For many years, health experts have warned people to limit egg consumption because the yolk contains high amounts of dietary cholesterol. Research shows that eggs are among the most nutritious foods on Earth. It contains all the nutrients required to turn a single cell into an entire baby chicken.
People believe that when you intake cholesterol, it contributes to the increase of cholesterol in the blood and increases the risk of heart disease. That can’t be further from the truth. The more cholesterol you eat, the less your body produces. Your liver produces the amount of cholesterol you need in your system every day. When you intake cholesterol, the liver just reduces its production of cholesterol so that the total amount in your system can be managed.
Other Benefits of Eggs
Eggs are not just about cholesterol. They are also loaded with plenty of other nutrients, providing various benefits.
- High in antioxidants such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin, they help to reduce risk of eye diseases such as Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.
- They are also very high in Choline, a brain nutrient that over 90% of people are lacking in.
- They are high in animal protein, which increases muscle mass and bone strength, among many other benefits.
- Studies have also proved that they increase satiety, thereby helping in weight loss as well.
Not to mention the fact that they taste amazing and are far too easy to cook. So, even if eggs have adverse effects on blood cholesterol (which they don’t), the benefits of eating eggs would still far outweigh the negatives.
How much is too much?
A single medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62% of the recommended daily intake. It was said that 300 mgs should be the maximum amount of cholesterol intake every day. But, the Scientific Report of 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee no longer believes this to be true. In fact, the committee says that dietary cholesterol is not a nutrient that has the risk of over-consumption.
After years of criticism, nutritional circles have finally accepted eggs. It is also scientifically proven that consuming 3 eggs per day and 2-6 egg yolks per week are completely safe. Although it is unlikely that consuming more than 3 eggs per day could adversely affect your health, eating more than 3 eggs is uncharted territory, so to speak.
There was a report in 1991 of an 88 year old man who had eaten around 20 – 30 soft boiled eggs in a day for the at least 15 years. He had done this due to a psychological compulsion and had kept careful records of the eggs he consumed. Whatever may be the reason for this record egg-eating, it was recorded that his cholesterol levels were normal throughout that time and that he was actually in very good health.
Although a study of one doesn’t necessarily prove anything, it is interesting to note nonetheless.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all eggs are the same. Most eggs found in markets are from factory raised chickens that are fed grain-based feeds. These eggs are not considered very healthy. The healthiest eggs are Omega-3 enriched eggs, or the eggs from hens that are raised on pasture. These eggs are high on Omega-3 and fat soluble vitamins.
Bottom line: Eating eggs is perfectly safe, even if you are consuming up to 3 eggs per day. They are highly nutritious and contain brain nutrients and antioxidants that can protect the eyes.
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