The Scientific Verdict on the Healthfulness of Eggs

Photo: Stocksy/Nadine Greeff
Americans have long been confused about eggs, especially when it comes to heart health. Despite what nutrition experts have told us time and again about the nutrient-density of eggs, many still make a conscious effort to minimize egg consumption, fearing it will raise their cholesterol or hurt their heart health. But according to a scientific study from January of 2020, eating eggs for breakfast every day—yes, yolk included—could actually be best for long term health.

Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study looked at the egg intake of 177,000 people in 50 different countries to see how it affected overall health. Researchers found that people who ate seven or more eggs a week had better cardiovascular health and lower inflammation than those who ate less than one egg a week.

Experts In This Article

Here's what a registered dietitian has to say about nature's multivitamin:

Are eggs bad for you? Definitely not.

"Eggs are cheap, satiating, and easy to find, and they're an excellent source of high quality protein," says Tracey Lockwood Beckerman, RD. "Your body is able to fully absorb all the protein from the eggs to help lower blood pressure." They're also filled with good-for-you vitamins and minerals like choline, iron, vitamin D, vitamin A, and B vitamins, says Beckerman.

Here's what you get in a large, whole, raw egg, according to the USDA:

Calories: 70
Fat: 4.75 g
Protein: 6.28 g
Fiber: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 0.36 g
Sugar: 0.18 g

The American Heart Association also says regular consumption of eggs won't negatively impact heart health, noting to a published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that suggests eating up to 12 eggs a week for three months does not increase cardiovascular risk factors for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

And in addition to providing you with vitamin D (which can be difficult to get from foods), choline is another nutrient found in eggs that is worth calling out. This it because it's considered an essential nutrient, which means that although your body produces some of it, you have to eat foods that contain it to get enough. Choline is a key part of brain, liver, cellular, and heart health. Eggs provide 147 milligrams of choline per serving, which is roughly about a quarter of what's recommended for the entire day.

The point? Eggs can be included as part of a healthy diet for all. Instead of getting hung up on whether you should eat three a week or a dozen, the big takeaway is that they're linked to positive health benefits, not negative ones. And it's also important to note that the research highlighted here all involves eating the whole egg.

Are eggs bad for you? Consider the mystery cracked.

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