Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
28 Feb

Smart Fuel: Eggs

Remember in the movie Runaway Bride when Julia Roberts’ character could never decide how she liked her eggs? We say, don’t worry about it Ms. Roberts, with so many health benefits associated with the consumption of eggs, you should eat ’em however you can get ’em!

On the most superficial level, eggs are an excellent source of protein, providing 5.5 grams per 68 calorie serving and all 9 essential amino acids (all for less than 0.5 grams of carbs!)

Digging deeper, eggs are perhaps best known for supplying choline, an “unofficial” B vitamin that our bodies can only produce in limited quantities (often too limited for optimal health, with one study indicating that 90% of Americans are currently choline deficient. Among choline’s many benefits, it is considered a key component of fat-containing structures in cell membranes, particularly those associated with the brain, making them particularly important for fetal brain development as well as overall brain function and health.

In the mineral department, eggs are an excellent source of selenium, which is thought to prevent cancer, particularly tumors affecting the prostate (although researchers are currently going back and forth on this one!) Eggs are also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two types of carotenoids important for eye health (with several studies indicating that these compounds may prevent macular degeneration as well as reduce the risk of developing cataracts). Additionally, eggs are thought to be one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D, providing roughly 10% of the recommended daily intake per serving.

Still need convincing? A 2005 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that eggs keep hunger at bay longer than bagels (or “dietary disasters” as they should be renamed!). In addition, eggs’ high sulfur content and wide variety of vitamins and minerals can promote healthy hair – and may even speed up growth rate in those with such deficiencies – as well as help nails grow.

And now to address the bad press. In recent years, eggs have come under considerable fire for their high cholesterol content, with many suggesting that they could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, a 1999 Harvard School of Public Health study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined no such link and even went as far to say that regular egg consumption may actually prevent blood clots, stroke and heart attack. Not bad, eh?

So, there you have it. Eggs really are egg-ceptional. Some might even consider them egg-cellent and still others would even go as far to call them eggs-quisite (ok, we promise we’ll stop now!)

sir chalky Flickr Photo (CC)

Drop us a line with your favorite egg dish!

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to Cholesterol

Duck Eggs

Best Brain Foods (hint: eggs are one of them)

Conditioning Research: Make Sure You Have Eggs in Your Low Carb Diet!

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Gyday People;

    Ive been eating 10-12 eggs a day …i have really noticed my skin has cleared up…

    Could be anecdotle….but i also have very shiny hair.

    I just enjoy the simplicity of eggs.

    Any eggs….im not an egg snob.

    Dont be scared of eggs…..

    They are Eggcellent!

    bob redford wrote on July 14th, 2011
    • 10-12 a day… everyday, for… a few weeks? where do you get your eggs, just wondering?

      lauren wrote on March 9th, 2012
  2. Is there such thing as too many eggs in one day? Yesterday, I had 9….There are several of us living this way and I think this is a question for each of us.

    Meridith wrote on July 29th, 2011
  3. Eating more than 2 yolk egg a day are very bad, because this part of the egg have high cholesterol, saturated fat and damage the liver. The liver size increase, this can be dangerous.
    Keep in the zone: 2 egg a day, no more.

    There are people, like vegans, that consider eating eggs is a theft because the eggs have been stolen from the chicken.
    I Don’t care about this theft because it is for eat. God know that.

    muhamed wrote on August 7th, 2011
    • quoting from the above article:
      And now to address the bad press. In recent years, eggs have come under considerable fire for their high cholesterol content, with many suggesting that they could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, a 1999 Harvard School of Public Health study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined no such link and even went as far to say that regular egg consumption may actually prevent blood clots, stroke and heart attack. Not bad, eh?

      moonablaze wrote on August 7th, 2011
      • Did you actually read the article though?

        Quote – “Conclusions: These findings suggest that consumption of up to 1 egg per day is unlikely to have substantial overall impact on the risk of CHD or stroke among healthy men and women. The apparent increased risk of CHD associated with higher egg consumption among diabetic participants warrants further research.”

