“How many eggs can I eat every day?” | All relevant nutritional facts

 

Egg, loaded with nutrients, with a meager amount of calories.

1 egg = 6 grams of good quality animal protein plus 13 essential vitamins and minerals with just 73 calories.

Eggs have become very popular in our everyday diet, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just simple snacking, they are there. And we Indians just relish these egg dishes (omelet, bhurji, half fry, poached egg, egg sandwich, etc.).

Even the Indian Government and celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar have been promoting eggs for a very long time now ( remember the famous jingle “Sunday ho ya Monday..Roz Khao Ande”).

 

Still some articles portray eggs as an unhealthy food option and have linked eggs to heart diseases and brain stroke. But on the contrary, in a study which was published in the HEART JOURNAL, egg consumption decreases the risk of death from heart diseases and bleeding stroke (And mind that this study was conducted in HALF A MILLION people) (Source) 

 

In India (as the majority avoid non-vegetarian food except eggs) where a significant population cannot fulfill their daily protein requirement (which is 0.8 gm per kg per day i.e. 48 gm protein required for a 60 kg man every day (source), eggs can become a dietary blessing.

 

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Therefore, keeping the above facts in mind, we have decided to bust some of the nutritional myths about eggs. Through this blog we will give the exact answer to your question “How many eggs can eat in a day”, supported by some scientific facts. Also in this blog, you will get to know useful nutritional facts related to eggs, the role of cholesterol in the human body, and how many eggs are too many for you!!

How nutritious are eggs?

An egg is a cheap and easily available source of high quality, easily digestible animal protein. And for us Indians (whose diet is mostly deprived of proteins), it can be a good option to supplement animal protein.

Also, there are 13 essential vitamins and minerals present in one single medium-sized egg (source).

These particular vitamins help increase your hemoglobin levels (folic acid, Vit. B12), improving your eyesight (Vit. A, lutein, zeaxanthin), keeping your bones and joints healthy (Vit. D), and sharpening your memory (Vit. E, choline).

 

Eggs are also a good source of antioxidants (lutein, zeaxanthin, selenium) (source). Antioxidants help in improving immunity levels and decrease age-related body changes( reduce greying of hair and skin wrinkling).

 

Eggs also help in weight loss and reduce blood sugar level spikes in diabetic patients because of a low glycemic index. Eggs also increase satiety and therefore reduce calorie intake. This further helps in weight loss and improving blood sugar levels. (source)

 

So basically you will live long and live healthy if you eat eggs.

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Why this controversy? To eat or not to eat eggs.

The controversy around the egg is basically because of its yolk part. Egg yolk because of its cholesterol and saturated fat content has been linked with heart diseases and other metabolic disorders. So in earlier recommendations eggs were not considered healthy.

But these recommendations have changed with time. Even the American Heart Association has recommended egg consumption (source)

 

So why did this change happen?

This is because the concepts around cholesterol have changed.

Cholesterol is a very important type of fat and is essential for (source) :

 

  • Production of hormones (Testosterone, Oestrogens, Active form of Vitamin D3)
  • Brain and neurons development
  • Development of the membrane of almost every cell

 

So basically cholesterol is necessary for the healthy functioning of your body and you cannot avoid it in your diet.

And this cholesterol is made available either through diet or your body produces it (the liver has been given the responsibility for cholesterol production). So if the dietary cholesterol levels increase the liver decreases its cholesterol production maintaining steady blood cholesterol levels.

The dietary Recommendation of cholesterol is 300 milligram per day.

And that’s why you don’t need to avoid eggs in your diet.

How many eggs can you eat every day?

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Before revealing the exact answer, let us tell you some important facts related to egg consumption.

Firstly, always remember that the whole diet you take in a day has much more significance on your health than the number of eggs, like trans fats, saturated fats and refined sugar are the biggest culprits leading to poor health (i.e. stay away from samosas, kachoris, vadas, cakes, biscuits and all other fried and junk food).

 

Secondly, the quality of the eggs you eat is also important. Eggs obtained from hens living in open farms are better than eggs obtained from hens which are caged.

Also, the poor feeds and antibiotics which are sometimes given to poultry can deteriorate the quality of the eggs.

Thirdly, how you store your eggs and how you cook them affects your health. Eggs kept in refrigerators have fewer chances of getting infected then eggs kept in open

To get full benefits of eggs, cook them in a healthy way (boiled eggs are the best). Also, avoid fried egg dishes. Avoid using animal fat (butter, ghee) while cooking eggs, instead use heart-healthy oils. You should include vegetables, fruits alongside eggs in your diet.  

2 boiled eggs, 2 slices of brown bread, a bowl of veggies/fruits, and a glass of milk can be a good healthy option for breakfast

Fourthly, the level of your physical activity also decides your calorie intake. An active sportsperson can digest and lose calories much more easily than a sedentary student.

Maintain a schedule of high-intensity workout for at least 30 minutes every day.

So now after explaining to you the whole story, let’s finally come to the question for which you came to our blog “how many eggs can you eat every day?”

The recommendation of the American Heart Association says 1 whole egg or 2 egg whites can be consumed every day (source)

According to the studies published on PubMed (a reputed database of medical research articles), you can consume 3 eggs in a day safely.

These studies found the following results in the study groups who consumed 3 eggs per day in their diet :

  • Levels of good cholesterol (HDL) were raised. 
  • Levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) remained the same.
  • Antioxidant levels went up which is good.

 

From the above data, we can interpret that 1-3 eggs will do lots of good for your health.  

But keep in mind, poor health does not depend on egg consumption, various other factors like physical activity, genetics, your cooking style, your dietary pattern..basically your whole lifestyle affects your health. Also, some people are sensitive to eggs and their body fat profile can get significantly deranged by eating eggs. 

So get your fat/lipid profile checked routinely and stop your intake if you notice any health issue associated with eggs. 

 

In diabetic patients and patients with high cholesterol, it is recommended to have less than 7 eggs per week, because diabetics are at an increased risk of heart diseases (source).

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How many eggs are harmful to your health?

 

A study has reported an 88-year-old man who had 25 eggs every day. He had no increase in cholesterol level and he maintained good health (source).

By this example again convey the fact it’s your body response, your overall diet, your everyday physical activity that matters, and not the number of eggs.

 

Still, we could not find any study which recommended more than 3 eggs per day. 

 

In the end, to summarise we would say “Eggs have an excellent nutrient value if taken healthily and if it suits a person’s body.”

 

Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.