Is it okay to eat 4 eggs a day?
This was the question one of my YouTube subscribers asked me a couple of days ago. She had recently watched a video that went viral and she had concerns and understandably so. Unable to resolve this issue satisfactorily in her mind, she turned to me for an answer.
It is okay to eat eggs. There is nothing wrong with that. But how much eggs you eat may have repercussions on your health especially if you plan to eat eggs every day. If you overdo it, then the dose may make the poison as the saying goes.
Pros for eating eggs
Eggs are highly nutritious. They are one of the best sources of protein for the human body. If you are not a vegan and do not have any objections to eating animal products, then I will encourage you to keep eggs as part of your overall nutrition. For individuals who may struggle to get their protein requirements daily, eggs are a nice food to turn to. One large boiled egg (50 gm) supplies you with 6 gm of protein. Not bad.
Naturally the way you prepare the eggs may boost the protein content even further. For instance, if you make an omelette with the egg(s) you increase the protein content some more with the cheese you may choose to add.
Secondly eggs are a good source of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that our body needs. Choline helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and helps the liver perform optimally too. It may help you fight fatty liver disease by optimizing your liver function. Choline is useful for brain function and indeed the entire nervous sytem making messages pass from one nerve to the next possible which translates to better muscular function.
In pregnancy, it is particularly important to consume adequate amounts of choline as deficiency of choline can lead to birth defects like hypospadias, heart defects and cleft lip and palate. So, pregnant women should ensure their choline intake is adequate.
On the affordabilty angle, eggs are quite affordable. One of the cheapest foods around or should I say one of the cheapest protein sources around, They make a convenient protein source for those who want to bulk up their muscle mass. Regular folks can also avail themselves of this affordable protein source.
Lutein is a xanthophyl seen abundantly in plants especially the dark leafy greens as well as in carrots. Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant and is absorbed into the retina of our eyes more precisely into the macula lutea of the retina. Adequate lutein is essential for eye health as it slows down macula degeneration. As it happens lutein is not exclusive to plants only, eggs have lutein too and we are grateful for that.
Cons of Eggs
Yes, the cholesterol debate rages on and I don’t intend to resolve it in this article. The role of dietary cholesterol to overall cholesterol levels in the body remains a contentious issue. The liver does make most of the cholesterol we need daily.
One fried large egg has 185 mg of cholesterol. When you eat 4 eggs, that translates to 740 mg of cholesterol. In an omelette, the cholesterol content rises to 195 mg per egg making 4 omelette eggs push in 780 mg of cholesterol per meal. Now for people who disregard the role of dietary cholesterol, would adding an additional 740 mg or 780 mg of dietary cholesterol daily to your body make you feel comfortable?
That’s a lot of cholesterol that your liver that is also manufacturing its own cholesterol has to deal with daily. I have never understood the wisdom of loading more cholesterol into a system that is already self-sufficient in cholesterol manufacture just so you can test the machine production capacity some more.
And by the way, eggs are just one dietary cholesterol supplier. On the typical Western diet, you have more cholesterol coming in from red meat, processed meat, dairy in particular cheese, butter, prawns etc. That’s yet more saturated fat for a liver that is already over-burdened. These foods loaded with saturated fats typically raise cholesterol higher than eggs and we eat them in the West often.
This might seem okay for someone who is perfectly healthy but bearing in mind that lots of people living in the West have diabetes, high blood pressure and are seriously at risk of heart disease, then the gospel of eating 4 eggs a day might need to be spread with caution.
One more thing. Choline as a nutrient is a double-edged sword. Whilst we are grateful to Mother Nature for giving us choline through eggs, we don’t want too much of it. No, we don’t. Because excess choline does get converted by gut bacteria to TMAO (Trimethylamine-N-oxide). TMAO is a metabolite of choline when the trimethylamines are oxdized. TMAO raises our heart disease risk. Certainly excess TMAO raises our heart disease risk. So whilst choline is good for us, excess consumption of choline increases TMAO levels which is bad news for the heart.
So, should you eat 4 eggs a day?
Probably not. You can eat 4 eggs in one eating session if you don’t do it as a daily habit.
I don’t eat eggs often but I normally will eat 2 eggs when I want to. There have been times when I ate 3 eggs in one day but that’s not a problem because I don’t do that often.
Body builders may eat 4 eggs daily to meet up with the increased protein demand. A safer bet is to eat 4 egg whites per day if you are keen to keeping the egg habit up. Egg whites have albumin which is a protein and eating egg whites only means you don’t have to worry about cholesterol issues. The cholesterol is in the egg yolk. Skip the egg yolk and you can eat 6 eggs a day if you want. A very safe bet.
The American Heart Association (AHA) in assessing the role of dietary cholesterol advises eating one egg a day, if you are at risk of heart disease and for healthy people the AHA advises 2 eggs a day.
As a lot of my YouTube subscribers have high blood pressure and high cholesterol problems, my advice is for them to avoid eating 4 eggs daily. Doing so will elevate their risk of heart disease even more.
Don’t let the dose make the poison for you. Eggs are good for you. Having 4 eggs a day may make the poison for you. My view.
Share your opinion below if it’s okay with you.