If you like eating eggs, you may be concerned about damaging your heart. Don’t be stressed! If you are healthy, you can eat eggs without feeling guilty. Question is how many and how often?
Nutritionally, eggs have a lot to offer. With around 70 calories in a large egg, they are an excellent source of protein that helps stabilize blood sugar levels and provide structure to the body. Egg protein is also of high quality and provides all the essential amino acids.
Egg yolk also contains antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, and protect against heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. A large egg is also an excellent source of selenium, an antioxidant mineral that fights cell damage caused by free radicals and supports thyroid and immune function, as well as riboflavin, a B vitamin that helps convert carbohydrates into energy, and vitamin D, which is important for strong bones and teeth.
WHY EATING EGGS HAS BECOME A HOT TOPIC
Eggs have been in the news a lot again. It seems like every few years, questions about these foods pop up in a bowl. Are they good or bad for you? What about protein and cholesterol?
As for the nutrient breakdown, an egg has about 75 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 0 carbohydrates, 67 milligrams of potassium, 70 grams of sodium, and 210 milligrams of cholesterol. Eggs are also a great source of vitamins A, D, and B12, as well as choline, which is an essential nutrient for many steps in metabolism. Aside from its cholesterol content, an egg is a healthy choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Research shows that the cholesterol in eggs does not appear to have any negative effects on the human body compared to other cholesterol sources. For example, eggs are often eaten with other foods high in salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol, such as bacon, cheese, and butter. These foods are known to increase the risk of heart disease and should be consumed in moderation. Most healthy people can eat up to seven eggs a week without harming their heart health. Some only eat the egg white and not the yolk, which provides some protein without the cholesterol.
AFFORDABLE GROCERIES AND INGREDIENTS
Not to mention, eggs are one of the cheapest proteins at the grocery store and many major retailers. They can be stored in the fridge for up to five weeks, so you don’t have to worry about them spoiling as quickly as other protein-rich meats, fish, or poultry. Swapping an egg for a different, more expensive protein every day can save you money and reduce food waste. Plus, eggs are so versatile they can be used in everything from a frittata for breakfast to a shakshuka for dinner (and don’t forget baked goods!). Are eggs really healthy? And what happens if you eat them every day?
ARE EGGS HEALTHY?
An egg gives you 6 grams of protein and is packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin B9 (folate), and lutein. For someone on a tight budget, it’s a good, inexpensive source of a variety of nutrients and quality protein.
Each of these vitamins plays an important role in several areas:
- Vitamin A supports eye health, vision, metabolism, and cell development.
- Vitamin B12 plays a role in the maintenance of healthy nerves and blood cells.
- Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from oxidative damage.
- Folate (or vitamin B9) helps your body make new red blood cells and supports the growth and development of your foetus during pregnancy.
Lutein is a type of organic pigment known as a carotenoid. A large amount of lutein also found in salmon, carrots, and sweet potatoes provide a richer, darker yolk and has been shown to reduce age-related macular degeneration. The egg white and yolk have different properties. Egg white contains about 60% of the total protein in an egg, while the yolk contains more saturated fat and cholesterol.
Studies examining fatty acids in egg yolk have shown that the yolk has anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties have antioxidant properties, improves memory, and provides cardiovascular protection. Eaten whole, other studies suggest that eggs may have a positive impact on muscle mass, although larger studies are needed.
IS IT OKAY TO EAT EGGS EVERY DAY?
Because of their many benefits, it’s okay to eat a whole egg, including the yolk, every day. Or you can mix two egg whites with each yolk to get more protein.
If you suffer from cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol, consider the intake limit eggs to just three or four whole eggs a week, a rule that’s also good for anyone who wants more than one egg at a time.
The reason you should avoid eating more than one egg yolk a day is that the yolk contains saturated fat and can increase the levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) in your blood. While the foods you eat aren’t the only factor in developing high cholesterol, it’s important to consider them when deciding what to put on your plate.
By boiling eggs, you can also avoid adding additional animal fats like butter, bacon, and lard because they also contain saturated fat. It’s best to use olive oil or vegetable oil instead, and you can spice up the egg white without adding a lot of animal fat by sautéing it with vegetables, sauce, or various herbs.
Due to the high cholesterol content in egg yolks, you should reduce the amount if you have any of the following conditions:
- Heart disease.
- Heart disease.
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol).
- Type 2 diabetes.
You should also consider buying organic or grass-fed eggs, as the yolks of these eggs tend to have lower cholesterol and higher lutein content. In one study, researchers found that eating one egg per day significantly increased lutein levels without increasing cholesterol levels.
YOU MAY FEEL FULLER AND MORE ENERGETIC
Even though they come in a small and affordable package, eggs pack impressive nutritional value. A large egg contains about 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 0 grams of carbohydrates. The yolk is a source of important nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, and choline, which are important in helping our bodies process food into energy that we can use. Plus, the combination of protein and healthy fats gives eggs some staying power to keep you feeling full for longer.
INFLAMMATION CAN GO DOWN YOUR BODY.
