What came first, the chicken or the egg? We may never know, but we do know that there are many reasons why eggs should be an important part of your diet.
Eggs have been a food staple since time immemorial, and for good reason they continue to feature on our menus and meals. They don’t just offer hard-boiled eggs, omelets, deviled eggs, and then some—they’re a source of protein, calcium, and several vitamins and nutrients. Here are some of the benefits of including eggs in your diet.
1- It is a nutritious dessert.
Despite their relatively small size, eggs are packed with nutrients and are an important component of a balanced diet.
One large boiled egg contains about 77 calories and contains:
Vitamins A, B5, B12, D, E, K, B6
Six grams of protein
Five grams of healthy fat
“Eggs are a good source of protein (both whites/yolks). They contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats and are a source of important nutrients like vitamins B6, B12 and D,” said Kurt Hong, MD, Keck Medicine, USC.
2- Eating cholesterol affects different people in different ways.
Yes, it’s true that eggs, especially egg yolks, are high in cholesterol. One large egg contains about 186 mg of cholesterol. However, before eliminating eggs from the menu, it is a good idea to study the dietary guidelines provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). One study found that about 70 percent of people don’t raise cholesterol at all from eggs. According to researchers, dietary cholesterol does not increase blood cholesterol levels. The remaining 30% are called “hyper-responders” and have a slight increase in total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol with egg consumption.
“As with any diet, the key here is moderation,” says Hong, M.D., a professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine in the US.
3- Eggs increase good cholesterol.
Eating eggs increases levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the so-called “good” cholesterol. People with high HDL have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. In one study, eating two eggs a day for six weeks increased HDL levels by 10 percent.
4- Get some choline.
Choline is a water-soluble vitamin that is often found along with the B vitamins. It is used to build cell membranes and helps the brain produce signaling molecules. One hard-boiled egg contains approximately 147 mg of choline, which is 27% of the recommended daily intake by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
5- Eggs help maintain eyesight.
As we age, we need to take care of our eyes. Egg yolks contain large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Eggs are rich in vitamin A, which is good for eye health.
- Some eggs are better for you.
Omega-3 helps lower triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. So if you don’t like other omega-3-rich foods (fish, nuts, seeds), eating omega-3-fortified eggs may be an option. (If your triglycerides are under 150, you’re fine; 150-199 is borderline, 200-499 is high; 500 or higher is considered very high.)
7- Get enough protein and amino acids.
Getting enough protein in our diet is an important way to keep our bodies healthy. Each egg contains six grams of protein, as well as beneficial amino acids. Getting protein throughout the day can help maintain weight, increase muscle mass, lower blood pressure, and strengthen bones.
8- They do not harm the heart.
Despite what was believed in previous decades, there is no direct link between egg consumption and heart disease or stroke. But some studies have shown that diabetics who eat eggs are more likely to develop heart disease. Some studies show that people who follow a low-carb diet and eat eggs are less likely to develop heart disease.
9- This is a complete meal.
You’ve probably noticed that eating eggs for breakfast makes you feel fuller for longer—this is generally due to the high protein content of eggs. Eat an omelette or boiled eggs as a snack for breakfast, and eggs will satisfy you after or between meals.