A question I am asked very frequently is “Are eggs really that bad?”.
My answer: No!
Ugh, I feel so bad that eggs have such a bad rap. Because they don’t deserve it – those awesome little nutrition packed powerhouses.
A large egg has about 70 calories, and for those 70 calories you’re getting about 13 essential nutrients, 6 g of protein, and 185 mg cholesterol and 1.5 g of saturated fat. The cholesterol is where the “issue” comes in.
Wayyyyy wayyy back in the day it was thought (and recommendations were made on this) that dietary cholesterol is what has the largest impact on our heart health and cholesterol levels.
This has been disproved many many times over. Our intake of saturated (and these aren’t even that bad in moderation – our body at least knows what to do with saturated fats) and trans fats, and crappy highly processed/refined carbohydrates are essentially a crap shoot for our heart and lipid (cholesterol) levels.
So guess what?! Eggs get the support of this RD. Eggs are considered to be the highest quality of protein due to their very broad spectrum of amino acids. Because of this eggs are actually the benchmark used for examining and comparing the quality of a food’s protein level/value. And because of this – eggs have a potent “satiety” factor – meaning they help us feel fuller a bit longer. When I counsel clients I typically recommend adding an egg into a carb heavy breakfast. ADDITIONALLY something else I see quite a bit in practice IS the “carb heavy breakfast”: cereal, juice, coffee, fruit, and a common complaint I hear that accompanies this breakfast by my clients is the need for a mid morning snack. Hence the circle back to my recommendation for an inclusion of a breakfast protein – the egg.
Considering I am running about 130-150 miles per month I need, and make a point of getting an adequate amount of protein to help my body and tissues rebuilding and repair. Eggs are a really good go to for me, personally, because sometimes after a run I can’t sit down and eat “meat” but I can scramble some eggs with some vegetables. I’m also a big fan of a “one pot meal”, and eggs are great medium for this because it is so easy to get some eggs beaten, and cooking, and just add more vegetables.
Another question I’m asked a lot about is “free range vs cage free vs organic”, as of right now there is not enough evidence to substantiate any of these ways being MORE NUTRITIOUS than conventional eggs. These terms are making reference to the environment the hen lived in and/or the type of grain/feed she was exposed to.
BUT if you’re REALLYYYYY that worried about your cholesterol, then limit your intake to one whole egg per day. But seriously – and this is an entire other blog post – there are so many other things you can be limiting and subtracting in your diet other than eggs. So go on. By those eggs.