Did you know that these omega-3 fatty acids can not only reduce the risk of heart disease but also reduce inflammation in the body? Research shows that eggs contain significant amounts of these healthy fats and uncontrolled chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s.
It’s important to note, however, that eggs do contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, but some varieties are also rich in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. What is more important than the absolute omega-3 content is the ratio from omega-3 to omega-6. To ensure you’re getting eggs with an ideal omega-3 to 6 ratios, it is recommends looking for eggs from chickens that are grass-fed (aka free-range rather than cage-fed) and/or that have been grass-fed diet rich in omega-3 supplemented with ALA or EPA and DHA.
YOUR HAIR AND SKIN COULD BE HEALTHIER
Eggs are a good source of several B vitamins, including vitamins B2, B5, and B12. All these nutrients have various functions in the body, including maintaining healthy skin and hair. All B vitamins are water-soluble, which means they don’t stay in your body for long and aren’t easily stored. Therefore, regular intake is a good way to meet your needs. Eggs are also rich in amino acids (protein building blocks) like methionine, which can help improve skin tone and improve flexibility and strength of hair and nails.
YOU MAY BE ABLE TO THINK MORE CLEARLY
Eggs are high in the micronutrient choline, which helps form cell membranes and important neurotransmitters in the body. Choline is important for memory, mood, muscle control, and general nervous system function, so it makes sense that you might feel groggy (among other more serious symptoms) if you’re not getting enough of it. One egg provides about 6% of our daily choline needs, so eating eggs can help maintain a healthy brain.
YOU CAN SEE BETTER
Yolks contain two carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health. They play an important role in eye development and healthy vision, and research shows they may even help reduce the risk of common age-related eye diseases. Dark leafy greens are another great source of lutein and zeaxanthin.
YOU MAY HAVE STRONGER BONES
Vitamin D is important for many bodily processes. It helps regulate blood pressure, reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, and may play a positive role in mental health. One of vitamin D’s most important functions is to help us maintain healthy bones. It does this by improving calcium absorption in the gut and helping to keep our calcium and phosphorus levels within a range that promotes healthy bone growth and remodelling. One egg covers 6% of our vitamin D needs. Hence, putting one on your plate every day can have bone health benefits.
YOUR HEART HEALTH MAY IMPROVE (IF EATEN IN MODERATION)
While eggs contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, one of them is the ever-controversial cholesterol. One egg provides about 207 milligrams of cholesterol, which is 69% of the dietary guidelines recommended daily allowance for Americans. However, dietary cholesterol consumption does not directly correlate with elevated blood cholesterol levels; In fact, dietary cholesterol has minimal impact on our blood cholesterol levels. Some research has even argued that there is insufficient evidence to recommend the DGA cholesterol limit.
A recent review in Nutrients found that while several high-cholesterol foods are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, due largely to the saturated fat content of egg yolks, eggs, and shrimp, the exceptions are their high nutritional value. And what about saturated fat? We need some saturated fat in our diets, but the problem is that most people overeat and aren’t getting enough healthy, heart-protecting fats (and the body in general). The saturated fatty foods that people eat usually contain other ingredients that can harm us if we overeat, such as added sugar. In such cases, one can eat leaner protein chunks and plant-based protein instead of relying solely on red meat. If you have heart disease, it’s more important to watch your saturated fat intake.
Eggs are also a great source of heart-healthy nutrients like potassium, folic acid, and B vitamins. Some research suggests that up to two eggs a day can help the heart and improve health. As with anything, moderation is important, especially if you enjoy eggs every day.
EGGS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN (AND BABY).
Eggs are an amazing source of choline, a micronutrient used to produce a neurotransmitter important for learning and memory. It is also involved in the methylation cycle, which affects energy and mood, and has been shown to regulate inflammation. Finally, choline is essential for pregnant women as it is important for the brain development of foetuses and infants.
It can be difficult to know how many eggs or egg products we eat each week. Try sticking to one whole egg (and add a little more protein and fresh veggies) when making scrambled eggs, omelettes, and frittatas. It’s okay to get a few extra proteins throughout the week. Consider other dishes typically made with eggs including baked goods, French toast, Caesar, and some other toppings for salads, meatballs, and meatloaf. If you are at risk for high cholesterol, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes, you should reduce your intake of other animal foods high in unsaturated fat and cholesterol.
Eggs are an affordable and highly nutritious protein, and they can offer some health benefits if you enjoy them every day. They’re packed with protein, vitamins, and nutrients to keep you feeling full and energized no matter what the day throws at you. However, they are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, so be aware if you have heart disease or are at a higher risk of developing it. For people with heart disease, if you enjoy eating eggs every day, limiting egg yolks, and enjoying more protein could be a good option.
SHOULD I STILL EAT EGGS?
It’s a common misconception that eggs negatively impact your heart health. Although eggs contain cholesterol, they are unlikely to cause heart disease. On the contrary, eggs can be beneficial to your diet. They are a good source of nutrients and protein and can be a great way to start the day.
Eggs are an affordable and super-nutritious protein and can provide some health benefits if you enjoy them every day. They are packed with protein, vitamins, and nutrients that help you feel full and fuelled for whatever your day holds.