Are Eggs Good For You, or Are They Bad?

Eggs are one of the natural foods that have been demonized by mainstream nutrition in the past few decades, mainly because they have a high amount of saturated fat and cholesterol.

It’s true. A large portion of the calories in eggs are from saturated fat, and they contain a high amount of cholesterol. A large egg contains 2g (23% of calories) of saturated fat, and 212mg of cholesterol (1).

But, as I will explain below, saturated fat is just fine and the cholesterol content in eggs doesn’t matter.
A picture of Are Eggs Good For You

Are eggs bad for you?

Alright, let’s examine the two reasons eggs have been considered unhealthy in the past.

Eggs are high in cholesterol

It’s true that eggs have a high amount of cholesterol, but the fact is that dietary cholesterol doesn’t have much of an impact on cholesterol levels in the blood.

This has actually been tested rigorously in scientific studies, and indeed they have not found any association between eggs and cardiovascular disease (2, 3, 4).

Eggs are high in saturated fat

A very common misconception regarding health and nutrition is that saturated fat causes heart disease. This is something that has never been proven, and the research actually shows that saturated fat isn’t associated with heart disease in any way (5, 6).

Conclusion

It seems clear that there is no association between egg consumption and heart disease, and the fact that they are high in cholesterol and saturated fat simply does not matter.

The fact is that cholesterol is a substance absolutely vital to human life, and it is contained in vast amounts in every cell in our bodies. Saturated fat is a healthy fuel that has been unfairly demonized by “experts” for no valid reason.

Are eggs good for you?

One of the things I noticed back in my calorie counting days, was how incredibly nutritious eggs were despite being low in calories.

I used to have 3-4 whole eggs per day (and I still do) and they were always by far my biggest source of vitamins and minerals for the day. This is because the egg is a powerhouse of nutrients, and contains the building blocks necessary to turn a single fertilized chicken cell into a multicellular baby chicken.

High quality protein

The egg white contains a large amount of animal protein with extremely high bio availability. That is, the amino acids in them come in ratios that are easily used by humans.

Vitamins and Minerals

If you take a look at the nutrient profile for eggs, you will see that they are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamins B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B12 and Folic Acid. They are also abundant in the minerals Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc and Selenium.

Other nutrients

Additionally, eggs are rich in a nutrient called Choline, which is not yet considered an essential nutrient but has many health benefits.

Eggs are also very rich in the carotenoid antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which have a protective effect on the eyes, among other things.

Glucose, Insulin and Satiety

Eggs contain almost no carbohydrates, so their effect on blood glucose levels, and their subsequent effect on insulin, are very small.

They are also high on the Satiety Score, an indicator of how much particular foods lead to fullness and appetite. For these reasons, eggs may be considered a great food for weight loss.

Conclusion

When you consider the fact that egg consumption has no effect on cardiovascular disease whatsoever, what remains is the fact that eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.

They are low in calories, low in carbs, have a profound effect on satiety and could therefore be considered the perfect weight loss food.

They are cheap, easy to acquire, very easy to cook, and to top it off they taste fantastic and can be used in all sorts of recipes and dishes.

Personally I eat Omega-3 enriched eggs, which do have a better nutrient profile than conventional supermarket eggs. If you can get those, then that will probably be optimal.

I eat about 3-4 of those every single day, with coconut oil and a bit of vegetables, and this is usually the healthiest meal I have for the day, and keeps me comfortably full for the next 3-4 hours.

If I could only pick 3 foods to eat for the rest of my life, eggs would be one of them.


 

17 Comments

  1. Johnny Palmer says:

    Eggs are GREAT for you! People wonder because of the fat content, but they are an amazing food. Good explanations dude

  2. Eggs are very nutritious and everybody should eat them everyday. I eat 1 egg every day. I personally think that 3 eggs is a bit too much (600mh cholesterol) to eat every day.

    • Dietary cholesterol does not effect your blood cholesterol levels. Eat as many eggs as you want. The will decrease your chances of getting heart disease. It’s a whole food that comes with countless benefits.

      Add raw egg yolks to smoothies!

  3. Great post – I really like your common sense perspective.
    Come by our site, and promote your website and thoughts!

  4. Great write-up Kris, I have been reading a lot of Paleo/ancesteral health books and blogs lately and the benefits of eggs comes up from time to time. I know I should be eating them…but I just don’t like eggs (unless they are in cookies/cakes/brownies/etc ;)

  5. Great post Kris….

    I’m also a big believer in eating omega-3 rich whole eggs… my favorite omelette is 3 whole eggs with sliced tomato and avocado.

    Right now I’m skipping breakfast to keep my weight under control but I do miss that omelette from time to time…

    Anything whole and natural like a has to be good for you….

    Best – Mike

  6. “If I could only pick 3 foods to eat for the rest of my life, eggs would be one of them.”

    What would the other 2 foods be?

    • Some type of meat like chicken or steak, and then perhaps oats.

      • But fortunately, we don’t have to make such painful choices, and we can eat a massive variety of real foods!

        But….
        If I did have to choose, I probably opt for something like liver rather than a muscle meat, as it’s higher in a wide variety of other nutrients.

        Cheers
        George

  7. Yes, I agree totally. Eggs are one of the very best foods around. I used to eat a lot of them (8 – 12 per day) and never had cholesterol problems.

    In fact I recall reading a study years ago where people with high cholesterol were put on a high egg diet and their cholesterol levels came down.

    A bodybuilder called Bertil Fox used to eat 40 raw eggs every day. Although that’s a bit excessive, you really can eat as many as you want.

  8. Kisar Dhillon says:

    Kris, I just love eggs! It probably stems from being allergic to them when I was younger. Even though they say they have a certain amount of cholesterol, they are still very good for you, and is some of the best quality protein you can get. I also like to eat egg beaters with one regular egg mixed in there too. Thanks for the great post.

    Thanks,
    Kisar

  9. When I began consuming 2 to 3 whole eggs a day my total cholesterol spiked between tests. I am a healthy weight, always had “ideal” total cholesterol counts but tended towards lower good cholesterol. Once I went from whole eggs to egg whites, my total count dropped back to the ideal range. Do you have any insight as to why that could have happened?

    • Total cholesterol is not a good indicator. You need to take into account HDL, and the subtypes of LDL (“small, dense” vs “large, fluffy”), as well as the triglycerides. This can be done with a VAP-test, which is more expensive.

  10. Oh my my…good i read this 2day, had been avoiding eggs for very long for the saturated fat content. is it ok to have it in the evening by 6 pm coz i generally wind up my dinner early say by 7pm.

  11. I agree, eggs are awesome for satiety and taste great. I too eat ‘em every day. I get my eggs from a local deli and the owner raises her own chickens … pretty cool!

    My favorite (and healthy breakfast) is 3 egg omelet. Mix the egg with salsa, add a little pepper jack cheese, green bell pepper, chopped spinach, dab of sour cream on top with some green tabasco … YUMM!

    • I’d love to be able to get totally fresh eggs daily. There’s a woman who sells them from her yard, but they get loads of grain for their food, this makes me a little unhappy.

      One day I’ll have my own place with lots of green space and I’ll have chickens running amok. I also want some goats and pigs, but I don’t expect them to give me eggs:)

  12. Thanks for this post Kris, it’s up to your usual standards, although I sense that your posts have got a little longer and more deeply referenced in the last couple of months, I like this, am I right?

    Anyway, I just referenced this blog post in an article I just wrote for my website, hope that was ok? It’s here: http://blog.superbootcamps.co.uk/2012/diet-and-nutrition/are-eggs-good-for-you/

    Keep eggy eating,
    George

Speak Your Mind

*