Eggs are a mainstay in many diets. It’s the champion of breakfast. But when it comes to how to eat eggs, when to eat eggs and if you should even eat eggs at all, chances are good you’ve heard some of these pearls of wisdom:
- “Don’t eat egg yolks, they’re loaded with cholesterol.”
- “Make your omelet healthier – stick with egg whites!”
- “Limit your intake of eggs to no more often than two times per week.”
Should you eat eggs?
Based on this advice, you may not be too eager to eat eggs at all. The recommendations are too confusing to keep up with. Besides, smoothies and cereal are just as easy to whip up in the morning. But the truth is, there are a number of ways the average egg benefits your health. Eggs are an easy-to-eat, protein- and fat-rich food that most people should absolutely include in their everyday diets. Here’s why:
Top 4 reasons to eat eggs
1. Eggs include high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients. A large egg contains 77 calories, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein, plus all 9 essential amino acids. Eggs are also rich in iron, phosphorous, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5, among others.
2. A large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is more than most other foods. However, the dietary cholesterol from eggs does not adversely affect cholesterol levels in the blood. According to a 2010 study published in Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, eggs actually raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the good cholesterol. They also change the bad, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from small, dense particles to large LDL particles, which are considered benign.
3. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, egg yolks are a highly bioavailable source of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that play a vital role in eye health and antioxidant protection.* With young adults spending an average five hours a day looking at their phones, eye health has never been more important. Notice the study focused on the egg yolk, specifically. So skip the egg white omelet and enjoy the whole egg.
4. From poached to over-easy, eggs are one of the most versatile foods to prepare. Plus, when time is of the essence, eggs can be a quick, portable snack or an easy way to complete a meal. Hard boil a batch for the week, so you can eat them on the run or slice and top over mixed greens.
3 unique ways to enjoy eggs
Of course, hard boiling is only one of a dozen ways to prepare eggs. But you don’t have to be tied to Cobb salads and veggie omelets. Try one of these out-of-the-shell options:
- Poach an egg, and then whiz it into your cup of coffee or tea for a protein-rich boost to your morning brew.
- Prepare an egg over easy in coconut oil and slide it into a pitted avocado. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Adapt the classic egg drop soup by stirring an egg into a pot of simmering bone broth. Add veggies to complete the meal.
How often should you eat eggs?
As with any other protein source, balance is key. The more variety you introduce to your body through a range of different proteins, vegetables, fats and fruits, the more likely you’ll cover all your nutritional needs.
Just remember that how you source your eggs is important in the delivery of all those great nutrients. Make sure you’re buying eggs from a reputable source, such as your local farmer’s market or a grocer who carries farm-fresh eggs. Look for labels such as pasture-raised, non-GMO and 100% organic to ensure you’re getting the healthiest eggs – for your family and the planet!
There are certain populations who may benefit from not eating eggs at all, including those with autoimmune or thyroid conditions. If you are dealing with gut inflammation, leaky gut and/or an autoimmune disease, eggs could exacerbate your symptoms. Of course, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian before making any changes to your diet.
For most people, eggs are a great source of protein and good fats; and they can easily be incorporated into a healthy diet.