Photo Credit: by @CANPharmaWorld
If you eat eggs every day for breakfast (or maybe lunch or dinner), you might be onto something. For a time, many people thought that eggs were bad for you. That’s because eggs contain cholesterol, and bad cholesterol is linked to heart disease and other issues.
But there were recent changes to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and we’re embracing a new lease on life (and eggs). As the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health puts it, “Long vilified for their high cholesterol content by well-meaning doctors and scientists researching heart disease, eggs now seem to be making a bit of a comeback. So what changed?”
Eating two eggs a day might be able to keep the doctors away. How, you ask? We’ll discuss it all in this article. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of eating two eggs a day.
Is eating two eggs good for you?
Americans’ views on eggs have shifted in recent years. For a long time, diet culture shied away from eggs, especially egg yolks, opting instead for foods like egg white omelets, if they consumed eggs at all. But perspectives are changing.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states: “All vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, eggs, beans and peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and lean meats and poultry—when prepared with little or no added solid fats, sugars, refined starches, and sodium—are nutrient dense foods.”
As Livestrong puts it, “recent changes in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have shown that the healthy fats in eggs are unlikely to cause illness. Like all foods, eggs should be consumed in moderation. Eating two eggs a day can be a healthy choice, as long as you’re watching your overall calorie, fat and protein intake.”
And as the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health explains it, “While it’s true that just one large egg yolk has 200 mg of cholesterol—making it one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol—eggs also contain additional nutrients that may help lower the risk for heart disease. In addition, the moderate amount of fat in an egg, about 5 grams, is mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. It’s also crucial to distinguish between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol in the blood, which are only weakly related.”
In other words, two eggs a day can be a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet. Yes, eggs do contain cholesterol, but a moderate amount is okay, especially since eggs have other redeeming qualities.
Some people, such as those with a history of heart disease or other conditions, may want to opt for only eating one egg per day. If you are taking cholesterol medications, you should consult with a health care professional. For anyone, it’s best to discuss your dietary thoughts and choices with your doctor.
Various health benefits of eating 2-3 eggs
Eggs are extremely rich in nutrients. They can boost good cholesterol, nourish your heart, help ward off prostate cancer, assist in weight loss efforts, and help people be healthier and live longer overall. Eggs are also a good source of protein, choline, cholesterol, biotin, vitamin B7, vitamin A, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
In addition, eggs can be especially beneficial to women’s health, as they’re a great source of iron, especially during pregnancy, and can help nourish women’s skin, nails, and eyes.
Livestrong adds, “Eggs have vitamin A, several B-complex vitamins, vitamin D and vitamin E. Eggs also contain calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc. On top of all those vitamins and minerals, eggs have other beneficial nutrients, like protein. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin — nutrients that can help keep your eyes healthy — and healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids. These healthy fatty acids are similar to the ones in fatty fish and other omega-3 rich foods.”
It’s no wonder that we are starting to see eggs once again presented as a health food! They are small but mighty, packing a powerful nutritious punch.
How many eggs should you eat per day?
Now that you know all about the health benefits of eggs, you may be wondering how many you should eat per day. Is one enough? Is two too many? The answer may depend on you and your unique health situation.
Did you know that the American Heart Association recommends eating one egg per day as part of a healthy diet? Livestrong adds, “An egg a day may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. However, eating more than one egg a day hasn’t been shown to be harmful for most people. A 2018 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that consumption of up to 12 eggs per week won’t have negative effects on your health — at least not over just a few months.”
Those who struggle with keeping their cholesterol levels healthy and in check should discuss with their doctor the best practices around eating eggs. And if you already have had certain health conditions or other risk factors such as heart disease or diabetes, you may want to limit your egg intake. But for everyone else, eating two eggs a day shouldn’t be a problem, as long as they are part of an overall balanced diet.
How to choose the healthiest eggs to eat
Did you know that while chicken eggs are the most common type of eggs we eat, there are actually many varieties of egg eaten all around the world? The other most common eggs that people consume are duck and quail eggs.
And even if you narrow down your search to just chicken eggs, you should be aware that there are many varieties of eggs sold in grocery stores these days. There are farm-fresh eggs that come from your local farmer’s market, of course, but there are also free-range, pasture-raised, cage-free, and caged eggs.
In the same way that a mother’s diet will affect the health of her baby, a hen’s diet and lifestyle can affect the health of its eggs. (It can also determine the color of the yolk and eggshell!) And believe it or not, how the hens live makes a big difference in the taste, quality, and nutritional value of the eggs they produce.
That’s why pasture-raised eggs can be better for not only the chickens, but the humans who eat the eggs they lay. Eggs raised in a pasture instead of a cage have room to roam. They live happier lives, get more exercise and sunshine, and don’t spend all day cramped uncomfortably in a cage, catching diseases from other chickens.
WellBe explains, “Pasture-raised eggs (sometimes referred to as pastured eggs) are the healthiest eggs to buy, no question. Pasture-raised means that the hens are free to roam and graze freely in a large open pasture. … This good treatment translates to the healthiest eggs by far: pasture-raised eggs have double the omega-3 fatty acids, nearly twice the vitamin E, and a 38% higher vitamin A concentration than eggs from caged hens.”
Sure, pasture-raised eggs might be more expensive, but you’re getting a whole lot more bang for your buck with all those nutrients! Pasture-raised eggs are eggs you can feel good about. Buying organic eggs (as with all organic foods) is also a healthier choice.
How to cook delicious healthy eggs: Recipe for Egg Delight Frittata
One of the best things about eggs is how versatile they are. You can do so many different things with eggs, from frying them up to scrambling them to folding them over sauteed veggies to make a delicious omelet. You can even hard-boil eggs and add them as a fun treat to any salad.
Of course, you can also bake and cook with eggs, as they’re a very important ingredient in many other delicious dishes, even where they are not the main event!
But if you want to make a dish that really lets the eggs shine, you should make this Egg Delight Frittata. It’s a great way to use up a lot of eggs, feed a lot of people in a hurry, and make everyone happy with their choices.
The best part about this recipe (other than how easy it is) is that you can doctor it up however you like! This recipe is completely customizable to your tastes and preferences.
Egg Delight Frittata
* 12 eggs
* ½ cup shredded cheese of your choice
* ½ cup vegetables of your choice (shredded or chopped)
* ¼ cup meat of your choice (cut into very small pieces)
* Salt and pepper to taste
1. Crack all 12 eggs into a large bowl and mix well.
2. Stir in the other ingredients one at a time, starting with the cheese.
3. Add some milk or cream if you prefer a thinner, creamier consistency.
4. Pour everything into a large glass baking dish (should be 1 to 2 inches thick) and bake at 375F for about 20 minutes, or until the center feels firm and springy.
5. Remove from oven, serve, and enjoy! Top with fresh herbs and cracked pepper to finish off the presentation.
Create whatever combination you like. You can also customize how much cheese, veggies, and meat you add depending on if you’re a meat lover or veggie lover, or maybe even a vegetarian.
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