        There is nothing in that study that says eating 4+ eggs/day (which I am at the moment) doesn’t have a negative effect. I’m actually surprised they referred to it. Definitely needs more research…

        Scott wrote on July 31st, 2014
    • Any other ridiculous and unfounded religious assertions you’d like to share?

      Farmer Pat wrote on March 28th, 2012
  4. dont the whites have some anti nutrients/inflammatory properties?

    Max wrote on December 19th, 2011
    • We might

      Aaron wrote on January 6th, 2013
      • At medical school (KCLMS first year) we’re taught that eating raw egg whites can cause Iron deficiencies due to ovotransferrin, and reduce the availability of Biotin due to the protein Avadin. I’m not sure if the whites have effects on any other nutrients.

        Rory wrote on April 2nd, 2013
  5. Back in high school in the early 70’s my some of my friends called me Crow which was short for Cro-Magnon Man.

    Crow wrote on December 24th, 2011
  6. is there a limit to how many eggs you should eat, per week, or even day?

    is one a day, consistently too many?
    or what about 2 a day every now and then, or even three? (rare, but i had a big egg and butter omelet tonight… yum)

    lauren wrote on March 9th, 2012
  7. I eat 3-4 eggs per day because I am addicted to them. Seriously, I may be deficient because when it comes to preparing meals, I can’t stop thinking about more eggs!

    I need to look into finding farm fresh eggs! ….Or having my own chickens (yea right!! me?! No way)

    Danni wrote on April 16th, 2012
  8. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the great website. I am a farmer and supply my own eggs. I am 100% primal and find myself eating an insane amount of eggs per day. The other day I ate 9!!!! My husband is concerned that I may see some health effects if I continue to eat so many eggs per day. I typically eat at least 5. What are your thoughts about how many eggs per day is beneficial? Thanks, Rebecca

    Rebecca Ulizio wrote on April 19th, 2012
  9. i sure wish someone would address this question…i’m wondering if eggs should be limited to a degree, also…

    kacy wrote on May 6th, 2012
  10. I am concerned about the Omega 6 content of eggs. Is that warranted? I do eat organic eggs, sometimes even the Omega-3 fortified ones. But still it feels like too much Omega 6.

    Cristina wrote on May 26th, 2012
  11. Dr. Mercola has some suggestions:

    Don’t eat eggs every day
    Adults could eat a dozen a week
    http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/beginner_proteins.htm

    He also seems to think that breaking, and cooking the yolk is less optimal.
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/02/09/raw-eggs.aspx

    Bran wrote on August 1st, 2012
    • Especially if one is attempting to get salmonella!

      Richard wrote on April 5th, 2013
  12. My 2yo is allergic to egg whites. Can I still feed him the yolks? Or should I be worried about the minuscule amount of white that comes along with it?

    Msoares wrote on August 15th, 2012
  13. Any of you that eat all those eggs ever get your arteries scanned to see how clogged they are?

    Lastest studies in 2012 indicate that eggs are almost at bad as smoking for your arteries…

    Richard wrote on January 10th, 2013
  14. Richard, you clearly haven’t been reading this site long. The study (singular) commonly used to support that assertion was a correlation study with a few flaws to say the least. Check out Mark’s views on this:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/are-eggs-really-as-bad-for-your-arteries-as-cigarettes/#axzz2Ha8MatMz

    Dan wrote on January 10th, 2013
  15. Richard: There’s a new ‘study’ almost every year, and most of them contradict each other. Eggs are good. Eggs are bad. Et cetera. All I know is, I eat eggs on a near daily basis and have been for years. At my last physical, my doc said my bad cholesterol (LDL) was the lowest he has seen in some years. He said, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” Who knows, maybe I’m some kind of anomaly. Of course, exercise helps. Maybe the people in the study were couch potatoes who would have clogged arteries no matter what they ate.

    Brandon wrote on January 10th, 2013
    • Thanks for bringing up exercise! If you’re super active (I do CrossFit, run, and salsa dance!) I don’t think we need to worry too much. Started eating paleo a couple months ago and have never looked back. Also try to eat most of my veggies raw. My energy is through the roof! Wish I’d learned sooner! ^_^

      Simone wrote on February 26th, 2013
      • Dr Fix who ran the 26 mile marathon and trained for it on an almost daily basis had clogged arteries and died at a young age with heart disease.

