Eggs are one of the most contested foods when it comes to their perceived benefits. On one hand, there are people arguing that they should be classified as superfoods and on the other hand, others say that the dangers far outweigh any perceived benefits. I suppose this is one of those that comes down to the individual.
Benefits of eggs
A whole egg contains all the nutrients required to turn it into a baby chicken. Those nutrients include Vitamin A, folate, vitamins B2, B5, B6, and B12. It also has phosphorus, selenium, protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, calcium, zinc, and choline. They also contain trace nutrients that are important for health.
Vitamin D aids in the development of bones.
Vitamin A plays a role in the development and maintenance of skin, soft tissue, teeth, and mucus membranes in the body. It’s also crucial for eye health.
Iron helps in the formation of haemoglobin in the red blood cells. It helps with the transport and delivery of oxygen to the cells in the body.
Excellent source of protein
Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. Protein helps the body build and maintain muscle. It also keeps the skin, hair, bones, and internal organs healthy. This is why they are so popular among bodybuilders.
High in cholesterol
Eggs are high in cholesterol, containing 212 mg of cholesterol which is more than half of the recommended daily intake of 300mg. However, this cholesterol does not necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood.
In fact, this high level of cholesterol may actually benefit the liver. The liver produces large amounts of cholesterol daily and so consuming high cholesterol means it doesn’t have to produce as much. Nevertheless, people’s bodies react differently. In 70% of people, eggs don’t raise cholesterol. They mildly raise total and LDL cholesterol in 30% of people.
HDL is also known as good cholesterol and is raised by eating eggs. High levels of HDL are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, and stroke. This makes them great for overall heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Filling and may add in weight loss
Research shows that they help people stay full for several hours after eating. Eating protein-rich foods can trigger the release of “fullness hormones”. This is a natural way of regulating appetite that may aid in weight loss.
Rich in choline
Eggs are among the best dietary sources of choline. Choline is a nutrient that many people don’t get enough of. It is used to build cell membranes and has a role in producing signaling molecules in the brain. Choline boosts cognitive development in utero and may also protect from age-related memory loss and other cognitive impairment.
Promotes eye health
Eggs are high in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which help protect eyes from macular degeneration which is age-related loss of vision. They are also rich in vitamin A, a deficiency of which is the most common cause of blindness in the world.
Dangers and side-effects
Egg allergies are among the most common especially in children. Symptoms include a mild rash, hives or stomach pain and in severe cases anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening reaction.
A 2021 study found that the addition of half an egg per day was associated with more deaths from heart disease and cancer. Eggs contribute to the growth of plaque blocking your arteries in the same way that smoking does.
One study found that yolk consumption accelerated the development of the deadly plaque that causes heart attacks and stroke. They are also linked to certain types of cancer such as colon, rectal, and prostate.
The dangers of the cholesterol in eggs are largely downplayed because much of that research is industry-funded. More than 85% of research regardless of funding sources showed that eggs have unfavorable effects on blood cholesterol. When it comes to industry-funded research, 49% reported conclusions that conflicted with actual study results compared with only 13% of non-industry-funded trials.
Eating them measurably increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Consuming one or more eggs per day may increase the risk of diabetes by 60%.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
The incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is soaring. The fat in eggs may directly harm the liver, contributing to cell death, inflammation, and eventually deadly liver cirrhosis. The high concentration of cholesterol may also directly harm your liver.
Eggs are good but you do need to be careful about how much you eat especially if you are watching your cholesterol. Proceed with caution?