Are Eggs Good or Bad For You? The Great Egg Debate

For decades, eggs have been thought of as unhealthy because they are high in cholesterol and saturated fat.eggs

One whole egg contains 6 grams of fat that include 2 grams of saturated fat.  And yes – eggs contain 212 grams of cholesterol that is considered quite high.

The truth is that cholesterol found in whole, natural foods does not necessarily increase blood levels of cholesterol because the liver actually produces cholesterol.

When we eat foods rich in cholesterol, the liver starts producing less (1, 2).

So the general amount of cholesterol in the human body changes only very little (if at all), if the cholesterol is just coming from natural whole food instead of from the liver (3, 4).

This has actually been tested rigorously in scientific studies, and indeed they have not found any association between eggs and cardiovascular disease (5, 6, 7).

Also, a very common misconception regarding health and nutrition is that saturated fat can cause heart disease.

This is something that has never been proven, and the research actually shows that saturated fat isn’t associated with heart disease in any way (8, 9).

bottom line:

It seems clear that there is no association between egg consumption and heart disease, and the fact that they are high in cholesterol and saturated fat simply does not matter.

The fact is that cholesterol is a substance absolutely vital to human life, and it is contained in vast amounts in every cell in our bodies. Saturated fat is a healthy fuel that has been unfairly demonized by “experts” for no valid reason.

Now the question is: Are eggs good for you?

One of the things I noticed back in my calorie counting days, was how incredibly nutritious eggs were despite being low in calories.

I used to have 3-4 whole eggs per day (and I still do) and they were always by far my biggest source of vitamins and minerals for the day. This is because the egg is a powerhouse of nutrients, and contains the building blocks necessary to turn a single fertilized chicken cell into a multicellular baby chicken.

Eggs Are High in Quality Protein

The egg white contains a large amount of animal protein with extremely high bio availability. That is, the amino acids in them come in ratios that are easily used by humans.

Studies show that eating high-quality protein can help with weight maintenance, lower blood pressure and optimize bone health (10, 11, 12, 13).

Eggs Are Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

If you take a look at the nutrient profile for eggs, you will see that they are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamins B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B12 and Folic Acid. They are also abundant in the minerals Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc and Selenium.

Eggs Contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Additionally, eggs are rich in a nutrient called Choline, which is not yet considered an essential nutrient but has many health benefits.

Eggs are also very rich in the carotenoid antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which have a protective effect on the eyes, among other things (14, 15).

In one study, eating 2 eggs per day for a period of  5 weeks can increase blood levels of Lutein by 28-50% and Zeaxanthin by 114-142% (16).

Eggs Are Highly Fulfilling

Eggs contain almost no carbohydrates, so their effect on blood glucose levels, and their subsequent effect on insulin, are very small.

They are also high on the Satiety Score, an indicator of how much particular foods lead to fullness and appetite. For these reasons, eggs may be considered a great food for weight loss.

In one study of 152 individuals, replacing a bagel breakfast with an egg breakfast showed a 65% greater weight loss.

Conclusion

When you consider the fact that egg consumption has no effect on cardiovascular disease whatsoever, what remains is the fact that eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

They are low in calories, low in carbs, have a profound effect on satiety and could therefore be considered the perfect weight loss food.

They are cheap, easy to acquire, very easy to cook, and to top it off they taste fantastic and can be used in all sorts of recipes and dishes.

Personally, I eat Omega-3 enriched eggs, which do have a better nutrient profile than conventional supermarket eggs. If you can get those, then that will probably be optimal.

I eat about 3-4 of those every single day, with coconut oil and a bit of vegetables, and this is usually the healthiest meal I have for the day, and keeps me comfortably full for the next 3-4 hours.

If I could only pick 3 foods to eat for the rest of my life, eggs would be one of them.

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