Many people wonder why I don’t eat eggs. After all, they’re supposed to be highly nutritious and a rich source of protein. We’ve been told this information for years. We were taught this in school. We’ve heard this in the media. Our parents told us. As it turns out, this information is not true.
But who’s been behind this misinformation? People who want us to buy their products like individual egg companies. Even the government through entities like the American Egg Board – a promotional marketing board whose mission is to “increase the demand of eggs and products on behalf of the US egg producers.” These marketers have and continue to do an excellent job of billing eggs as the highest quality protein and one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein. I used to believe this, in fact, I used to have two hard-boiled eggs every single morning.
But not anymore.
Why? As I began my journey to make healthier lifestyle choices, it led me to eating a plant-strong diet. In that quest, I knew I had to do my own personal research so I’ve immersed myself in learning as much as I can about plant-based diets through books, online articles and websites, TED Talks, nutrition workshops and courses. Through my research, I’ve learned that eggs aren’t healthy or safe. They’re loaded with artery-clogging cholesterol and saturated fat. That’s great for nourishing a chick as the embryo grows (the yolk is its primary food source); but that kind of fat on a daily basis for humans can lead to heart problems. Eggs aren’t healthy or safe for human consumption even if you raise your chickens yourself in your own backyard.
Who says eggs aren’t healthy or safe? Well, as it turns out, along with the many research studies that have linked eggs to heart disease and cancer (gastrointestinal, colon, and prostate) even the US Department of Agriculture does. In fact, they’ve actually worked with the American Egg Board to make sure they don’t advertise such claims.
Here are just a few facts you should know about eggs:
- Eggs are not a rich source of protein. The word rich means excellent source. An excellent source of protein means 20% of the recommended daily value – or 8 grams. It is recommended we eat 42 grams of protein a day so an egg should contain 8.4 grams of protein. However, a large egg only has 6 grams of protein.
- To be considered healthy, the saturated fat level of a food must be 1 gram or less of saturated fatty acids per 100 grams and less than 10% calories from saturated fats. Eggs have 2 grams of saturated fatty acids and 70% of the calories in one egg is from pure fat. Saturated fat raises the bad cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol, which contributes to hardening of your arteries. When your heart works harder to push blood through stiff arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis, your blood pressure rises. These effects increase your risk of developing heart disease.
- The cholesterol must be 90 mg or less per serving. One large egg provides approximately 185 milligrams of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that clogs and hardens arteries when you have too much in your bloodstream. Dietary guidelines suggest we should limit cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day. Since most people eat two and three eggs for breakfast – you can do the math!
- More than 100,000 Americans are Salmonella poisoned each year from eggs.
Bottom line. Eggs aren’t healthy to eat. Eggs aren’t safe to eat. Yes, they can be convenient. You might crave their flavor. They might add diversity or color to your plate. In cooking and baking, they can act as binding or leavening agents. However, these are just functions that an egg can play. Eggs don’t promote good health.
We can get high-quality, necessary and essential nutrients from vegetables, grains, and nuts.
In my next post, I will focus on some simple and healthy egg replacers.
In preparing my blog today, some of my information comes from an excellent source that I would like to recommend to you: Nutritionfacts.org This is the first science-based, non-commercial website that provides free daily videos and articles on the latest discoveries in nutrition written by Michael Greger, M.D., physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker in the arena of public health issues. Be sure to check it out.