I remember when I was a young boy it was a “scientifically proven fact” that a person shouldn’t eat more than 3 eggs in a week. To even think of such a thing would result in catastrophic heart failure & certain death. It makes sense seeing as eggs are delicious, versatile, cheap & convenient that there is a major drawback to eating them (the aforementioned certain death thing). However you have to remember that this was back in the days when people thought that eating fat would cause obesity, hypertension, malaria, AIDS, post natal depression, & bubonic plague.
I’d like to think that in 2012 the world has become a little more sensible in terms of what we perceive to be good & bad for us, yet the misconceptions still persist with eggs; every time I tell people how many eggs I eat in a week I’m greeted with the kind of looks that I imagine people get after they utter sentences like “The doctor said I have six months left.”
Well it’s my hope that after reading this blog you’ll be a little better educated on what role eggs should play in a healthy diet.
To begin we should have a look at what exactly the nutritional makeup of an egg is like, the following chart should give you a comprehensive run down of what we’re putting in our bodies:
Now are there any major red flags on display in the above? If you don’t know how to read labels then allow me to interpret that for you; NO!
The fact is that eggs are low in carbs, high in protein, high in fat. It’s a complete win in terms of your macronutrient requirements.
(if you’re confused about why high fat is good you should read my previous mythbusters blog here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/training-with-dean/fitness-mythbusters-1-fat/413602695377737 )
If we dig deeper than the “big three” of Protein, Carbs & Fats we see that eggs are full of vitamins & minerals that are essential to our body:
Choline: Extremely important for brain function & health, especially in the developing foetus.
Vitamin D: Eggs are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, a compound we need to either supplement or synthesize from natural sunlight, if you work indoors or it’s winter…or you just don’t like going outside then eggs are a must.
Omega 3: Free range eggs are a great source of omega 3, a fatty acid which is essential for healthy living.
Ok so we know that eggs are good from a macronutrient standpoint, but don’t they cause heart disease?
Any study that has concluded that eggs cause coronary heart disease has been terribly conducted. I’ve read the literature & it is littered with flaws such as not accounting for other factors such as the consumption of fructose, levels of stress, amount of exercise taken by the individual, levels of bodyfat, etc.
It is again a case of interpreting results to suit your bias, which is sad to see. (The famous case of Ancel Keys was touched upon in my previous mythbusters blog)
While we’re on the subject of studies, here are some interesting ones I’ve found which lead me to believe that eggs are something we should be including a lot more of in our diets.
- A 1999 Harvard School of Public Health study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined no link between egg consumption & CHD.
- A 2008 International Journal of Obesity study found that subjects who ate a breakfast of eggs instead of a breakfast of grains decreased body fat, which is a proven cause of CHD.
- My personal favourite: The below study, published in 2003 found that a diet high in saturated fats (yes, the so called “BAD” kind) & low in starch actually resulted in weight loss without any adverse effect on their blood lipids.
How can that be? We all thought that eggs were the enemy?!
Is it actually possible that eggs, a natural food that we have had in our diets for thousands of years could be good for us?
On the flip side, is it then possible that highly processed foods & useless starchy carbohydrates which are not natural to human beings could be doing us harm?
Is it possible that heart disease is not a result of eating eggs but instead a result of other terrible lifestyle choices such as becoming sedentary , becoming obese, having poor stress management, or smoking?!
“Nope, couldn’t be, it MUST be the eggs.” Said an absolute moron.
So going forward what should we be doing?
- Eat eggs, whole eggs.
Half of the protein of an egg is in the yolk, most of the actual nutrients are in the yolk, all of the good fats, good cholesterol, everything is in the yolk. That & the yolk is tasty.
- Don’t smoke.
- Don’t overdo it with carbohydrates
- Keep your body fat down.
- Keep your stress down.
I hope I’ve given you some food for thought.
As always, if you have any questions about the things discussed in this blog don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below, I shall do my best to answer them.
Until next time take care of yourselves,