Eggs: Healthy Or Not?

Our diets determine the level of energy and performance we have throughout the day. It is a common practice to start the day with eggs and a cup of coffee, but although this is considered standard practice, is it a good practice?

There is so much confusion regarding eggs; sometimes we hear news reporting the extreme benefits of eggs, then we hear new news claiming that they are bad for our health. 

Let’s look at the science to get some real answers.

Eggs and Cholesterol

Although research shows that cholesterol in and of itself is not a negative factor, in fact, it is essential to life since cell membranes need cholesterol for their structure and we need cholesterol for the secretion of hormones aldosterone, cortisol, and sex hormones testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, and also for vitamin D production.  

Cholesterol only causes problems if the levels in the blood are abnormal and if it is oxidized. Cholesterol gets oxidized through a diet rich in fried foods, vegetable oils, commercially baked goods, high levels of animal products and trans fats as well as cigarette smoking and a very sedentary lifestyle.

Oxidized cholesterol negatively affects arteries and connective tissue. 

Our body produces sufficient cholesterol for all of our needs in the liver and intestines. So we need little to no cholesterol from our diet, preferably no more than 300 mg per day.

One egg on its own contains approximately 186 grams of cholesterol, so if you consume two eggs a day, you have already passed your daily limit. 

If you consume one egg with any dairy products even low-fat yogurts or any meat products, you have reached or passed your daily limit, and that’s not counting any snacks of milk chocolate, toffee, cakes, puddings, pastries, pies, and biscuits, which are made from cholesterol-containing products.

People with diabetes should be especially careful not to consume products that are high in cholesterol, as well as people who have liver deficiencies, being that the body is less able to digest cholesterol in such illnesses.

Eggs and Lecithin

Lecithin found in high quantities in eggs (approximately 250 mg in a large egg yolk) is converted by intestinal bacteria to trimethylamine, which is in turn oxidized by the liver to trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which is a pro-atherosclerotic agent because it changes cholesterol metabolism and contributes to the accumulation of cholesterol within artery walls.[1] Therefore high levels of TMAO lead to an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. A meta-analysis found that an intake of four eggs per week could increase the risk for diabetes by 29% [2]. Raised TMAO levels have also been shown to increase a three-year risk for heart attack, stroke, and death. [3]

Eggs and Saturated Fat

Eggs are known to be high in saturated fats (1.6 grams per one large egg). This amount actually increases when eggs are cooked at high temperatures mainly in unhealthy vegetable oils such as canola oil. High saturated fat levels are a risk factor for diabetes as these fats, when in high amounts, enter our cells and stay there where they shouldn’t be, leading to insulin resistance. Insulin can then not lead to the influx of glucose into cells leaving the glucose in the bloodstream to cause decay of blood vessels leading to the detrimental effects of diabetes including severely damaged eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart tissue, and can cause sexual problems and also stroke.

Eggs and Traces of Veterinary Drugs

There is another troubling truth regarding eggs, and that is the possible presence of veterinary drugs and their residues. Hens which have been treated with pharmaceutical products may produce eggs that are contaminated as explicitly mentioned in one study. “Certain habits can also compromise health by being a source of exposure to environmental contaminants. Many of these potentially toxic pollutants are fat soluble, and thus, any fatty foods, including eggs, may often contain high levels of persistent organic pollutants [3] or dioxins, that are usually present even in free-range and organic eggs [4].”

As we can see, there is considerable scientific evidence which tells us of the harmful effects of consuming too many eggs. I would suggest limiting egg consumption to two eggs per week for most people, but people with diabetes or cancer should avoid eggs altogether.

The question is: are you ready to make a change to improve your health? A healthy body is vital to a well-balanced life. Thankfully, many alternatives can help reduce and eventually eliminate the harmful effects of an unhealthy diet. You can start today by caring for yourself in a way that will prolong your life and in so doing, you may continue to make a positive impact on those around you. To learn more about how to change your lifestyle and eating habits, check out The Guerrilla Diet Bootcamp program. 

Feel free to comment below and let me know what you liked best about this article.

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References

1. Wang Z., Klipfell E., Bennett B.J., Koeth R., Levison B.S., DuGar B., Feldstein A.E., Britt E.B., Fu X., Chung Y.M., et al. Gut flora metabolism of phosphatidylcholine promotes cardiovascular disease. Nature. 2011;472:57–63. doi: 10.1038/nature09922. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

2. Li Y., Zhou C., Zhou X., Li L. Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes: A meta-analysis. Atherosclerosis. 2013;229:524–530. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.04.003. available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23643053

3. Domingo J.L. Health risks of human exposure to chemical contaminants through egg consumption: A review. Food Res. Int. 2014;56:159–165. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2013.12.036. [Cross Ref]

4. Piskorska-Pliszczynska J., Mikolajczyk S., Warenik-Bany M., Maszewski S., Strucinski P. Soil as a source of dioxin contamination in eggs from free-range hens on a Polish farm. Sci. Total Environ. 2014;466–467:447–454. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.07.061. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

5. Tang WH, Wang Z, Fan Y, Levison B, Hazen JE, Donahue LM, et al. Prognostic Value of Elevated Levels of Intestinal Microbe-Generated Metabolite Trimethylamine-N-Oxide in Patients With Heart Failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(18):1908. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.02.617.

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