The Benefits of Eating One Egg Per Day

01 December, 2020
Recommendations regarding egg consumption have varied over time. Today, research has proven that eating one egg per day provides numerous health benefits.

How many times have we heard that eating more than one egg a day is bad? Recommendations regarding how many eggs we should eat and how often has varied greatly over time. The controversy has to do with the many myths that exist about this food. In this article, we’ll clarify all of this information and tell you the benefits of eating one egg per day.

Is it healthy to eat eggs frequently?

In order to know how often it’s healthy to eat eggs, we first need to know the composition and properties of this food. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans indicate that eggs are rich in nutrients and high-quality protein and can be a part of healthy diets.

In addition, they provide few calories, about 78 kcal, similar to a banana. The egg white contains mainly water (88%) and protein, of which albumin is the most important. In the yolk, 50% is water and the rest is equal parts of proteins and lipids.

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The best dietary protein

The essential amino acid content and bioavailability of egg protein make it a high-quality nutrient. In the early stages of life (through the mother’s diet), it promotes the development of the fetus. Its function is equally important in the growth stage of childhood and adolescence.

One of the best-known functions of protein is the building and maintenance of tissues, including muscle. Therefore, it is highly valuable for people with great physical activity. In the elderly, high-quality protein sources like eggs helps counteract the age-related loss of muscle mass. Therefore, it helps maintain mobility, physical activity, and quality of life.

Due to its nutritional composition, eggs are a food with a great satisfying capacity. This is an especially attractive quality for those who want to lose weight. For example, eating an egg for breakfast staves off hunger for a longer period of time. Therefore, there’s is a tendency to snack less between meals. This is due to the protein content itself, as stated in an article published in the journal “Appetite”.

In this case, it’s best to prepare eggs by adding little to no fat. For example, on a skillet or hard-boiled.

A basket of fresh eggs.
The egg is an important source of protein. Its consumption contributes to preventing the loss of muscle mass associated with age.

Egg fat

All the fat that an egg contains is within the yolk. Eggs are one of the foods of animal origin with the least saturated fats and the best ratio of unsaturated to saturated fatty acids.

In addition, they’re rich in oleic acid (characteristic of olive oil). Today, experts hold oleic acid in high esteem because it exerts a beneficial action on the blood vessels. Therefore, it reduces the risk of suffering from cardiovascular and hepatic diseases.

As if this weren’t enough, this food is the best source of choline, an essential nutrient for the development and normal functioning of the body. Normally our bodies don’t synthesize enough choline, so we have to obtain it from food.

Discover: Choline: An Essential Nutrient with Many Benefits

Essential vitamins and minerals

One egg per day provides significant amounts of a wide range of vitamins such as A, B2, Biotin, B12, D, and E. It’s also a source of minerals such as phosphorus, selenium, iron, iodine, and zinc. All these contribute to covering a large part of your body’s daily nutritional needs.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are pigments of the carotenoid family found in green vegetables and egg yolks. They act as antioxidants that are deposited in the eye and have been shown to protect and prevent cataracts.

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition, revealed that eating six eggs a week for 12 weeks increases blood levels of zeaxanthin and improves the optical density of the macular pigment.

A woman with cataracts.
Because of its lutein and zeaxanthin content, egg consumption can help protect visual health by decreasing the risk of cataracts.

Egg, cholesterol, and cardiovascular risk

In the final decades of the last century, experts recommended limiting egg consumption because of their high cholesterol content. This recommendation was a preventative measure for protecting cardiovascular health. In 1973, the American Heart Association recommended limiting egg intake to a maximum of 3 per week.

However, the effect that dietary cholesterol has on plasma cholesterol levels in healthy people is minimal. What’s more, it depends largely on individual factors such as genetics, body weight, and lifestyle. According to a study published in the journal “Nutrients”, the relationship isn’t as direct as once suspected.

Therefore, after numerous studies, there’s no longer any scientific support behind the false belief that egg intake could increase cardiovascular risk because of its effect on cholesterol levels.

Eating one egg per day doesn’t harm the blood lipid profile or increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

So how often is it healthy to eat eggs?

It’s become more than clear that eggs are a very complete food that provides us with numerous benefits. So, don’t be afraid to eat an egg per day, always with a healthy and varied diet.

Remember also to exercise frequently to improve various health-related aspects, such as your lipid profile.

  • Marsset Baglieri A., Fromentin G., Nau F., Airinei G., et al., The satiating effects of eggs or cottage cheese are similar in healthy subjects despite differences in postpandrial kinetics. Appetite, 2015. 90: 136-43.
  • Blesso CN., Luz Fernández ML., Dietary colesterol, serum lipids, and heart disease: are eggs working for or against you? Nutrients, 2018. 10 (4): 426.
  • Fernández ML., Effects of eggs on plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations. Food Funct, 2010. 1 (2): 156-60.