Are Eggs Healthy, or Not?

Are Eggs Healthy, or Not?

Question:

“Are eggs healthy or not? I’ve read online articles with conflicting information and am legitimately confused at this point. Please help!”
Jeremy B.

Answer:

Thanks for your question, Jeremy! When it comes to eggs, the information out there can be a bit conflicting. But ultimately, the answer to your question really depends on your personal fitness, health and lifestyle. To clear things up, let’s explore the reported health benefits of eating eggs, as well as the potential drawbacks for certain people.

The Argument For Eggs

Eggs have numerous health benefits and are often called “nature’s multivitamin.” For the majority of people, including eggs in your diet is not a concern, as they contain several critical nutrients.

Eggs are a great source of the essential nutrient choline. Choline supports many processes in the body, ranging from cell structure to liver protection. Eggs are also a great source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful antioxidants that support eye health. One large egg also contains 6 grams of quality protein, which is found in complete proteins. Animal proteins, such as eggs, contain all 9 essential amino acids that are required to make up a complete protein.

Are Eggs Healthy, or Not?
Egg yolks are rich with vitamins and minerals.

The majority of nutrients are found in the egg yolk, while most of the protein is in the egg white. Because of these essential nutrients, and due to their nutritional density, the majority of people can benefit from working eggs into their diet.

The Argument Against Eggs

For years, the amount of cholesterol found in eggs has caused them to be the center of some controversy. One egg yolk contains approximately 185mg of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of fat that’s essential for the structure of cell membranes, hormone production, vitamin D synthesis and the digestion of bile acids.

Whether we get cholesterol from our diet or not, our body produces it naturally! Too much dietary cholesterol was thought to increase the risk of heart disease. However, the most current version of the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans doesn’t include the previous recommendation of less than 300mg of cholesterol per day. This is due to research that shows a lack of correlation between dietary cholesterol intake and elevated blood cholesterol levels. [1]

Eggs are an excellent source of protein for weight lifters and athletes.

People Who Should Eat Eggs Freely

Due to their high concentration of protein and healthy fats, eggs can benefit those who are trying to lose weight. Protein and fat help keep you full between meals, which helps cut down on mindless snacking throughout the day. Eggs are also an excellent option for athletes and weight lifters in need of a high-protein breakfast or post-workout meal that supports muscular recovery.

People Who Should Watch Their Egg Intake

There is a small percentage of people who are highly sensitive to dietary cholesterol and need to monitor their intake of foods with high concentrations, such as eggs.

Due to their increased risk of heart disease, people with diabetes should also limit their egg consumption. However, overall dietary pattern, physical activity and genetics have shown to have a greater impact on their cholesterol levels and heart health. More research should be done to determine anything pertaining to dietary cholesterol for people with diabetes. [2][3]

What are the Healthiest Ways to Prepare Eggs?

Remove the Yolk: If you know you’re hyper-sensitive to dietary cholesterol or simply want to cut back your intake, simply remove some or all of the yolks, since that’s where all of the cholesterol lives.

Are Eggs Healthy, or Not?
Remove the yolk from your eggs to cut back on cholesterol.

Scramble them with Veggies: What you eat your eggs with is also important. Instead of pairing your eggs with bread packed with highly-refined carbohydrates, scramble them with a serving of fiber-rich veggies. By adding vegetables to your eggs, you are also adding a variety of vitamins and minerals! For example, just one cup of spinach will give you over 100% of your daily vitamin K! [4]

The Bottom Line

Future studies are needed to understand why conflicting information continues to arise regarding eggs. Either way, unless you fall into one of the special categories above, feel free to eat eggs without worry or hesitation. But as with all things, do so in moderation.


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