Are Eggs Healthy Eating – Dilemma Slightly Cracked

Are Eggs Healthy Eating?


Are Eggs Healthy Eating
Scotch Eggs - Air Fried

When I posted my recipe for Scotch Eggs, one of the questions I received was how many eggs should we consume per day. The question is great because eggs are no longer the villains that we once thought they were.

The great thing about science is that it's ever changing! We're pretty regularly learning new things and increasing the accuracy of the facts with which we base our lifestyle choices on.

I think the big red flag with eggs was the fact that each egg yolk contains 200 mg of cholesterol.  We've been told for many years that cholesterol is bad as it leads to Heart Disease.

However, we've since learned that the amount of cholesterol we consume only modestly impacts the amount of cholesterol circulating in our blood, according to Harvard, the school of public health.  In fact, they report the biggest influence on blood cholesterol levels comes from the mix of fats and carbohydrates in your diet and not actually from the amount of cholesterol you consume.

As a result of these new findings, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 has been updated to remove the prior recommendation to limit egg consumption.  So the answer to the question of are eggs healthy eating is yes, as long as they're consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

In other words, eating your breakfast burrito with 3 scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes and a side of toast every day may lead to problems whereas consuming 1 scrambled egg, with salsa and a 100% whole-wheat English muffin would be a more heart healthy choice.

 

Do the Studies Agree?


I've previously mentioned that here at Forget Skinny, we use the scientific studies to make our decisions on which healthy habits to create and follow for ourselves. There is so much misinformation out there and the media has such a bad reputation that the science is really the most reliable source for what happens with our bodies. So, we've made the conscious decision to always go to the source of the information, the studies.

WebMD

Studies

As I mentioned above, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has deemed dietary cholesterol as "not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption", according to WebMD.

Harvard Professor Teresa Fung, ScD, RD reported, "There is no convincing research data that indicates one egg a day is problematic" as there is no appreciable relationship between cholesterol in your diet and cholesterol in your blood.

So as not to re-write the studies, I am simply going to list the studies I used in drawing my conclusions.  I will list the objective of the study and the conclusion of each study.  Of course, I'll link to each study so that you can read the entire study as you so choose.

Are Eggs Healthy to Eat?

1999 Study: A Prospective Study of Egg Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Men and Women

Objective: To examine the association between egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke in men and women.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that consumption of up to 1 egg per day is unlikely to have substantial overall impact on the risk of CHD or stroke among healthy men and women.  The apparent increased risk of CHD associated with higher egg consumption among diabetic participants warrants further research.

 

End Egg Restriction Recommendations

2006 Study: Dietary Cholesterol Provided by Eggs and Plasma Lipoproteins in Healthy Populations

Objective: Extensive research has not clearly established a link between egg consumption and risk for coronary heart disease.  The effects of egg intake on plasma lipids and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) atherogenicity in healthy populations need to be addressed.

Conclusion: Dietary recommendations aimed at restricting egg consumption should not be generalized to include all individuals.  We need to acknowledge that diverse healthy populations experience no risk in developing coronary heart disease by increasing their intake of cholesterol but, in contrast, they may have multiple beneficial effects by the inclusion of eggs in their regular diet.

 

Heart Failure Risk

2008 Study: Egg Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure in the Physicians Health Study

Background:  Reduction in dietary cholesterol is widely recommended for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.  Although eggs are important sources of dietary cholesterol and other nutrients, little is known about the association between egg consumption and heart failure (HF) risk.

Conclusion:  Our data suggest that infrequent egg consumption is not associated with the risk of HF.  However, egg consumption of > or = 1 per day is related to an increased risk of HF among US male physicians.

 

Cardiovascular and Diabetes Risk

2013 Study: Egg Consumption in Relation to Risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Objective:  We aimed to quantitatively summarize the literature on egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiac mortality, and type 2 diabetes by conducting a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.

Conclusion:  The meta-analysis suggests that egg consumption is not associated with the risk of CVD and cardiac mortality in the general population.  However, egg consumption may be associated with an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes among the general population and CVD comorbidity among diabetic patients.

 

Protein Consumption

2016 Study: Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality

Objective - To examine the associations of animal and plant protein intake with the risk for mortality.

Conclusion - High animal protein intake was positively associated with cardiovascular mortality and high plant protein intake was inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, especially among individuals with at least 1 lifestyle risk factor.  Substitution of plant protein for animal protein, especially that from processed red meat, was associated with lower mortality, suggesting the importance of protein source.

 

My Conclusion


Polyunsaturated Fats are VITAL
Polyunsaturated Fats are VITAL

While high blood cholesterol is bad for your health, dietary cholesterol has a very small impact on your blood cholesterol levels.  It's a mixture of bad fats and carbs that contribute to heart disease.

If you are a healthy person and you consume a healthy diet, there are no problems with eating roughly an egg a day.  Try to do so with other healthy items.

If you are already at risk for heart disease or diabetes, try to mix in other healthy meals that don't contain eggs.  As long as you eat a variety of healthy options, there shouldn't be a problem.  Personally, I don't like eating the same things over and over again.  I need variety in my life.  I am at high risk for both diabetes and heart disease as both run in my family.  I've never eaten that many eggs.  So I will continue consuming other healthy options which will include eggs a few times a week.