        Exercise is important for many reasons but relative to keeping arteries free of calcium buildup the level of cholesterol is a deceiving statistic.

        Despite all the comments here to the contrary, it is not known at this time if eggs add to arteries getting clogged or not…What is needed is a valid 40 year study for conclusive evidence and who is going to pay for that?

        Richard wrote on April 2nd, 2013
  16. The comments are generally a lot of BS with no facts. So you all like eggs and are still living.
    I made a reasonable comment yesterday asking about the results of artery scans.
    I do not care how much you like eggs or how much Mark says about the last study. Fact is we have been talking about eggs for 40 years but there is no definitive study.
    I am not asking about results of your blood test and HDL/LDL. I am only interested in what eggs do to the arteries, if anything. Eggs are high in K2 and could actually help to rid the arteries of calcium putting it in the bones where it belongs
    I am not interested in your opinions, only facts.

    Richard wrote on January 10th, 2013
    • +1

      rachel wrote on April 5th, 2013
  17. I can’t believe how many people can eat eggs. I would not consider them paleo because of:

    Anti-nutritive properties of (especially) raw egg whites, because believe it or not Eggs are SEEDS and are NOT MEAT TO BE EATEN

    High lecihtin contents, which if you remember, lecihtin effects lecihtin.

    Also, lecihtins can bind to the gut walls and cause misaligned micro-flora which can lead to inflammation and terrible constipation. Dairy contains lecihtins with similar properties (so not only is casein and lactose bad for you, so are the lecihtins!) Isn’t that one of the primary fundamentals of the lifestyle, healthy gut?

    So many people i have read on this blog had problems with IBS, i wonder how many people have been kidding themselves so they can fit in with the rest on this forum and suffer terrible intestinal afflictions in the name of “repairing and healing their gut though a proactively healthful diet”.

    I, being egg free for 1 year as of last month, tried eating two, completely separated from the whites, fresh, homegrown, grain-free chicken yolk and a duck egg yolk.

    This morning, I was, excuse the inappropriateness, defecating in the shape of thin pasta noodles because my insides were so inflamed. Then, finally a while later, i had a loose movement as a way of my body washing itself out.

    For those out there who are suffering serious or even minor constipation or other IBS symptoms like diarrhea, do not stop exhausting all your options, but if you are 100% Paleo, please try omitting eggs at least for a week. (Nuts and Under-ripe fruit contain high levels of lecihtins also, that can bind to the gut)

    I know you all appreciate what mark has done by providing information all bundled up in a nice easily assimilated package, but there are LOTS of topics he fails to address, and I think instead of talking about how to prioritize a family schedule or reconnect with nature in the winter, (first examples i could think of), things that are fun to read, but not that education, he should be focusing on crucial topics that effect a lot of people every day, know and unknown. I feel like a 5th grader retaking the 4th grade sometimes…Sorry to be realistic instead of idealistic of Mark

    Also, Am I jealous that I can’t eat eggs once in a while? YOU BET I AM, but I just hope someone can read this and say “hey! that’s me! I never even thought of that!”

    rachel wrote on April 4th, 2013
    • I meant “lecihtin effects Leptin”

      rachel wrote on April 6th, 2013
  18. I love this site and I love eggs. I eat 2-3 hardboiled eggs every other day but I wanted to see if it would be good to eat everyday. I typically rotate either 3 hard boiled eggs or a can of tua for the extra protein due to my hectic work/workout schedule. Thanks again Mark for being a shining light in a sea of nurtitional darkness.

    Matt wrote on May 28th, 2013
  19. I probably eat WAY TOO MANY eggs, on average 3-4 eggs/day about 5-6 days/week. I exercise 4-5 days/week. I am wondering if that many eggs are bad for me?

    Fulia wrote on June 17th, 2014
    • I eat two medium to small eggs a month and wonder if that is too many. I believe if you do some research on animal protein that you will start thinking you are consuming too many eggs on a daily basis.

      Richard wrote on June 17th, 2014

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