Egg’s Effects on Your Health: The Positives and Negatives

pros and cons of eggs

It’s quite likely you have a carton of eggs in your refrigerator right now. It’s a popular breakfast option and overall a good inexpensive source of protein (particularly for vegetarians). However, eggs are among a few handfuls of foods that seem to always be a topic of discussion as their health benefits come with some cautions.

The Good

Harvard summaries egg benefits well when stating “[eggs are] relatively low in calories and saturated fat, and rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for the eyes, and choline, which is needed by nerves and the brain.”

For vegetarians, eggs can be a great source of B12, a vitamin that supports neurological functions like memory, decision-making, and balance. Because B12 is most prominent in animal meats, eggs are a great vegetarian alternative. With only the exception of fatty fish, eggs are also one of the best sources of vitamin D as well as a great source of protein.

The common rule of thumb you will find online is to eat (at most) 7 eggs per week. For many individuals that eat eggs sporadically rather than on a daily basis, staying under this quota is likely not a challenge. Recent studies have disproved old theories that you should restrict your egg consumption to 2 to 3 per week.

The Bad

The big problem usually associated with eggs: cholesterol. The amount of cholesterol in an egg rival that or a 6oz rib-eye steak. The Mayo Clinic reports that this cholesterol in eggs is different from that of the cholesterol found in trans fats and saturated fats. Because of this, egg’s impacts on our overall cholesterol levels are thought to be lower.

There are ways you can decrease these negatives by avoiding eating eggs fried in oil or butter. Egg whites contain no cholesterol but still contain protein – making them a great option as well.

Do Different Colored Eggs Have Varied Nutritional Values?

The most commonly available eggs are white, but somewhat larger brown eggs are also available at most grocery stores. While most people find these eggs to have different tastes, the truth is they do not have any noticeable differences when it comes to your health and cholesterol.

Like most things, moderation regarding how many eggs you eat is key. If you have a history of high cholesterol, speak to your provider about your egg consumption to see if it plays a role.