Eggs are one of the healthiest food sources, rich in protein and unique antioxidants that effectively improve countless health markers. In addition, they also have a large number of vitamins and minerals that support various body functions, from bone development to brain power. Despite frequent contradicting news reports, it is evident from studies that eggs support good health.
Like many protein sources, eggs help the body perform essential tasks. However, consuming eggs with different foods like processed meats or toast can be a poor dietary choice. Hence you should include eggs in a well-designed diet plan. Subscribing to HealthifyPRO 2.0 will help you to manage your calorie intake and guide you to consume nutrient-dense foods that will enhance your metabolic health.
The HealthifyMe Note
Discussions about nutrition often centre on macronutrients like proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. Also, they are crucial for healthy metabolic function. However, the most recent empirical studies support the idea that eating eggs alone is not bad for your heart or any other metabolic process. Overall, an ideal and custom-made egg meal in your daily diet will improve your healthy metabolism and holistic well-being.
Daily Diet Tips for Egg Consumption
Your nutritious breakfast should include eggs.
Compared to eating pancakes, syrup, juice, or sausage for breakfast, a hard-boiled egg on top of a healthy salad with fresh smoked salmon will have a very different nutrient profile. The best way to eat eggs should be as part of a low-glycemic meal. In addition, make sure you pair it with foods free of refined sugar and carbohydrates that could raise your insulin and blood sugar levels.
Pick your cooking medium carefully.
Frying eggs impact the meal’s nutritional value due to the oil quality. Therefore, opt for olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. You get them in natural forms. They undergo less chemical processing than other counterparts like heavily processed seed oils like canola or sunflower oils that contain harmful linoleic acids. If you choose to use ghee or butter try to limit the quantity and use the ones made from grass-fed cow milk.
Choose soft-boiled or poached.
According to several studies, boiling the egg whites but essentially keeping the yolk uncooked retains the maximum nutritional value. This technique also enables cooking to boost the protein’s bioavailability and destroy any hazardous microorganisms.
Purchase high-quality products.
Higher-quality, nutrient-dense eggs are from chickens kept on pastures, promoting more environmentally friendly agricultural methods.
The Contribution of Eggs to Metabolism
Egg yolks are one of the typical foods with the most significant dietary cholesterol level, with an average large egg containing 186 mg. Due to their high cholesterol content, the American Heart Association’s nutritional recommendations from the 1960s recommended people limit their consumption of eggs. However, more recent research consistently demonstrates that moderate egg consumption does not increase a person’s risk of weight gain or heart disease.
A study shows that cholesterol ratios, such as triglycerides-to-HDL, maybe a more accurate indicator of health risks than LDL cholesterol alone. Additionally, only 25% of the cholesterol level is related to nutrition; the liver and intestines produce the remaining 75%. Even though cholesterol is not a popular healthy option among most people, the body needs it to generate bile acids, vitamin D, testosterone, and oestrogen. It also helps to form cell membranes.
The 2015 revision of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services removed the earlier advice to restrict dietary cholesterol consumption to 300 mg daily. Instead, it included eggs in its list of suggested healthy meals. In other words, most individuals must not avoid eggs because of their cholesterol levels.
Macronutrients like carbs, lipids, and proteins, and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are crucial for proper metabolic health. Eggs are among the foods with the widest variety in vitamin content.
Vitamins are extraordinarily abundant in eggs. Except for vitamin C, every vitamin is present in eggs. However, they are distributed differently between the yolk and the white.
Eggs contain abundant amounts of vitamins A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, and B12. In addition, egg whites contain high concentrations of vitamin B in significant proportions. As per research, 10-30% of the daily required quantity of several of these vitamins is present in just two eggs. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are examples of fat-soluble nutrients.
Eggs are a rich source of phosphorus, calcium, and potassium, as well as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc. The proportion of selenium and iodine inside an egg is significantly impacted by what a hen consumes, just like liposoluble vitamins.
Eggs are the second-best source of choline, a water-soluble substance frequently linked to the B vitamin family. Approximately 27% of the daily required amount of the vitamin is present in one hard-boiled egg. Its structural integrity is necessary for all living cells. In addition, it is a source of methyl groups, essential for several cellular metabolism processes. Choline deficiency can lead to muscle and liver damage and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
A 2020 investigation into the possibility of a connection between eating eggs and diabetes suggests that choline may be at play. The researchers hypothesised that some problems might be due to an inflammatory reaction to the choline in egg yolks.
Most content in eggs is water (about 76%). Protein is the next most prevalent component. Eggs are the best source of high-quality proteins for humans after breast milk.
Protein makes up around 12.6% of an egg, and the yolk comprises roughly 5% more protein by weight than the white. The most prevalent protein in egg whites, which have over 150 proteins, is ovalbumin (54 % of the total).
A single big egg can offer up to 6.3 grams of the recommended daily amount of protein. It is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (roughly 56 g for a typical 70 kg (or 154 lb) human). Eating protein-rich meals like eggs helps individuals feel satiated for longer, in addition to maintenance of muscle strength and bone health.
Effects of Eggs on Metabolic Health
Cardiovascular Disease and Eggs
Eggs contain a lot of dietary cholesterol. As a result, debates around eggs and their link to heart disorders have been there for years. However, recent empirical studies support the notion that eating eggs alone is not harmful to heart health.
