I don’t care what the fringe says, eggs are good for you. I really enjoy making scrambled eggs and toast for me and the kids on a Saturday morning but I have always been careful not to eat to many eggs because you know, we have always heard that they are bad for the heart…or are they?
Are eggs good for you? Over the last 50 years there have been mixed messages from all levels of the food management chain over whether eggs are good for you or poison to your body. Taking Veganism out of the picture it is interesting to see what is going on within that egg in your fridge
What is in Eggs
Protein – The average egg has an interesting protein profile that can not be overlooked. For many years the best protein that bodybuilders ate to improve muscle was egg protein, this has not been replaced by whey protein but still eggs are good for you in that they have a very balanced amount of amino acids and each egg has 6 grams of protein
Carbohydrates – Eggs have no carbohydrates so they also have no fiber but still for many people on carb restricted diets this is a good choice.
Fat – Eggs are actually high in fat for their and size. The average egg has 5 grams of fat which is only about 40 calories from fat but this is almost as many grams as protein. This is a problem for many people although most people are not going to eat too many eggs at one time for this to be a deciding factor whether to eat eggs or not.
Cholesterol – Eggs are very high in Cholesterol and this has been the problem that the health industry has had with Eggs over the years. the average egg has 211 mg of Cholesterol so people that are concerned for good reason that eggs can be a risk to your heart and arteries with the cholesterol leading to high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries.
So an egg a day could fit within an individual’s dietary budget only if dietary cholesterol from other sources, such as meats, poultry and dairy products were limited.
Eggs are rich in nutrients says Joanne Lunn, nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation. One egg provides 13 essential nutrients, all in the yolk (egg whites contain albumen, an important source of protein, and no fat).
Lunn says eggs are an excellent source of B vitamins, which are needed for vital functions in the body, and also provide good quantities of vitamin A, essential for normal growth and development.
An egg’s vitamin E content protects against heart disease and some cancers; there’s also vitamin D, which promotes mineral absorption and good bone health. Eggs are rich in iodine, for making thyroid hormones, and phosphorus, essential for healthy bones and teeth. Teenage girls who eat an egg a day may give themselves additional protection against breast cancer in later life, according to a study in the journal Breast Cancer Research. It is the essential nutrients in eggs, such as amino acids, vitamins and minerals, that may be responsible for this protection.
Egg yolks contain the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which could help to prevent or even reverse the age-related eye problem macular degeneration (MD). This is one of the leading causes of blindness and occurs as a consequence of getting older – however, low lutein intake is implicated as a risk factor.
Eggs are also low in calories – a large egg contains only 75 calories and 5 grams of fat – and other research suggests they can help you lose weight. A study published last year in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition looked at the breakfast habits of obese women. Scientists from the Wayne State University in Detroit found that when the women were given either an egg or bagel breakfast, each providing the same number of calories, the women eating the eggs felt fuller and consumed fewer calories overall in the following 24 hours.
Are Eggs good for you?
The latest scientific study it seems that eggs are bad for you but it is important to look at an egg for what it is, 70 calories with protein and 211mg of cholesterol.
If you eat one egg by itself no problem, if you eat two eggs still no problem. But if you eat 2 eggs with bacon and toast slathered with butter….well every morning eating this will make you very sick.
The most important things to me are habits, consistency, and smart decisions. I love eggs and eat an omelette probably once a week but I would never eat them everyday so really in the end I think that making sure that eggs are a special part of your diet is a fantastic thing but not every day when there are much more healthy choices for an everyday breakfast.
How Many Eggs a Week are Healthy?
Health experts used to recommend a maximum egg consumption of three a week to avoid a rise in blood cholesterol levels. But since evidence has shown that it is saturated fat intake that affects cholesterol, advice has changed.
And while eggs added as ingredients to foods such as cakes and pasta will provide the same nutrients, you need to be careful the end product is not high in sugar and fat.
According to the British Egg Information Service, storing eggs correctly is vital to maintaining their freshness and nutrient content. They advise buying eggs only from a reputable retailer, keeping them in the fridge in their box and eating by the use-by date.
So in seeing this kind of research it seems maybe my Saturday morning breakfast is not so bad. Really if I keep my intake below about seven eggs a week I should be fine it seems. One more thing to think about in the same vein is that any man over 40 should have his serum cholesterol checked at least once a year.
Just this morning I did have an omelette. Be sure to remember that eggs are good for you.