How healthy are eggs actually and how many are too many?

There are few natural, whole foods that have been closely examined such as eggs.

Historically believed to be associated with high cholesterol, eggs were often limited to “heart-healthy” diets for what now appear to be largely unfounded reasons.

Recent research suggests that there are far more positives than negatives when it comes to incorporating eggs into a healthy, balanced diet, and of all the food we should worry about overeating, eggs are not among them.

What do eggs offer from a nutritional point of view?

A couple of eggs offer nearly 20 grams of protein along with a healthy dose of omega-3 fats and 13 other key vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, D and selenium. In fact, the overall nutritional profile of eggs is so strong that they are often referred to as one of nature’s superfoods.

Enjoying an egg or two, with whole-grain toast and veggies is an exceptionally rich and nutrient-rich breakfast option.

The myth of eggs and cholesterol

For more than 50 years, eggs have been targeted as a food to actively restrict if you have high blood cholesterol levels.

This recommendation came via the American Heart Association, which said in the late 1960s that all individuals should limit their dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams per day or no more than three whole eggs per week to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

The most up-to-date science has now shown that eggs as an individual food make very little difference to cholesterol levels in general. In particular, we now understand that dietary cholesterol consumed through foods of animal origin, including shellfish, eggs, meat and dairy products, does not automatically raise blood cholesterol levels.

We now also know that from a dietary perspective, it is our overall intake patterns that predict inflammation and the health of our arteries, rather than the excessive consumption of individual foods, especially nutrient-rich whole foods that are also affordable. , like eggs.

Vitamin D shot

From a nutritional standpoint, eggs are a powerhouse for several reasons. Overall, their saturated fat content is relatively low, while they offer the benefits of omega-3 fat, another nutrient found naturally in a handful of foods.

Eggs are also one of the richest natural food sources of vitamin D. With up to 36% of Australian adults suffering from vitamin D deficiency during the winter, just two eggs a day provide over 80% of their daily intake. recommended for this important nutrient needed for bone health, calcium metabolism and mood management.

Eggs and the full factor

A less frequently mentioned benefit associated with eggs is that they are an exceptionally filling food, which can be partially explained by their high content of leucine, an amino acid involved in the regulation of insulin in the body.

Two eggs offer nearly two grams of leucine, the amount shown to support glucose control and appetite after consumption.

This means that enjoying an egg or two, with whole wheat toast and veggies is an exceptionally rich and nutrient-rich breakfast option that will likely keep your blood glucose levels checked and make you feel full and satisfied for several hours afterwards. have eaten.

Like many of the foods we eat, the problem isn’t eggs, but how we enjoy them. For instance:

  • Boiled or poached on one or two slices of small wholemeal bread it’s a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast that will likely keep you satisfied until lunchtime.
  • Eggs made with cream and served on huge slices of sourdough soaked in butter – not that big. Eggs served fried with bacon and on large, fluffy white rolls are also not ideal from a nutritional standpoint.

The key to enjoying eggs and the health benefits they offer is to serve them in the most natural form possible, along with whole grains and vegetables, just as they are part of a Mediterranean diet.

How many eggs are too many?

The Heart Foundation does not currently set a limit on the number of eggs recommended for consumption each week.

A closer look at the scientific evidence suggests that for those with high blood cholesterol, eating one egg a day or about six eggs a week is not associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Good for the budget

Nowadays, with the cost of fresh food rising steadily, eggs are an affordable protein. Selling for as little as $ 4-5 per dozen, or under $ 1 per serving, for nearly 20 grams of protein, there are few natural whole foods that match protein per serving at this price point.

Susie Burrell is an accredited dietician and nutritionist and holds a master’s degree in coaching psychology.

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