One of our favorite sources of protein is eggs. You may have seen my recent recipe post for the world's easiest (and yummy!) veggie frittata, and I referenced this article. Here is the full story on eggs, courtesy of Kris Gunners for HealthLine.
'Many healthy foods have been unfairly demonized in the past, including coconut oil, cheese and unprocessed meat. But among the worst examples are the false claims about eggs, which are one of the healthiest foods on the planet.'
Eggs Do Not Cause Heart Disease
Historically, eggs have been considered unhealthy because they contain cholesterol. A large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is a lot compared to most other foods. However, many studies have shown that the dietary cholesterol in eggs does not adversely affect cholesterol levels in the blood. In fact, eggs raise your “good" HDL cholesterol and change your “bad” LDL cholesterol from small and dense to large, which is benign (1, 2, 3). One analysis of 17 studies on egg consumption and health discovered no connection between eggs and either heart disease or stroke in otherwise healthy people (4). What’s more, multiple other studies have led to the same conclusion (5).
SUMMARY: Despite incorrect assumptions about eggs in the past, eating them has no association with heart disease.
Eggs Are Rich in Unique Antioxidants
Eggs are particularly rich in the two antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants gather in the retina of the eye where they protect against harmful sunlight and reduce the risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts (6, 7, 8). In one study, supplementing with an average of 1.3 egg yolks per day for 4.5 weeks increased blood levels of lutein by 28–50% and zeaxanthin by 114–142% (9). If you want to learn about other foods that are good for your eye health, check out this article.
SUMMARY: Eggs contain large amounts of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which dramatically lower your risk of age-related eye disorders.
Eggs Are Among the Most Nutritious Foods on the Planet
Just think about it, one egg contains all the nutrients and building blocks required to grow a baby chicken. Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients.
A large egg contains (10):
- Only 77 calories, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids.
- Rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5 (among others).
- About 113 mg of choline, a very important nutrient for the brain.
If you decide to include eggs in your diet, make sure to eat omega-3-enriched or pastured eggs. They are much more nutritious. Make sure to eat the yolks, since they contain pretty much all the nutrients.
SUMMARY: Eggs contain all 9 essential amino acids, are highly concentrated with vitamins and minerals and are among the best sources of choline you can get. Omega-3-enriched or pastured eggs are the best.
Eggs Are Filling and Help You Lose Weight
Eggs score high on a scale called the satiety index, which means that eggs are particularly good at making you feel full and eat fewer overall calories (5). Also, they only contain trace amounts of carbohydrates, which means they will not raise your blood glucose levels. In a study in 30 overweight or obese women that ate either a bagel or eggs for breakfast, the egg group ended up eating less during lunch, the rest of the day and for the next 36 hours (11). In another study, overweight adults were calorie-restricted and given either two eggs (340 calories) or bagels for breakfast (12).
After eight weeks, the egg-eating group experienced the following:
- 61% greater reduction in BMI
- 65% more weight loss
- 34% greater reduction in waist circumference
- 16% greater reduction in body fat
This difference was significant even though both breakfasts contained the same number of calories. Put simply, eating eggs is an excellent weight loss strategy on a reduced-calorie diet.
SUMMARY: Eggs are a nutritious, protein-rich food with a strong impact on satiety. Studies show that eating eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight.
An Egg-Ceptional Superfood
Eggs are exceptionally nutritious, weight-loss friendly and high in antioxidants. If you need any more reasons to eat eggs, they are also cheap, go with almost any food and taste great. If any food deserves to be called a superfood, it’s eggs.'