Scrambled eggs, poached eggs, sunny side up eggs, hard boiled eggs, the possibilities are endless. Eggs have been a staple food for mankind since the beginning of time. Lets face it, eggs are d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! Personally, I eat two to three eggs at least once a day which made me wonder, am I eating way too many eggs? Am I putting myself at risk for high cholesterol? My mom would always tell me that you shouldn’t have more than three eggs a week. Although I believed her, I just stopped caring up until recently. After all, eggs are among the most nutrition packed foods in the world so how bad could they really be?
I decided to do a little bit of research to see if I could go ahead and debunk this three eggs a week rule. After a bit of web surfing and reading, I learned that a single egg yolk contains 187 milligrams of cholesterol which is a little over 62% of the daily recommended cholesterol intake for a healthy adult. For someone who suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, and other heart related diseases, the recommended daily cholesterol intake is 200 milligrams. So again, to egg or not to egg?
Before I go any further on how many eggs are too many eggs, I needed to understand cholesterol and how it works. First things first, cholesterol is necessary. Humans can not live without it. Cholesterol is naturally produced by our liver, but when we eat foods that are high in cholesterol our liver actually starts to produce less of it naturally. Although cholesterol is measured through your bloodstream, it’s important to remember that it is found in every single body cell and it’s a necessary building block in the cell membranes. Keep in mind that a healthy liver makes up about 75% of the cholesterol that our bodies need to keep us in tip top shape and only about 25% of it comes from the foods that we eat. Lets say you only eat around 250 mg of cholesterol a day (remember that one egg yolk contains about 187 mg), your liver would produce an additional 750 mg from proteins, sugars, and fats.
Because cholesterol is a fat it is unable to travel alone in the body. Can you imagine little particles of fat just floating around our bloodstream? I can, and the thought alone makes me feel pretty queasy. In order for fats to flow through our bodies naturally, our bodies pack them in microscopic protein covered particles for easy flow through our bloodstream. At this point it almost seems like I’m blabbing on and drifting away from my original point. I found some studies done by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and below I will list the results along with a hyperlink to redirect you to each study.
This study was done on two separate groups.
Group A would consume 1-3 whole eggs per day
Group B would consume an egg substitute
These were the results after researchers followed up with the participants weeks later:
- In almost all cases, HDL (the “good cholesterol”) went up (6, 7, 8).
- Blood levels of carotenoid antioxidants like Zeaxanthin and Lutein increased significantly (15, 16, 17).
- Total and LDL cholesterol levels usually don’t change, but sometimes they will increase slightly (9, 10, 11, 12).
- Eating Omega-3 enriched eggs can lower blood triglycerides, another important risk factor (13, 14).
In conclusion, a healthy person can consume up to three eggs a day give or take. So yes, the answer to my question is absolutely TO EGG!
Disclaimer: I am not a physician or in the medical field, I’m just a curious girl who really loves eggs. Please do not take this advice unless you’ve spoken to your general physician.