For many thousands of years, humans have enjoyed eggs, probably one of nature’s most convenient and nutritious foods. Many feel that eggs are one of nature’s perfect foods as they are one of the few foods containing all the essential amino acids. With these, our bodies can make whatever non-essential proteins they need.
Eggs are relatively low in calories and contain many other healthy nutrients, including vitamins B12, C, D, E, and K, as well as the minerals iron and zinc. They’re also a rich source of choline, important for brain functioning in particular but actually essential for the functioning of all cells. They are also a rich source methionine, which is important for detoxification function and the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are helpful for eye function.
In spite of the egg’s reputation for increasing cholesterol–one of the most common medical myths–research has shown that humans do not increase blood cholesterol levels by eating cholesterol. Yes, you read correctly there is little or no connection between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.
We increase cholesterol by eating refined processed flour, sugars and fats. When you eat refined and processed grains, sugar or drink soda or juice, these are converted into sugar and then your liver converts them into fat, including cholesterol. So your liver makes most of your cholesterol.
What types of eggs are best? The content of the egg is dependant on what was in the chicken that laid it. Mass produced eggs from caged hens eating processed grains treated with antibiotics and pesticides will produce eggs with a completely different composition of fatty acids than free range chickens eating organic feed. These are two different foods. Choose organic, free range, preferably heirloom eggs.
A Caveat: I have observed over the years that some people develop an allergy or sensitivity to eggs if they eat them daily or very frequently. In fact a new study supports consuming eggs in moderation after finding no evidence that eggs increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (1).
1) Djoussé L, Gaziano JM. Egg consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease and mortality: the Physicians’ Health Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 4, 964-969, April 2008.