Eggs and eggs yolk in particular, are often seen as an unhealthy food that should be limited. However, eggs are extremely nutritious, which is why they are often called “nature’s multivitamin”.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the nutritional content of eggs.
Eggs are high in protein with a medium sized egg providing roughly 7g of protein. This is mainly found in the white of the egg.
Protein plays an important role in our bodies such as:
Keeping our body issues healthy, like our muscle, bones and skin
Functions within our immune system
Creating enzymes and certain hormones
Transporting nutrients around the body
Fats play an essential role in certain hormones, absorbing certain vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and creating cell membranes. For good heart health, we are advised to consume more unsaturated fats (examples include rapeseed oil, olive oil, unsalted nuts, seeds and avocado) than saturated fats (found in animal products such as butter, cream and full fat cheese)
Eggs contain a medium amount of fat and saturated fat, but more unsaturated than saturated fat overall. This is found in the egg yolk.
Eggs have a bad reputation when it comes to heart health and cholesterol levels. This is mainly due to the fact that eggs contain dietary cholesterol which was previously thought to be linked with increasing cholesterol levels in our body. However, the latest scientific research shows that this isn’t quite the case and saturated fat in the is the main dietary culprit when it comes to high cholesterol in the body. As mentioned above, eggs contain a low amount of saturated fats.
Therefore, there is no recommended egg limit for the general -population or for those with heart disease. The only exception to this is for those who have a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, those with this condition are usually advised to limit their egg intake to four per week.
For example, a recent large study found that moderate egg consumption (up to 1 egg per day) was not associated with a higher risk of heart disease, but interestingly, this was linked with a possible lower heart disease risk in the Asian population (1).
Vitamins and Minerals:
Eggs also contain a vast range of vitamins (Vitamin A, D) and B12 which plays a vital role in keeping our nervous system and blood cells healthy (including avoiding a certain type of anaemia)
Egg yolks are also a great source of manganese and Iodine which are important for nervous system health and for creating thyroid hormones and fertility.
The affordability and convenience of eggs should not be overlooked; particularly as they pack such a nutritional punch as well. Many people also find eggs to be filling and satisfying, which may be related to their protein and fat content.
As you can see, eggs contain a variety of important nutrients that support our health. Concerns about eggs significantly increasing cholesterol are out of date so unless you have familial hypercholesterolemia you don’t need to stick to a specific weekly egg limit. Eggs are also affordable, convenient and filling. All the more reasons to egg-cited about eggs!
1. Drouin-Chartier JP, Chen S, Li Y, Schwab AL, Stampfer MJ, Sacks FM, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hu FB, Bhupathiraju SN. Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: three large prospective US cohort studies, systematic review, and updated meta-analysis. BMJ. 2020 Mar 4;368:m513. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m513. PMID: 32132002; PMCID: PMC7190072.