In a 2020 study, experts analyse the effects of egg consumption and total cholesterol intake on health among more than 37,000 Americans over 7.8 years. An earlier meta-analysis of 17 studies revealed a weak correlation between dietary cholesterol and total and LDL cholesterol. However, the current study found that those who consumed more dietary cholesterol also tended to consume more salt and saturated fat.
Research suggests that eating eggs was not connected to death from heart disease. In addition, the number of eggs a person ingested daily was not associated with high cholesterol. However, according to the corrected data, the relationship between consuming eggs and cardiovascular disease was no longer significant once the researchers considered total dietary cholesterol intake. It implies that nutritional factors other than daily egg consumption significantly impact the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.
Another meta-analysis on eggs and heart health from 2020 indicates that consuming more than one egg per day did not raise one’s risk of heart disease. Earlier studies suggest that eggs increase the absorption of carotenoids, a class of antioxidants found to lessen cardiovascular risk by decreasing heart rate and reducing inflammation. In addition, in previous research, a few chemicals found in eggs are likely to improve HDL cholesterol.
These studies imply that earlier research on eggs and cardiovascular health largely missed the mark. Eggs alone do not adversely influence cardiovascular health, but a Western diet heavy in packaged foods and dietary cholesterol does. Additionally, the Western diet’s high intake of sugar and carbs raises insulin levels, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Obesity and Eggs
There is not sufficient information on the relationship between eating eggs and obesity. However, one explanation might be that eggs are helpful for weight loss. It is due to their high protein content and relatively low-calorie count (when boiled, not fried).
Other Metabolic Disorders and Eggs
There is conflicting evidence about the metabolic changes due to eggs. Unfortunately, no reliable, high-quality research shows either an increase or decrease in the risk of developing diabetes. Moreover, no study has pinpointed a solid physiological explanation for its findings. Instead, a recurring theme suggests that these correlations may directly link to the examined population’s more varied diet.
Regarding the claim that eggs raise metabolic risk:
- According to a 2020 study based on a poll of Chinese citizens, people who consume one egg per day have a 60% higher chance of developing diabetes. It is in contrast to those who consume, on average, a quarter of an egg per day. To justify their claims that the choline in egg yolks may promote inflammation or that the hydrolysate of egg whites may interfere with glucose metabolism. However, they also point out that Chinese diets underwent significant change over the research period (1991–2009). It moved from a traditional diet high in grains and vegetables to one with extra meat, oil, and snacks. Still, those other study findings appear connected to this broader dietary context.
- A 2016 meta-analysis of research from around the globe found the highest correlation between egg consumption and an elevated risk of diabetes in the United States. The scientists stated that although there is no convincing scientific explanation for this connection, behaviours related to American egg consumption. For example, smoking, less physical exercise, and a higher red meat diet may help to explain the results partially.
Regarding the claim that eggs lower metabolic risk:
- Eating one egg per day significantly reduced insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese adults with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, according to a small randomised controlled experiment in humans in 2018. The scientists used earlier studies on the ability of eggs to ward off hunger to explain this conclusion. Hypothesising that those who consumed one egg daily and had reduced insulin sensitivity may have consumed less food overall. However, the researchers also observed that after 12 weeks, those who had one egg per day did not see appreciable changes in their overall or LDL cholesterol levels.
- Researchers from Denmark suggested in a study that observational studies associate excess egg consumption with increased disease risk. It considers high egg intake, dietary patterns, levels of physical activity, and heredity. They noted that individuals could consume one egg each day.
- It’s essential to be aware of potential biases, such as the funding source, as with many nutritional studies involving contentious issues. For example, in a 2017 analysis of randomised controlled trials, researchers found that eating 6 to 12 eggs per week had no adverse effects. It is in the context of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease in adults with hyperglycemia or diabetes.
- Potential metabolic effects are likely not a good enough excuse to stay away from eggs. The most important thing to consider is how eggs fit into your general dietary and lifestyle habits. Therefore, compared to eggs consumed as part of a healthy diet and active, non-smoking lifestyle, eggs consumed in the setting of a sedentary life, a diet heavy in processed foods, and smoking are likely to have negative repercussions.
The HealthifyMe Note
Eggs are the second-best source of choline, a water-soluble compound frequently associated with the B vitamin family. Water makes up most of the content in eggs, with protein coming in second. Because eggs have a high dietary cholesterol content, there has been conflicting information regarding eggs and heart disease for many years. However, boiling, scrambling eggs and adding colourful vegetables can give you an extremely nutritious dietary choice that keeps you satiated. As a result, eating eggs in the right way and quantity can help you lose weight in the long run.
Despite several conflicting views, eggs are one of the most versatile food sources that provide your body with much-needed nutrition and health. It is also straightforward to prepare, and you do not have to compromise on taste. But unfortunately, some researchers concluded that eating eggs is directly linked to cholesterol problems or heart disease. However, on the contrary, consuming eggs gives your body the essential nutrients required to perform various vital metabolic processes.
Eating eggs improve normal cell function, growth, and energy levels. Moreover, eggs also aid in weight loss. Also, eggs are rich in protein, which plays a significant role in metabolic health. The benefit of consuming eggs in your metabolic health depends on how many calories you consume daily and the type of deficit you plan by incorporating the right amount of exercise. Hence make sure to include eggs in your healthy diet, which will help you to feel fuller for longer and promote physical health. In addition, eggs are easily available. Even if you are not much into cooking, boiling or scrambling an egg is extremely easy. However, if you want to restrict calories, then try to include more egg whites and fewer yolks.