Q: Dear Healthier Talk,
I love eggs.
Any way you fix them I’ll eat them. Over easy, scrambled or boiled they all taste great to me. I like to have them at least twice a week.
But my wife keeps insisting eggs are bad for me and that they’ll raise my cholesterol.
I thought I heard somewhere that it was okay to eat eggs again. In fact I thought they might even be good for you.
Which one of us is right? Are eggs okay to eat?
There’s an omelet breakfast with all the trimmings riding on your answer.
Egg Man, Frankfort, Kentucky
A: Dear Egg Man,
Make sure your wife fixes you a fresh pot of heart-healthy coffee to wash down that delicious omelet. Because you’re correct, eggs are are indeed a healthy part of your diet.
In fact, eggs are a nearly perfect food. They’re one of the most nutritious things you can eat, packed with some of almost every nutrient you need to stay healthy.
The fable that eggs will send your cholesterol skyrocketing is a myth that just won’t die. This unfortunate misunderstanding first bubbled up in the 1970s, and once it got rolling there was just no stopping it.
Eggs will NOT send your cholesterol skyrocketing
Conventional medicine doctors joined the pitchfork-wielding crowd demanding we stop eating eggs because they would raise our cholesterol to dangerous levels.
They even began encouraging folks to eat just the egg whites and toss out the nutrient-dense yolks, just about the worst advice they could give.
It’s no wonder it left so many people feeling confused and wondering, “Are eggs okay to eat?”
Eggs are high in cholesterol. They got that part right, at least. But egg-haters have never provided any evidence that eating them would greatly raise a person’s blood cholesterol levels.
And there’s a good reason for that, they don’t.1.2
It actually comes down to fairly basic biology. Your body produces its own cholesterol in your liver (yes, cholesterol’s NOT the bad guy it’s made out to be, your body needs it, you can read more on the truth about cholesterol here). But when you get more cholesterol in your diet your body simply makes less of its own.3,4
In fact, it’s estimated that in the vast majority of folks—70 percent—eggs have little to no effect on cholesterol.5 The remaining 30 or so percent might see a mild bump in their levels.
In other words, it’s high time we sent the cholesterol and eggs myth packing. Let’s replace it with the truth instead, which is that eggs are an incredibly delicious and natural superfood.
Eggs are packed with nutrition
Eggs contain a significant amount of more than 15 necessary nutrients.
In a single boiled egg you get…
|Nutrients in a Boiled Egg [*estimates vary]|
|Selenium [22 percent of the RDA]|
|Riboflavin [15 percent of the RDA]|
|Vitamin D [11 percent of the RDA]|
|Vitamin B12 [10 percent of the RDA]|
|Phosphorus [9 percent of the RDA]|
|Iron [8 percent of the RDA]|
|Vitamin B5 [7 percent of the RDA]|
|Vitamin A [6 percent of the RDA]|
|Folate [6 percent of the RDA]|
|Calcium [5 percent of the RDA]|
|Vitamin B6 [5 percent of the RDA]|
|Zinc [4 percent of the RDA]|
|Vitamin E [4 percent of the RDA]|
|Thiamine [3 percent of the RDA]|
|Magnesium [2 percent of the RDA]|
And of course that’s not all you’ll find packed inside of an egg shell.
These little nutrition bombs also contain around 6.3 grams of protein and 5.3 grams of healthy fats all for around just 75 measly little calories!
How to read egg carton labels: It’s complicated
If you can pick up organic eggs from a local farmer either at the Farmer’s Market or a roadside stand you’ll get more nutritional bang for your buck, and have a better chance of avoiding contaminants and drugs such as antibiotics.
Getting organic eggs at your local supermarket is another good option as well.
But if you’ve been egg shopping lately you might have noticed things have gotten a bit complicated. There are so many different choices and some of the labels can be quite confusing.
Luckily our friends over at takepart.com have created a handy infographic that sorts it all out for us.
Click on the image below to launch the full infographic.
Courtesy of: TakePart.com
1.”Serum cholesterol response to changes in the die,” Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, July 1965, Volume 14, Issue 7, Pages 759–765
2. “Rethinking dietary cholesterol.,” Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 Mar;15(2):117-21. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32834d2259.
3. “Dietary Cholesterol Feeding Suppresses Human Cholesterol Synthesis Measured by Deuterium Incorporation and Urinary Mevalonic Acid Levels ,” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 1996; 16: 1222-1228
4. “Cholesterol feeding reduces nuclear forms of sterol regulatory element binding proteins in hamster liver,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Nov 11; 94(23): 12354–12359.
5. “Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations,” Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006 Jan;9(1):8-12.
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