For nearly 40 years the egg has suffered from an undeserved bad reputation. It was vilified as being “high in cholesterol,” and federal dietary guidelines—first developed by the American Heart Association—had people taking eggs off the menu in droves.
The trouble is they were simply flat out wrong.
For the vast majority of folks, cholesterol in food isn’t the concern that mainstream medicine once insisted it was. In fact, even the government’s own Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee finally realized their error a few years ago. The committee came to the conclusion that we shouldn’t be concerned about cholesterol in our diet.
But the damage was done. Although the egg has been in the clear for years now, many folks never got the updated message. They still believe eggs should be avoided. And that’s a real shame, because eggs are a nearly perfect food.
Five GREAT reasons to eat an egg today
Packed with protein, vitamins and minerals eggs aren’t just “not bad for you,” there are plenty of reasons you should be eating MORE of them.
1. Raise your “good” HDL cholesterol:
Concerns about cholesterol were the reason many people swore off eggs in the first place. But, ironically, it turns out cholesterol may be one of the reasons you should eat more of them. Let us explain.
It’s true that whole eggs have more than 200 mg of cholesterol. But research has revealed that for most folks cholesterol in the diet doesn’t have negative effects on blood cholesterol. In fact, in several studies, eating eggs raised participants’ HDL or “good” cholesterol levels.
For example, in a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, eating two eggs a day, every single day, for six weeks raised people’s HDL levels by a full 10 percent. And, when an analysis of 17 different studies was done, not a single study pointed to eggs being bad for your heart. In fact, the researchers couldn’t find any direct links at all between eggs and heart disease.
2. Reduce your risk of breast cancer:
Both Harvard University and the University of North Carolina have uncovered links between eggs and a lower risk of breast cancer.
Researchers at Harvard concluded that women who ate six or more eggs per week were 44 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than women who only ate two eggs (or fewer) per week. And the findings of a study out of University of North Carolina may have uncovered the reason why.
Most women in the United States don’t get nearly enough choline. But researchers from the University of North Carolina say eggs could be the answer to solving that shortage since a single egg contains an astonishing 125.5 milligrams—or about a quarter of our recommended daily amount—of the essential nutrient. In the study, published in the journal FASEB, the choline in eggs was linked to a 24 percent drop in breast cancer risk.
3. Protect your brain health:
Speaking of choline, it’s not just important to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Your brain craves this essential nutrient, too. Choline helps keep the signals in your brain firing properly, and helps maintain cell membrane integrity.
The recommended daily amount of choline is 425 mg per day for women and 550 mg per day for men, and eggs can help you get there. Eggs for breakfast are a no brainer, but consider switching things up for a bit of variety such as a hardboiled egg at lunch or a veggie omelet for dinner.
4. Keep your eyes sharp:
Lutein and zeaxanthin are essential for healthy eyes and clear vision as you age. And eggs are a terrific source of both of these important nutrients.
According to several studies, maintaining healthy levels of these two potent antioxidants can drastically reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. And eating more eggs is an easy way to raise your levels. Just be sure you’re eating the yolks, too.
5. Lose weight:
Anyone who’s tried to lose a few pounds will tell you that nothing will sabotage your efforts as quickly as feeling hungry. That’s where eggs can help. Eggs are overflowing with belly-satisfying protein. Weighing in at seven grams of protein, but just 90 calories, eggs are the perfect diet food.
Plus, along with keeping you fuller, longer it turns out eggs may be able to help you burn more calories. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition researchers showed adding protein to the diet of study participants made them burn more calories.
Eggs are an unsung superfood. It’s time to take them off your “bad” list and feature more of this nearly perfect food on your weekly menu.