Popular opinion on food probably doesn’t change as frequently as it does for eggs. One research will be telling folks to limit their weekly egg consumption. The next one will be encouraging them to eat as much they want. So which is it? Is it good for you, bad for you, or is the truth somewhere in between.
What The Heck Is Going On?
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. Since a single large egg contains 185 mg of cholesterol, consuming a pair of large eggs from your breakfast plate means you’ve already exceeded the limit for the day. This is, of course, a faulty recommendation one that assumes cholesterol consumption, on its own, will raise your blood cholesterol level. But it doesn’t.
The human body simply doesn’t work that way. Many studies have confirmed, in fact, that diet is only a minor contributor to the cholesterol level present in your blood. Yeah, your mom’s science was wrong. Cholesterol is actually an important nutrient in the body, helping in the production of many hormones and fueling physical growth both in children and adults.
Because it’s so vital, in fact, the human body makes its own cholesterol.
Upto 2 grams of it everyday, which is equivalent to about 10 large eggs or so. If you don’t eat any cholesterol, the body will still make its 2 grams to keep its levels on point. If you eat cholesterol from food sources, on the other hand, your body will simply turn down its production in order to maintain the necessary balance.
How much cholesterol your body maintains is a function of genetics, exercise, and stress, much more than your diet.
The World Has Been Slow To Change Its Mind
A long time ago, studies linking cholesterol consumption to high blood cholesterol levels were widely embraced by both the medical community and the media. And it’s been repeated enough times that most folks have accepted it as a matter of fact.
Eggs, a meal staple in many cultures with naturally high amounts of cholesterol, have been singled out as a culprit. Later studies have disproven this in a convincing manner, suggesting that regular egg consumption (as with other highcholesterol foods) does not lead to heart disease. At least, that goes for most of the population.
Diabetics and people afflicted with the rare genetic disorder “familial hypercholesterolemia.”
Oh yeah, another exception: people who partake in a high carbohydrate diet. The science behind this one will take a couple chapters to explain, but the short of it is, consuming too much of carbohydrate and fats together is the culprit current research is pointing to as the real source of many people’s high blood cholesterol levels.
Eggs Are Healthy
Egg whites are made up of mostly protein and water. The yolks, on the other hand, are a veritable treasure trove of nutrients, with vitamin A, B6, B12, D, E, iron, zinc, phosphorus, thiamin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, lutein, zeaxanthin, and even omega3 fatty acids. Basically, if you’re throwing the yolk and eating nothing but the whites, you’re missing out on a whole plethora of things that can do your body wonders.
Should You Eat Eggs All The Time?
While regular egg consumption is no longer the taboo it once was, that doesn’t mean subsisting on a diet of nothing but eggs. Sure, scientific research has progressed, but we doubt going crazy, such as eating four eggs for breakfast, eight for lunch, and six for dinner, is going to be a good thing. Moderation always applies.
The takeaway is simple: don’t be afraid of eggs. If you want to crack two eggs to make omelet for breakfast, go ahead. When you want to add a boiled egg to your ramen noodle, no need to think twice. It’s fine. Unless, of course, you belong to any of the exceptions we previously mentioned.