Why we were told for years that eggs are bad for you
The assumption held firm for decades, convincing generations that eating eggs could elevate our cholesterol levels to dangerous levels, and specifically elevate the LDLs — low-density lipoproteins. If true, then eggs could definitely put our arteries at risk and increase the likelihood of ending up with heart disease.
But was that a correct assumption?
The new research on eggs and health
In other words, the eggs are not to blame for our relatively higher cholesterol and heart disease problems.
More on what the research on eggs and health shows:
- One study showed that, if there is health risk in egg consumption, it's for those who are already at risk for heart disease.
- This study and this one showed that a diet with up to an egg a day does not increase your risk of heart disease.
- As this report highlights, the risk with egg consumption has more to do with how we generally eat eggs. For example, do you eat scrambled eggs all by themselves, or with cheese and sausages and a side of home fries and buttered white toast? Most of the foods we pair our eggs with are high in saturated fat and calories. Thus, the meal as a whole raises bad cholesterol levels far more than the eggs themselves could ever do.
The health benefits of eggs
- The egg is a top-notch dietary source for Vitamin D – one of the few in fact. Vitamin D benefits your bones and teeth, improves calcium absorption.
- Eggs are a low-calorie food, averaging less than 80 calories each, while its protein content makes it satisfying.
- The eggs is a whole food, containing complete nutrients that you’d be hard pressed to get from any other food source.
- Eggs are an excellent and natural source of protein, with a good combination of amino acids, which makes the eggs’ protein easy to absorb and assimilate into the body.
- Have you heard of choline? Choline is essential for fetal brain development and is also believed to be valuable in adult brain health too. The egg yolk provides you with lots of choline!
- Eggs also contain two important phytochemicals – lutein and zeaxanthin – that are excellent for eye health, preventing diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Looking for a natural source of the vitamin B12? The egg’s got it! Or what about riboflavin, also known as B2, which helps produce energy in cells? you’ll find that in both egg whites and egg yolks.
Risks of eggs in your diet
- The research mostly confirms that an egg a day is safe, but do not assume that a 3-egg omelet daily would be safe. Egg yolks still contain cholesterol and will make minute influences in your cholesterol level, so three could be problematic.
- If you have a history of problems with your total and LDL cholesterol levels, health experts advise restraint in consuming egg yolks.
- If you have diabetes, egg yolks are also best used minimally, as this study confirmed.
- Safe handling and storage is important. check out the CDC’s article on how to reduce your risk of salmonella from eggs.