By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
After getting a bad rap for the last 40 years or so, eggs are finally back on the menu!
Years and years of scientific research has concluded that there is no link between egg consumption and high cholesterol. Even the US Dietary Guidelines recommend eating eggs as a healthy, nutrient dense source of protein.
But some people are still afraid to eat them. And that’s a shame, because they are missing out on all of the health benefits that eggs offer.
The fact is, eggs can actually contribute to a healthier cholesterol profile. Moderate egg intake is associated with…
- Lower risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and other major cardiovascular events.
- Protection against endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness.
- Improved cholesterol profiles, including increases in HDL cholesterol, HDL particle size and LDL particle size. (Particle size is very important, because it’s the small LDL particles that tend to slip into your arteries and create blockages.)
How does it work?
Well it turns out that eggs can have a positive effect on certain metabolites in the blood. And people who eat eggs more regularly have higher levels of metabolites that protect against heart disease and lower levels of the harmful ones.
Plus moderate egg eaters have higher levels apolipoprotein A1 in their blood. This is a building block for HDL cholesterol and helps create more large HDL molecules. This makes it easier for the high-density lipoproteins to sweep up excess cholesterol and take it back to the liver to be excreted.
In addition to all of this good news, eggs are filled with nutrition.
Perfectly Encapsulated Nutrition
Eggs are a great source of muscle-building protein, brain-boosting choline, vision-saving lutein and zeaxanthin, and other vitamins and minerals that are necessary for overall health.
Personally, the only kind of eggs I buy are pastured eggs. They are, by far, the healthiest eggs you’ll find today. They have twice as much vitamin E and more than double the total amount of omega-3 than commercial eggs.
That’s because hens that produce these eggs actually live outdoors. They bask in the sun and freely dig through the grass and soil to find their preferred food sources… worms and insects. They aren’t fed soy or corn products.
When you crack open an egg from a pasture-raised hen, you’ll immediately see the difference. The yolk is huge and a very deep yellow/orange in color. That’s where all of the nutrition is.
Plus, the egg white is much thicker in pastured eggs. And there won’t be very much of that clear, runny stuff that you normally see in a commercially raised egg.
You might be tempted to reach for cage-free or free-range eggs. They sound just as healthy, right? But those terms are useless.
Cage-free simply means the hens don’t spend their lives in a cage. It doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands of them packed into a concrete enclosure without any outdoor access and chowing down on commercial feed.
Free-range can be just as bad. These hens have access to the outdoors, but there is nothing saying what that outdoor environment consists of, how much time the poultry spend there or what they’re eating.
So if you can’t find pastured eggs, your next best choice is organic. At least you know that the source hen ate an organic diet.
Boiled, Scrambled, Poached or Over Easy?
Most people don’t realize this, but if you break the yolks up while cooking, it oxidizes the cholesterol. So I like to keep my eggs intact when I cook them. Some of the easiest ways to do this is to prepare them over easy, over well, poached or hard-boiled/soft-boiled.
And by the way. There are a lot of ways to ruin the health benefits of eating an egg. This includes things like frying them in butter or bacon drippings, drenching them with creamy gravies and sauces or topping them off with a handful of cheese.
So go ahead and put eggs back on the menu! Just keep them healthy by cooking them up without all of the “extras.”
2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 9th Edition. US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture. December 2020.
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Ji N, Huang Z, Zhang X, et al. Association between egg consumption and arterial stiffness: a longitudinal study. Nutr J. 2021;20(1):67.
Blesso CN, Andersen CJ, Barona J, Volek JS, Fernandez ML. Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolism. 2013 Mar;62(3):400-10.
Pan L, Chen L, Lv J, Pang Y, Guo Y, Pei P, Du H, Yang L, Millwood IY, Walters RG, Chen Y, Gong W, Chen J, Yu C, Chen Z, Li L; China Kadoorie Biobank Collaborative Group. Association of egg consumption, metabolic markers, and risk of cardiovascular diseases: A nested case-control study. Elife. 2022 May 24;11:e72909.
How eating eggs can boost heart health. Elife. Press Release. 2022 May.
Réhault-Godbert S, Guyot N, Nys Y. The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health. Nutrients. 2019;11(3):684 Karsten H, Patterson P, Stout R, Crews G. Vitamins A, E and fatty acid composition of the eggs of caged hens and pastured hens. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 2010;25(1), 45-54.