Eggs have become a surprisingly controversial food over the years. They are a tasty and affordable protein source but there is a lot of misinformation around their nutrition.
For decades it was believed that eating eggs and other foods high in dietary cholesterol will clog your arteries and increase the risk of heart disease. Initially maligned as harmful, in 2013, the American Heart Association did admit that dietary cholesterol found in eggs was “no longer a nutrient of concern.” This came on the heels of studies showing no associative risk with increased egg consumption.
The many years of research that failed to show a relationship between the amount of dietary cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, resulted in the U.S. finally removing any restriction on dietary cholesterol from its nutrition guidelines in 2016.
Yet, that hasn’t stopped the debate and many still wonder if eating eggs can kill you
This is what we do know about eggs:
Eggs are nature’s perfect food. Egg yolks are very nutrient dense whilst egg whites contain over half the protein content of the egg, but contain less vitamins and minerals, compared to egg yolks.
Eggs are nutrient powerhouses containing protein, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins A, D, E, B12, folate, choline, zinc, and iron.
You might have been led to believe that eggs can kill you due to their cholesterol content, which is between 200 mg - 300 mg per egg. Studies have shown that dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol except in the few people referred to as hyper responders. Most people can tolerate eggs and dietary cholesterol well.
In fact, cholesterol is essential. It is used to produce vitamin D and hormones including estrogen and testosterone. Cholesterol is part of your cell membranes and forms a large portion of your brain.
Most of what makes blood cholesterol rise is a combination of lifestyle factors and genetics. A diet high in sugars, processed grains and man-made trans-fat can affect your cholesterol levels along with smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, age, and diabetes.
Health Benefits of Eggs
Though they come in a small and affordable package, eggs pack an impressive nutritional punch. The yolk, in particular, is a source of important nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D and choline, which are all important for helping process food into energy. The combination of protein and healthy fat gives eggs some staying power, so you feel full for longer.
Good For Hair & Skin
Eggs are a good source of several B vitamins, including vitamins B2, B5 and B12. All of these nutrients have several functions in the body, including maintaining healthy skin and hair. All B vitamins are water soluble and regular consumption is necessary meet your needs. Eggs are also rich in amino acids like methionine that can help improve the tone and pliability of skin and strengthen hair and nails.
Support Brain Health
Eggs are rich in the micronutrient choline, which is used to help create 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 why not getting enough could make you feel foggy. In this way, eating eggs can help support a healthy brain.
Egg yolks contain two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, that are important for eye health. They play an important role in eye development and healthy vision, and research shows they might even help lower the risk of common age-related eye diseases.
Good For Bone Health
Vitamin D is important for numerous bodily processes. It helps regulate blood pressure, lowers risk for certain cancers and can play a positive role in mental health. One of vitamin D's most important functions is helping us maintain healthy bones by improving calcium absorption in the gut, and maintaining calcium and phosphorus levels. Eggs are one of the few food-sources of vitamin D with one egg containing about 6% of your daily needs.
Improve Heart Health
Contrary to popular belief, eating eggs will not give you heart disease. Gone are the days of avoiding egg yolks for the dietary cholesterol content. Based on a continually growing body of research, the current Dietary Guidelines as well as the American Heart Association (AHA) both agree that eggs belong in healthy eating patterns.
A recent AHA science advisory has recommended up to one whole egg a day for healthy adults and up to 2 eggs a day for healthy older individuals as part of a heart-healthy eating pattern.
Eggs are also a great source of heart-healthy nutrients like potassium, folate and B vitamins
Eating eggs every day can be part of your heart healthy lifestyle. The cholesterol in eggs will not kill you! Blood cholesterol is affected by many things including sugars, processed grains, manufactured fake foods and trans fats, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and age. Most people can tolerate dietary cholesterol well without significant effects to their blood cholesterol. If your cholesterol is high and you suspect the culprit might be your diet, try removing the refined carbohydrates, increasing fiber, and adding healthy, naturally occurring fats like avocado, butter, coconut oil, fatty fish and olive oil to your diet. Eating real food that has been sustainably grown and sourced will support your long-term health and wellness goals.
At Pete’s Real Food we recommend well-sourced egg consumption for those who can tolerate them, and this is not about to change.
What Kind Of Eggs You Should Be Eating?
The kind of eggs you choose to eat is as important as considering their nutritional value. What the chicken ate plays a part in determining the quality of the egg.
Eggs from chickens that are free to eat grass and insects, are of higher nutritional quality compared to eggs from chicken raised in confinement. The egg yolk’s color has implications regarding the nutrition and health of the chicken that produced it.
A darker yolk is an indication of a nutritious and balanced diet rich in xanthophyll, omega-3 fatty acids and meats. Free-range organic chicken farmers must feed their chickens fresh greens, to produce the dark orange yolk that has been proven to not only taste richer but also contains higher amounts of nutrients and vitamins.
It's important to know where your eggs come from. At Pete’s Real Food we take great care to know our farmers and how they treat their chickens, making sure that they are getting the right feed and are roaming around freely and happily.
You can find our nutrient-rich eggs in our breakfasts which can be ordered alone or as part of your bundle. Browse our menu here >>>>>
Eggs are an affordable and nutrient-dense protein that provide health benefits. They are packed with protein, vitamins and nutrients that help you feel full and fueled for whatever your day holds.
Drilling your diet down to individual foods and nutrients is pointless. If you eat a well-varied, balanced, whole-foods based diet (like we recommend and offer in all our meals), you’ll be FINE. And although this may not seem headline worthy, your options and choices are far from boring.
Eggs will not kill you! Avoid letting sensationalized nutrition headlines bother or scare you.