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Nutrition Articles  ›  Meals and Food

Eggs are Egg-cellent

Healthy or Not? We Crack the Case!

-- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
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Having fallen in and out of favor with nutrition experts, you’d think the fragile egg would be broken and beaten by now. Luckily, its ego isn’t nearly as vulnerable as its shell. Oblivious to the attempts to separate the egg from its well-deserved title of "best source of complete protein on the planet," the egg has managed to remain a nutritious, inexpensive, and popular food.

For awhile, nutrition experts hypothesized that the high cholesterol content of eggs raised blood cholesterol levels, which can increase a person's risk of heart disease. But this hypothesis was never proven. In fact, several studies have shown that the consumption of eggs is not associated with higher cholesterol levels but is associated with higher nutrient intake. 

In 2000, researchers set out to assess the nutritional significance of eggs in the American diet and to estimate the degree of association between egg consumption and cholesterol levels. Their straightforward results were published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition: Eggs make important nutritional contributions to the American diet and their consumption is not associated with high cholesterol levels. Specifically, the study showed that egg consumers had a higher intake of important nutrients like vitamins B12, A, E, and C than non-egg eaters, and that people who reported eating four or more eggs per week actually had significantly lower average cholesterol levels than those who reported eating zero to one eggs per week.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • There's a lot to love about the humble bumnut or cackleberry. It's natures fast food, cheap, full of vitamins and minerals and easy to cook. A 'googie' for breakfast can keep you going right up until lunch, they are as nature intended them to be ..... perfect!! - 4/5/2014 1:24:49 AM
  • My thirteen chickens and I all agree that eggs are amazing, and that people who refuse to eat the yolk don't know what they're missing.

    And of course you have to say to cook until the yolk is firm, but I love my yolk runny and delicious. - 4/1/2014 1:42:17 PM
  • I was told by a lady that sells eggs to wash them before cracking them as well. Never thought of it before but makes sense. - 4/1/2014 6:37:47 AM
  • "Cook eggs until yolks are firm." No. If I am frying an egg, the yolk will not be firm. No. Otherwise interesting information. - 3/27/2014 8:57:42 PM
  • GREENVALLEYS
    In some cultures the eggs are served any time of the day, for example growing up
    I always had fried eggs and french fries every evening with a good chunk of crusty bread.
    - 10/13/2013 8:55:04 PM
  • Waycat .... There are several reasons why eggs are refrigerated in USA and not uk. The most notable being that in UK hens are required to be vaccinated against salmonella, US has no such requirement, refrigeration hinders the bacteria growth, if present .

    - 10/13/2013 10:18:40 AM
  • BEKKIBOO969
    I eat 3 eggs every morning, that's 21 eggs per week. Sometimes I eat the whole egg, other days I may have 2 eggs and omit the yolk for the 3/rd egg. I feel great and have a busy lifestyle. - 10/13/2013 9:22:29 AM
  • I have to disagree with the recommendation to store eggs in the fridge. Here in the UK all supermarkets have their eggs out on shelves, not in the fridge - so what's the point in putting them in the fridge when you get home?
    They are so much easier to cook with at room temperature rather than chilled.

    And forgive me, but I just can not understand why some people have such an aversion to eating egg yolks, instead just option to eat the whites. I mean, an egg is the ultimate complete food - the yolk is tasty, full of nutrition and when you think that it nurtures a growing chick, it MUST be good for you!

    I think just eating the whites and discarding the yolks is a criminal waste of good food.

    - 10/13/2013 3:32:50 AM
  • I don't think eggs are mandatory. Here the thing, certain foods are not easily available in other countries which is why God naturally made various food available for each culture. The beauty of this day and age is that we can eat foods from other cultures. I'm sure the benefits from eggs can be found in other food. If food isn't poisonous I'm sure it;s free to eat. ( not tampered by humans) - 10/12/2013 4:24:06 PM
  • Interesting article - however, it does not say anything about eating egg whites only! Because of the high cholestral - we have switched to egg beaters and egg whites only. Is there a benefit? Also - by not eating the yoke - do we lose the vision benefit and other benefits of the yoke?

    - 10/12/2013 10:10:27 AM
  • Interesting article...
    I find it sort of interesting that it conflicts with the advice given via the SP nutrition tracker. If I had two eggs for breakfast I'd already be over the amount of dietary cholesterol recommended for my calorie range. When I do go over the range, the nutrition feedback cautions to be careful how much cholesterol you consume.

    If all the studies quoted in this article are true about dietary cholesterol not necessarily raising blood cholesterol, why is the nutrition tracker and feedback cautioning me? - 12/19/2012 8:06:11 AM
  • I love eggs and never really gave them up. Read 'The Fat Flush' by Ann Louise Gittleman and she wrote that the main reason the industry demonized eggs was to promote the cereal industry and I truly believe that to be true. Long live the egg. I usually eat and make Egglands Best eggs because of the higher Omega 3 content and lower Saturated fat due to the fact that the hens are fed an all-natural, all vegetarian diet with no animal fats or animal by-products, hormones or antibiotics. That sells me. - 12/8/2012 9:53:58 PM
  • See my beloved egg isn't so "evil" moderation and the way you prepare them is key. I eat usually hard boiled and pouched eggs. I feel like I have a tone of energy when I eat 2 eggs with my apple (sometimes other fruit) and some sort of granola either with yogurt or bar from. That has been the best combo for energy for me. - 9/19/2012 9:41:59 AM
  • Having raised chickens for eggs over the past 10 years, the information about eggs doesn't seem quite right. I don't know anything about the nutrient value but I can tell you from experience that the my free range hens are not vegetarian. Chickens are in fact naturally carnivorous because they love to eat insects, bugs, beetles, worms, moths, etc.

    Even being fed flax and organic feed my heirloom breed chickens naturally forage, far and wide. Crack open any egg from the store and put it next to our eggs and the color is obvious. Pale lemon compared to bright and shiny orange. And the test is rich and flavorful.

    I live down the road from a cage-free chicken farm. They truck the eggs from here in Wisconsin to California. Walk in the front door of the clean offices and the first thing that hits your nose is the horrendous smell. The cage free eggs are in giant rooms with skylights and are packed together like sardines in a can. No foraging happens there. I know a man who works there and he says they collect the dead birds every morning. I sell my eggs for between $2 and $4 dollars and people can't get enough of them. Real free range chickens produce tasty eggs. I cannot believe that they aren't more nutritious as well.
    - 8/4/2012 11:10:48 AM
  • ALLISON150
    Don't throw out that yolk! It has so much good stuff in it (such as choline).

    Dietary cholesterol DOES NOT EQUAL blood cholesterol! Eat a few eggs and don't feel guilty about it. Damn "nutritionists"..
    . - 5/17/2012 2:48:44 PM