An egg a day may not need a doctor, but keeping track of the amount of eggs you eat and the way you prepare them is important to reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease minimize and reap the health benefits. One or two eggs a week combined with a balanced diet and physical activity can be a healthy choice.
Eggs are an important source of protein , vitamin B12 and other important nutrients. However, they are also high in cholesterol, which can raise concerns about their effects on heart health. How many eggs is safe to eat to reap the benefits and minimize the risk?
An old saying goes that "an egg a day doesn't need a doctor". In fact, recommendations have previously been made that it is safe to eat up to one egg a day. More recently, however, science has shown that this recommendation should perhaps be a little more cautious.
The cholesterol content of eggs
Eggs contain a large amount of cholesterol , especially in the yolk. Cholesterol is an important component of cell membranes and is also required for the production of hormones and bile acids. However, high blood cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially when combined with other risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity.
A large study from the USA has shown that people who eat one or more eggs a day have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who eat eggs less often or never. However, this association was not linear - risk did not increase proportionally with the number of eggs eaten. Instead, a critical point emerged at around six eggs a week.
The Benefits of Eggs
Despite the high cholesterol content of eggs, there are also many health benefits that they offer. Eggs are an excellent source of protein , which is needed for tissue repair and building. They are also high in vitamin B12 , which is important for red blood cell formation and nervous system health. Other important nutrients found in eggs include vitamin D , selenium, and choline.
Eggs can also help you lose weight and maintain muscle mass. A study showed that people who eat a breakfast with eggs instead of bagels lose more weight and retain more muscle mass.
How Many Eggs Are Safe to Eat?
Based on current scientific evidence, it appears safe to eat up to a limited number of eggs per week. The American Heart Association recommends that people with cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol should consume no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day, which is roughly the equivalent of one egg yolk.
It's important to note that the effects of eggs on heart health should not be viewed in isolation. Other factors such as the overall composition of the diet, physical activity and smoking also influence the risk of cardiovascular disease. It's also important to pay attention to the way you cook eggs, as adding unhealthy fats like butter or oil can increase the risk.