For years and years, the consumption of eggs has been discouraged for the potential harm they represented. The main argument for this was their potential to increase the cholesterol levels. But prepare for a change, because recent studies are now saying that you should, in fact, be eating more eggs.
Why should you be eating more eggs
A high and regular consumption of eggs has been discouraged for several years, due to their cholesterol content that increased the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In a 2010 study, the researchers even recommended that patients at risk should stop consuming eggs altogether or at least reduce it.
However, more recent findings seem to contradict this notion and the paradigm has now changed.
They are packed with high-quality protein
A medium size egg can have, on average, 6-7g of high-protein, which represents around 35% calories of the egg itself.
What is more, the quality of this protein can even trump the one found on meat. A 1997 study compared the content of amino acids in the protein of different foods and evaluated their potential. The results were also corroborated by a 2004 research.
According to both, out of the protein-rich foods being compared, the macronutrient present in eggs was the only one to score 100 in the biological value mark, with whey protein scoring 104. However, eggs scored first in all other marks, including protein efficiency ratio and net protein utilization.
Due to their small size, low-calorie content and different ways of eating them, eggs are then one of the best and cheapest sources of this macronutrient.
They help you feel satisfied
A 2005 research confirmed that eating eggs for breakfast significantly decreases short-term food intake in overweight and obese individuals. A later 2010 research went further and established that, at least in males, eating eggs for breakfast increases satiety during the next 24h, while reducing the need for energy intake.
They protect your vision
Your eyes can also benefit from having you eating more eggs.
Whole eggs are also rich in antioxidants, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin. These two accumulate in the eye’s retina and lens, protecting the ocular tissues. However, the levels of these antioxidants decrease with age until the reserves are depleted, giving place to common age-related issues such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Increasing the consumption of eggs can thus help to maintain good levels of lutein and zeaxanthin and prevent early vision decay.
They support better and bigger muscles
Since the bulk of the protein in an egg is in the white, while the cholesterol is in the yolk, fitness athletes have for long ditched the second in favor of the first.
However, eating the whole egg and enjoying its full nutritional matrix right after resistance produces “a greater stimulation of myofibrillar protein synthesis”, says a 2018 study. The comparison ensured the same content of protein for the egg whites and the whole eggs, proving that other nutrients present in this food also play a big role in restoring and promoting muscular growth.
What about the cholesterol issue?
This recommendation that you should be eating more eggs needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. The key issue at hand is the cholesterol content of eggs and how it can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and this is yet to be settled.
In the past years, several contradicting studies have come to question its importance. In some researches, the intake of eggs had a negative effect on the individual’s cholesterol levels, while in others, this impact only occurred if the individual already had a predisposition for high levels and cardiovascular problems.
Lastly, there are studies that indicate that, for a moderate consumption, there wasn’t any effect since the cholesterol levels rose together with the HDL levels (the “good” cholesterol”) which neutralized the negative effects of the first. More recently, a Chinese research even suggested that the intake of 1 egg per day can actually help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A moderate consumption seems to be the best middle ground to enjoy the nutritional benefits of eggs without putting your health at risk.
How many eggs should you be eating, then?
The key is moderation. Too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing quickly. According to the 2018 research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating up to 12 eggs per week did not increase any cardiometabolic risk in adults with Type 2 diabetes, the main risk group.
However, further research is still required for a higher consumption to evaluate its safety.
Get those eggs ready!
As you can see, eating more eggs can have many advantages for your health, provided you do it in moderation.
The next question is, how can you increase your intake without getting fed up with all those eggs? Simple. By making delicious and simple healthy recipes each day.
Check out Chef Robert Irvine’s suggestions in the video below and learn how to do 3 easy recipes to get your egg game on!