cholesterol content, nutrition science has reversed its position, finding that the cholesterol and fat in eggs doesn’t appreciably affect a person’s cholesterol levels or body fat. Eggs, scientists now agree, are great.

In this study, researchers studied the egg-eating habits of 461,213 people aged 30-70 (average age: 51) with no history of heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. Among the participants, about 13% ate an egg a day, and around 9% didn’t eat eggs at all.

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After a medIan Follow-up of 9 years, researchers found that people who ate an average of 0.76 eggs each day (i.e., three eggs every four days) were less likely to die from heart disease, heart attack, or a stroke compared to those who didn’t eat eggs. Egg-eaters were 18% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, and 28% less likely to die from a stroke.

That’s good news, but one thing to keep in mind: The study found that moderate egg consumption is heart-healthy. Participants ate an average of less than one full egg a day, so the jury’s still out on whether eating a dozen eggs for breakfast every morning will keep your heart healthy. (Eating that much of anything for breakfast every day is probably going to have some weird impacts on your body regardless.)

Regardless of how many eggs you decide to shovel into your mouth daily, one thing we ask is that you please cook them, because a bout with salmonella would put a real damper on your weekly split.

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