Eggs get a bum rap, primarily due to the fact that they typically contain about 200 milligrams of cholesterol and about 1.5 grams of saturated fat. But here’s the thing: dietary cholesterol (cholesterol in food) is not at all the same thing as the cholesterol that clogs arteries. In fact, there is no good evidence that eggs are a significant factor in increased blood cholesterol levels or a cause of heart disease. Does this surprise you?
Researchers at Harvard Medical School analyzed data from approximately 120,000 men and women and found that eating an egg a day did not increase the risk of heart disease or stroke. Another Harvard study also found that men could eat seven eggs a day with no increased risk of heart disease. That’s a lot of quiche.
Then there is the story of the octogenarian man who ate 25 eggs a day for 30 years… while maintaining normal cholesterol and a healthy weight. If an 88-year-old retirement-home geriatric is not afraid of eggs, why should you be?
So if eggs aren’t bad for you, what makes them good? Firstly, they’re a cheap and versatile source of high quality protein and fat. But eggs also contain a number of other substances that promote good health. Eggs are one of the richest food sources of choline, which is a nutrient critical to brain function. Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that keep eyes healthy and protect them from the leading cause of blindness, macular degeneration. Eggs are loaded with small amounts of other vital nutrients, including folate, riboflavin, selenium, and B12. At 75 calories apiece, eggs are also a smart, nutrient-dense food that can aid in healthy weight loss and fat burning.
As with all food choices, it’s best to be picky when it comes to buying eggs. The healthiest eggs are those that are farm fresh, organic, and from chickens raised in pasture. These high-quality eggs are rich in anti-inflammatory and slimming Omega-3 fatty acids.
I eat eggs almost every day and maintain 10% body fat, low cholesterol, and a very healthy blood pressure. Eggs are extremely versatile, easy to cook, convenient, and filling. If you’re bored with chicken eggs, branch out and experiment with quail eggs (tasty and small) or duck eggs (big and buttery).