Top 10 Benefits of Eating Eggs
Eggs are one of the few foods that I would call “Superfoods”.
They are full of nutrients, some of which are rare in the modern diet.
Here are 10 health benefits of eggs that have been confirmed in human studies.
1. Eggs Are Very Nutritious
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. A whole egg contains all the nutrients needed to turn a single cell into a baby chick.
A large boiled egg contains:
Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
Folate: 5% of the RDA
Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.
Selenium: 22% of the RDA (recommended daily dose).
Eggs also contain decent amounts of vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium and zinc. They have about 77 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fat.
Eggs also contain other nutrients that are important for health.
Eggs are more or less the perfect food, as they contain some of almost all the nutrients we need.
If you can get your hands on eggs enriched with Omega-3s, then they are even better. They have more Omega-3s and are much higher in vitamin A and E.
2. Eggs are high in cholesterol but do not negatively affect blood cholesterol
Eggs are indeed high in cholesterol. A single egg contains 212 mg, which is more than half the recommended daily intake of 300 mg.
However…it’s important to note that dietary cholesterol does not necessarily increase blood cholesterol.
The liver produces large amounts of cholesterol every day. When we eat more eggs, the liver only produces less cholesterol instead, so it levels out.
The response to egg consumption varies between individuals:
In 70% of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol at all.
In the other 30% (called hyper-responders), eggs can slightly increase total and LDL cholesterol.
However, as I will describe later in the article, the situation is a little more complicated than that and these changes are beneficial (Exceptions… such as people with genetic disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia or a type of gene called ApoE4 may want to minimise or avoid eggs).
3. Eggs Increase HDL (“Good” Cholesterol)
HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is often referred to as the “good” cholesterol.
People who have higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and various health problems.
Eating eggs is a great way to raise HDL.
In one study, 2 eggs per day for 6 weeks increased HDL levels by 10%.
4. Eggs Contain Choline, an Important Nutrient That Many People Can’t Get
The hill is a nutrient that most people do not even know exists.
However, it is a very important substance as it is often grouped with B-complex vitamins.
Choline is used to build cell membranes and has a role in the production of signalling molecules in the brain, along with several other functions.
Dietary surveys have shown that around 90% of people in the US are consuming less and less of the recommended amount of choline.
Whole eggs are an excellent source of choline. A single egg contains more than 100 mg of this important nutrient.
5. Eggs at a Time Change LDL Cholesterol From Small To Large Particles, Linked To A Lower Risk Of Heart Disease
LDL cholesterol is generally known as “bad” cholesterol.
It is well known that having high levels of LDL is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
But what many people don’t realise is that there are subtypes of LDL that have to do with particle size.
There are, small, very dense LDL particles and there are large LDL particles.
Many studies have shown that people who have small, dense LDL particles predominantly have a higher risk of heart disease than people who have mostly large LDL particles.
Even if eggs tend to raise LDL cholesterol slightly in some people, studies show that the particles change from small and dense to large…which is a good thing.
6. Eggs contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, antioxidants that have important benefits for eye health
One of the consequences of ageing eyesight is that it tends to get worse.
Several nutrients help counteract some of the degenerative processes that can affect the eyes.
Two of these are called lutein and zeaxanthin, powerful antioxidants that tend to build up in the eye’s retina.
Studies show that the consumption of adequate amounts of these nutrients can significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two very common eye disorders.
Egg yolks contain large amounts of both lutein and zeaxanthin.
In a controlled trial, eating only 1.3 egg yolks per day for 4.5 weeks increased blood levels of lutein by 28-50% and zeaxanthin by 114-142%. Eggs are also rich in vitamin A, which deserves another mention here. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common cause of blindness in the world.
7. In the case of pasteurized or omega-3 eggs, triglycerides are reduced.
Of course, it doesn’t only matter what we eat, it also matters what the food we eat contains.
In this sense, not all eggs are the same. Their nutrient composition varies depending on how the hens were fed and raised.
Eggs from hens raised on pasture or feeds enriched with omega-3 tend to be much higher in omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce blood levels of triglycerides, a known risk factor for heart disease.
Studies show that eating omega-3-enriched eggs is a very effective way to reduce triglycerides in the blood.
8. They are Rich in Quality Protein, With All the Essential Amino Acids in the Right Ratios
Proteins are the main constituent elements of the human body. They are used to make all kinds of tissues and molecules that serve both structural and functional purposes.
Getting enough protein in the diet is very important and studies show that currently recommended amounts may be too low.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, as a single large egg contains 6 grams and contains all the essential amino acids in the right proportions, so our bodies are well equipped to make full use of the protein in them.
Eating enough protein can help with weight loss, increase muscle mass, lower blood pressure and optimise bone health.
9. Eggs do not increase the risk of heart disease and can reduce the risk of stroke
For many decades, eggs have been unfairly demonised.
It has been claimed that because of the cholesterol in them, they must be bad for the heart.
Many studies published in recent years have examined the relationship between egg consumption and the risk of heart disease.
In a review of 17 studies with a total of 263,938 participants, no association was found between egg consumption and heart disease or stroke.
Many other studies I will leave you within the references have led to the same conclusion.
However… some studies have found that people with diabetes who eat eggs have a higher risk of heart disease. Diabetics who eat eggs may be less health-conscious, on average.
On a low-carbohydrate diet, which is by far the best diet for diabetics, eating eggs leads to improvements in risk factors for heart disease.
10. Eggs are highly satisfying and tend to make you eat fewer calories, and can help you lose weight
They are rich in protein… but protein is by far the most satisfactory of the macronutrients.
Eggs have a high score on a scale called the Satiety Index, which measures the ability of food to induce satiety and reduce subsequent calorie intake.
In a study of 30 overweight women, they consumed eggs instead of bread for breakfast and had a greater sense of fullness, automatically causing them to eat fewer calories over the next 36 hours.
In another study, replacing a bagel breakfast with an egg breakfast caused significant weight loss over 8 weeks.
Studies clearly show that the consumption of up to 3 whole eggs per day is perfectly safe.
There is no evidence that it is harmful beyond that, it is simply “uncharted territory” as it has not been studied. I eat about 3 whole eggs a day and my health has never been better.
Above all else, they are also cheap, easy to prepare, can be cooked with almost any food and taste amazing.
These studies show that:
In almost all cases, HDL (the “good cholesterol”) is rising (study 1, study 2, study 3).
Total cholesterol and LDL levels usually do not change, but sometimes increase slightly (study 4, study 5, study 6).
Eating fortified omega-3 eggs can lower blood triglycerides, another important risk factor (study 7, Study 8).
Blood levels of carotenoid antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin increased significantly (study 9, study 10, study 11).