As always, please remember that we do not offer medical advice on this site.  We like to bring up the studies we've found and give you options to consider, but we are not medical professionals.  We always recommend you check with your medical team before changing your diet and exercise routines.

Remember, forget skinny...train to be a fit badass!

~Ki

a.k.a. Roadrunner

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This article has 11 Comments

  1. This was something I’ve been trying to tell people for a long time. Dietary cholesterol has very little impact on blood cholesterol. I’m glad that I figured that out pretty early…I love eggs..off course everything in moderation.Too much of anything is bound to result in negative consequences. I have a 2 a day boiled egg habit.

  2. hello Ki,

    As a fellow sports enthusiast (crossfit) i have long been aware of the benefits of eggs when engaging in intensive training of any sort. I have often supplemented my eggs with Quinoa as this is also a very high source of protein.

    I have ready many article about how the egg white has a better protein value than the yoke, is this correct and what in you opinion should one do with the yoke other than pouring it down the drain?

    Rich

  3. Another EGG-cellent post! LOL! Seriously thank you for posting this because it seems like every time I turn around eggs are being villified / glorified / villified / glorified over and over again. But I loves them! We are getting started with the Keto diet as you mentioned in your last post you are and so I am happy to bring eggs back in my diet. Don’t forget all the beauty benfits they have for us ladies with our hair, skin, and nails, right?

  4. Growing up we always thought that egg itself was not considered a healthy choice of diet. Even the intake of one egg on a daily basis was considered bad. But as science has disapproved this way of thinking is really great but I still need to ask you this. As consuming eggs has been said to not be a real cause of increasing ones cholesterol in the body. Is this study meant for when you take egg as part of a diet or when you take the egg alone? I mean taking one egg everyday not as part of a diet but solely on its own either through boiling or frying or whatever means.

  5. Like the old saying goes: “too much of something is bad”. No matter how good a type of food is, too much of it can cause more problems than it solves. Eggs are a good source of protein and vitamins. A balanced diet is key to be a healthy person, says the experts not me.

    Thanks for this helpful information

  6. KI,

    Good article but i think it is important to the conversation to split out the different types of cholesterol.  there is HDL and LDL types.  I am not an expert but my doctor did explain it all to me last time I had a cholesterol test.  

    What I do remember is that one type is largely hereditary and eating eggs won’t make an impact on it.

  7. I love eggs so as the whole family.  We consume about a dozen and a half on average for a family of four:) . I’ve heard both the risks and benefits before. So far everyone’s healthy as far as I know. I do agree than anything should be taken in moderation. Great information though, thank you

  8. Hello there, it seems the myth about eggs being bad has been refuted. To think people limit or remove eggs from their diet because of the cholesterol issue. I’m glad it post provided research backed data to debunk it.

    Naturally anything you consume has to be in moderation. The fact eggs have been declared safe doesn’t mean we should eat 3 to 5 eggs daily. But if we limited it to one egg per day it wouldn’t cause any side effects. I personally eat two eggs maximum in a day and i don’t eat eggs everyday. After all eggs are still a great source of protein.

  9. It’s interesting (and sometimes a little scary, let’s be honest) how scientific studies conclude one thing one decade but then can correct themselves the next when new evidence presents itself. I very much like how you summarize the studies that have led to the conclusion of your article (that, for most people, an egg or two a couple times a week, especially paired with other healthy foods, is perfectly fine) but also provide a link to the full study for those who want to read it in more detail. It’s so hard to keep up with the changing research, but your site definitely makes it a lot easier to get the solid-facts information needed to make sound nutritional choices. Keep up the good work!

  10. I’m so glad that eggs are becoming decriminalized again!  *insert hearty laughter here!*  I did a whole research paper on the benefits of whole eggs in college because, I noticed my exercise science professor was eating egg white omelettes at a few of our breakfast meetings. It got me thinking of how ‘trending’ diets sway the mind often with no legitimate science to back them up.

    The science is finally catching up in a big way and thank you for linking the latest research.  I don’t eat eggs every day but, they are definitely a part of my staple diet.  

    I am a big fan of knowing where my eggs come from as well.  The health benefits in an egg are directly related to how the egg came to be and, I definitely prefer my farm-raised, sun-shine having, no GMO eating chicken eggs over commercial eggs any day of the week!  

    Love your Air-Fried Scotch Egg recipe by the way.  If only I could find an air fryer that holds enough food for 5 people at a time!  Never tell your son that originally ‘Scotch’ eggs were covered in a creamy fish-paste instead of sausage and bread crumbs!  

  11. Hi Ki, I just read your post on eggs and are they healthy. Its a great post as I always wondered about eggs? 

    I have kids and they love things like scrambled egg, omelettes, hard boiled eggs and egg sandwiches. Its good to know that these are not as bad as we once thought and that dietary cholesterol isn’t the same as blood cholesterol. You have some great research backing up your post as well which makes me feel that I am getting the latest studies and correct information regarding the health of eating eggs. Thanks for your post, its really helpful. Mary

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