Eggs are a delicious source of nutrition & every dietician recommends including eggs in our diet, but we often neglect how many eggs we eat in a day. Eggs are quite healthy & rich in protein, but overeating anything can lead to side-effects. It’s very important to know the exact number of eggs you should eat in a day for optimal nutrition.
How Many Eggs Should You Eat In A Day?
Eggs can form an essential part of our diet, as they’re rich in proteins & have plenty of other health benefits too. However, it’s widely debated how many eggs you should eat in a day.
The debate is very much about the high cholesterol content in egg yolks.
In earlier times, Eggs got a lot of criticism for high cholesterol levels, but after over 60 years of research, studies conclude that dietary cholesterol, chiefly from eggs, have little to no effect on LDL levels.
A 2017 Study linked consumption of up to three eggs with increased antioxidants & changes in HDL (high-density lipoprotein ) function in young, healthy adults. The same study also concluded that eating up to three eggs in a day had no effects on blood cholesterol.
There’s a lot of positive coverage on consumption of eggs. However, one study highlighted the risks of egg yolks for people who have a high risk of vascular diseases. Another research linked egg consumption to high risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women.
These conflicts the findings make it quite difficult to tell exactly how many eggs you can eat in a day.
But, if we consider the studies with positive findings, up to three eggs a day is perfectly safe.
So, what happens if you eat more than three eggs a day?
Most studies cover the spectrum of one to three eggs, so it makes it very difficult to conclude what effects do eating more than three eggs a day have on our body. Maybe it’s healthy, or maybe it’s not.
However, we did find an unusual case where an 88-year-old-man ate 25 eggs a day & was perfectly healthy. A study was done on the 88-year-old-man’s plasma cholesterol levels as well.
Is Egg White Healthier than Egg Yolk?
Even though we now have the answer to how many eggs we can eat in a day, We still have to figure out what’s healthier, the yolk or the white.
Eggs have ~5.5g of proteins but only ~68 calories. But the distribution of that protein between the yolk and the white varies. And it’s the same case for other nutrients in an egg. Let’s take a closer look at this.
Starting with Egg Whites, which contain the bulk of egg’s protein & lesser amount of fat. Whites contain about 4 grams of protein, 55mg of sodium & only about 17 calories. See that? Egg whites have ~72% of proteins but only 25% of calories compared to a whole egg. Not only this, there’s 6.6 micrograms of selenium, 2.5mg of calcium, 3.6 mg of magnesium, 53.8mg of potassium & 4.9mg of phosphorus as well.
The main reason we’re talking about egg yolks is the high amounts of cholesterol & fats it has. It has around 4.5g of total fat part of which is 1.6g of saturated fats & 210mg of cholesterol. It also has 2.7g of protein, 8mg of sodium & provides ~55 calories, which we shouldn’t ignore.
The Egg Whites seem to be the healthier option as of now, but the story doesn’t end here. Here’s a table by the USDA that compares the nutrients of egg whites versus that of egg yolk.
|Nutrient||White||Yolk||% Total in White||% Total in Yolk|
|Calcium||2.3 mg||21.9 mg||9.5%||90.5%|
|Magnesium||3.6 mg||0.85 mg||80.8%||19.2%|
|Iron||0.03 mg||0.4 mg||6.2%||93.8%|
|Phosphorus||5 mg||66.3 mg||7%||93%|
|Potassium||53.8 mg||18.5 mg||74.4%||25.6%|
|Sodium||54.8 mg||8.2 mg||87%||13%|
|Zinc||0.01 mg||0.4 mg||0.2%||99.8%|
|Copper||0.008 mg||0.013 mg||38%||62%|
|Manganese||0.004 mg||0.009 mg||30.8%||69.2%|
|Selenium||6.6 mcg||9.5 mcg||41%||59%|
|Thiamin||0.01 mg||0.03 mg||3.2%||96.8%|
|Riboflavin||0.145 mg||0.09 mg||61.7%||48.3%|
|Niacin||0.035 mg||0.004 mg||89.7%||9.3%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.63 mg||0.51 mg||11%||89%|
|B6||0.002 mg||0.059 mg||3.3%||96.7%|
|Folate||1.3 mcg||24.8 mcg||5%||95%|
|B12||0.03 mcg||0.331 mcg||8.3%||91.7%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||245 IU||0%||100%|
|Vitamin E||0 mg||0.684 mg||0%||100%|
|Vitamin D||0 IU||18.3 IU||0%||100%|
|Vitamin K||0 IU||0.119 IU||0%||100%|
|DHA and AA||0||94 mg||0%||100%|
|Carotenoids||0 mcg||21 mcg||0%||100%|
Now, if you take a look at this table, Egg yolk seems to provide more actual nutrients. But, in our opinion, consuming the entire egg gives complete nutrition.
What is The Best Time to Eat Eggs?
It’s highly debatable what is the best time to eat eggs. Most nutritionists recommend eggs for breakfast, but things tend to differ in certain cases.
Eggs are full of proteins & fats, which require quite a lot of time to digest, so it’s ideal to have eggs for breakfast while avoiding them after evening. These fats & proteins can also make you feel full for a much longer time while sustaining your energy levels.
But, if you’re an athlete, eating eggs post-exercise can make more sense. Exercising leads to wear & tear of muscles, proteins can help in repairing them quickly.
But, since most nutritionists also recommend exercising in morning, we believe the best time to eat eggs is in morning, for breakfast.
Health Benefits of Eggs
As we’ve already discussed, Eggs are highly nutritious. So, it isn’t hard to imagine, Eggs have a lot of health benefits as well.
We’ve discussed some of them below –
Eggs Play a Vital Role in Brain Development
Eggs are rich in several nutrients, but one such nutrient ‘Choline’, present in abundance in eggs plays a vital role in infant brain development & function. It acts like Vitamin B & is used in building cell membranes, along with several other uses.
Another nutrient, DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid and serves a structural component of the brain is also present in abundance in eggs.
A 2017 study found that one egg per day can boost brain development in children.
Eggs Have No Effect on Blood Cholesterol
Everyone knows that eggs are high in cholesterol. In fact, a single whole egg contains ~212mg of cholesterol, which is well over half the recommended daily intake of ~300mg.
But, What most people don’t know about is that dietary cholesterol doesn’t necessarily affect blood cholesterol.
According to results from a 2006 study, in nearly 70% of people, eggs don’t raise cholesterol. While in the remaining people, eggs raised cholesterol levels mildly.
Eggs Can Help in Weight Loss
Eggs are incredibly rich in proteins, one of the most satiating micronutrients.
This means Eggs can make you feel full for longer, Thus, reducing your calorie intake.
A 2005 Study that included 30 overweight women, found short-term effects of eating eggs in breakfast. According to the study, eating eggs instead of bagels for breakfast increased the feeling of fullness & made the women eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours.
Health Risks of Eggs
We’ve been stressing a lot about how nutritious eggs are, but overeating anything can lead to side effects.
There’s only this one particular health risk of eating raw eggs. Eggs from large industrial farms with poor sanitation can sometimes be contaminated with salmonella.
Even though It’s quite rare as statistics show only 1 in 20,000 eggs is contaminated with salmonella, It’s best to cook eggs or eat eggs only from cage-free hens.
It’s important to make sure how many eggs you eat in a day. If consumed in the right amount, eggs can form an important part of our diet.
Humans have consumed eggs throughout their existence, but we’re yet to realize it’s full potential. Eggs are delicious, cheap & easy to make, but most importantly, eggs are loaded with a lot of nutrients, many of which are rare in our modern diet.
Featured Image Credits – Pixabay/Paolinio