There is no specific number of eggs that a person should eat as part of a healthy diet. Experts once considered eggs to be an unhealthy food source in terms of high cholesterol and heart problem concerns. The fact that egg yolk contains a high level of cholesterol was the primary cause of this belief.
However, research has since shown that eggs do not increase the risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that has a range of essential functions in the body. Its roles range from supporting the production of new cells and hormones to forming fat-dissolving bile acids and helping with the absorption of vitamins.
Scientists now understand that the cholesterol that people consume from foods only has a small impact on cholesterol levels in the body.
The majority of cholesterol production takes place in the liver. The main influencing factor for this is not how much cholesterol someone consumes but other factors, such as the amount of saturated fat in the diet.
In the past, there was also a misunderstanding about the role of cholesterol in the body. However, more recent research has now challenged this as well.
‘Good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol levels
The way cholesterol moves through the bloodstream is relevant to the impact that it can have.
Either low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or high-density lipoproteins (HDL) transport cholesterol.
HDL is responsible for collecting cholesterol that is no longer needed, and LDL transports cholesterol to areas where it is needed.
Unusually high levels of LDL cholesterol are typically unhealthy because they can build up and cause clogging in the arteries. This buildup of cholesterol can increase the risk of heart attack.
Many people consider HDL cholesterol to be “healthier” than LDL cholesterol, as it plays a role in removing cholesterol from the body.
An improved understanding of how cholesterol works in the body means that it is now unclear whether high levels of cholesterol are always unhealthy.
For example, one recent review of existing studies found no significant link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease. However, a high daily consumption of eggs was associated with a higher incidence of heart disease.
Although eggs may contain a relatively high amount of cholesterol, they do not have a major impact on overall cholesterol levels.
Eggs are highly nutritious sources of protein. They contain a range of vitamins and minerals, including:
Eggs are affordable and easily includable in the diet. A good way to consume eggs is boiled or poached without salt.
Eggs enriched with omega-3 and sourced from free-range farms tend to be the healthiest eggs.
Eating one to three eggs per day can have several health benefits, but this varies from person to person. At this level of consumption, people can expect minimal changes in their cholesterol levels.
It is unclear whether there is an upper limit on how many eggs a person can eat per day. More research in this area is necessary to provide clarity.
However, when people have no health issues causing concern, they can eat eggs in moderate quantities, and they are unlikely to have any effects on their bodily cholesterol levels.
Unless a doctor specifically advises, it is not necessary for people with high cholesterol or those at risk of heart disease to avoid eating eggs.
It is possible to contract food poisoning from consuming raw eggs. However, food poisoning is becoming less common with the rise in health and food safety standards in the U.S.