Are Eggs Healthy Or Not? Dietitians and Researchers Have the Answer

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Many nutritionists and dietitians have been talking about eggs and how healthy they are. Some claim that eggs have cholesterol that’s bad for the heart, but others think it’s a misconception.

Two dietitians have the answer, and it’s not what you’d expect.

High-Quality Proteins, Vitamins, and Minerals

Andrea D’Ambrosio of Dietetic Directions and Andy De Santis of Andy the RD are registered dietitians. They want to explain the benefits of consuming eggs and why we should sometimes do it moderately.

De Santis said that eggs are “are an inexpensive source of high-quality protein that also happens to be a source of antioxidants, namely lutein and zeaxanthin.”

D’Ambrosio also adds that some consumers only ate the egg whites. The yellow yolks contain more calories and fat, but here’s the problem:

“It is true that skipping the egg yolk will decrease total calorie and fat intake. But you will be missing out on key nutrients, such as choline.”

Choline is a key nutrient for development of the brain. It’s vital for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to support the brain development of their babies.

The yolk contains vitamins, minerals and half of the egg’s proteins. An egg contains folate, choline, vitamin A, riboflavin, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and healthy fatty acids.

How Many Eggs Should We Eat Per Week?

Eggs are high in cholesterol, and research conducted in the 1970s shows that the foods high in cholesterol can increase our blood cholesterol.

D’Ambrosio said that new research shows a different thing:

“Newer research has concluded that the saturated and trans fats are actually the main culprits for increasing blood cholesterol. Interestingly, emerging research is now examining how much of the cholesterol in eggs is actually absorbed by our bodies and it appears to be lower than suspected.”

So, she says that whole eggs can be part of a healthy diet. She added that one egg per day is healthy for people that don’t have high cholesterol, diabetes or a history of heart disease.

Canadian Diabetes Association advises those with high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease to only eat two eggs or even less per week, and De Santis agrees with the recommendation.

No Link Between Cardiovascular Disease and High-Cholesterol Diet

But the University of Eastern Finland released a new study in which it tested the diet of 1,032 men (ages of 42 – 60) with no cardiovascular disease, and they saw that there was no link between the high-cholesterol diet (including eggs) and the risk of heart attack.

The University of Sydney also released a study according to which eggs had nothing to do with cardiovascular risk. People with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes that ate up to 12 eggs per week saw no increase in cardiovascular disease.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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1 Comment

  1. Eggs are not healthy. Many researchers have confrimed a link between choline, a nutrient naturally found in foods like red meat, egg yolks and dairy products, and the risk of dangerous blood clotting. Choline interacts with gut bacteria to make the blood more prone to clotting by helping to produce a compound called, trimethylene N-oxide (TMAO). Elevated blood levels of TMAO have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, and research shows that TMAO may directly contribute to the narrowing of artery walls through plaque build-up.
    As far as cholesterol goes, our bodies do not need cholesterol from our diet. We produce all that we need in our liver. There have been a number of studies of late that suggest that the cholesterol in eggs is no longer a concern since egg consumption has not been shown to increase cholesterol in our bloodstream. However, this often comes down to when cholesterol levels are measured. There is a distinction between fasting cholesterol and postpandrial cholesterol. Postpandrial (within several hours after eating) shows significantly increased levels of cholesterol when foods high in cholesterol were consumed, and in particular low-density lipids (LDL – the bad cholesterol). Whereas fasting cholesterol (which is the period from the evening, long after dinner is consumed and before eating breakfast the next morning) will often show little increase in cholesterol levels. Few studies, if any focus on postpandrial cholesterol levels and this is when aggregate or cumulative endothelial inflammation damage can occur.
    If you are at risk of cardio vascular disease or coronary heart disease you should avoid eggs. The average egg yolk contains 230mg of cholesterol. Typical recommended daily intake of cholesterol suggests keeping it limited to no more than 200mg per day. Of course, RDI recommendations for many things in our food pyramid are a negotiation between governments and industry and often have had little to do with optimal nutritional intake. It is worth mentioning, that anyone who expects to live to middle age is at risk of heart disease or cardio vascular disease, especially given our heavy, Western diet of meat, dairy and eggs.
    The other issue is egg consumption contributes to metabolic acidosis (as most animal-based foods do). This constant state of acidosis in our bodies compels our bodies to leeach calcium from our bones and calcium in our diets to compensate. Over a lifetime this is why North Americans have the highest rates of osteoperosis (brittle bones) in the world. Ironic given we are also the largest dairy consumers — something we have been told “helps build strong bones”. Plus, eggs do not have any fibre — something over 90% of all North Americans are deficient in.
    The egg industry is a slaughter industry. 12 billion birds a year are killed as a result of egg production — 6 billion are slaughtered when their bodies are so broken they can no longer lay eggs and are considered “spent” (an industry term). 6 billion, baby male chicks are shredded alive in hatcheries the world over at 1-2 days old becasue males don’t lay eggs and are of no use to the egg industry. And egg laying, in and of itself and as an independent activity from the giving of life (procreation) is not natural in hens. In nature, they would lay seasonally and perhaps 12 eggs at most. They have been genetically manipulated to lay upwards of 300 eggs a year — this is wholly unnatural and a massive burden on their slight bodies and reproductive systems. Please leave eggs off your plate entirely, for your health and for the animals

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