Eggs wig me out. Its not just the sliminess of them. I can handle that. Its the umbilical cord. You know the long wiggly whitish cord that travels into the yolk….its the life line for the fetus. I used to think eggs were a good source of protein since I didn’t eat meat. That was a long time ago now, and when I learned the best way to go is plant based, I was happy to leave them behind. Recently the information (below) on eggs came my way. I think everyone should read it, and check out the links as well. Bottom line: Eggs are really unhealthy.
Eggs are considered good sources of lutein and omega 3 as well as an excellent source of protein. For these reasons, they are considered health foods. Looking at these claims in detail, chickens have lutein because they have a varietized feed, these nutrients are not inherent in eggs. Based on the nutrient data found on the USDA database, 10 grams of spinach has approximately 12 times more lutein then 10 grams of an egg. We cannot really consider eggs an appropriate source of this nutrient.
Current levels of omega 3 in eggs are highly inadequate and one must consume around 30 eggs to reach an acceptable level of omega 3 for the day. A male needs around 1.6 grams of omega 3 per day, a female needs around 1.1 grams a day. A large egg contains about .037 grams of omega 3. Omega 3 in the ALA form processes to EPA which is also processed to DHA. These fats are anti-inflammatory. Omega 6 processes down to arachadonic acid which is highly inflammatory. According to the National Cancer Institute, eggs are the number 2 top contributor of arachidonic acid in the American Diet.
Based on this as well as the low omega 3 content of eggs, the benefits received from omega 3 are masked by the high quantity of preformed Arachidonic Acid. High intake of arachadonic acid is linked to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, as well as a clear link with cancer development.
Eggs have been associated with heart failure as noted here. “After 13.3 years of follow-up in this cohort of approximately 14,000 white and African-American men and women, greater intake of eggs and of high-fat dairy foods were both associated with greater risk of incident HF, whereas greater intake of whole-grain foods was associated with lower risk of incident HF. These associations were independent of demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, prevalent CVD, diabetes, hypertension, and other food groups.”
As well as an association type 2 diabetes with egg consumption of 1 egg a day. “Overall, the observed increased risk of type 2 diabetes with daily consumption of eggs in the current study raises the possibility of undesirable health effects with high rates of egg consumption and may help explain previously reported increased risk of CHD that was restricted to individuals with type 2 diabetes in the Health Professional Follow-up Study”
In the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, David Spence (director of the stroke prevention/atherosclerosis research center and one of the worlds leading stroke experts), David Jenkins (the inventor of the glycemic index) and Jean Davignon (director of atherosclerosis research group) posted a review on eggs claiming that the egg industry has been downplaying the health risks of eggs through misleading advertisements. As soon as you eat one egg, you expose your body to several hours worth of oxidative stress, inflammation of ones arteries, endothelieum impairment (what keeps you blood running smoothly) and increases the susceptibility of LDL cholesterol to oxidize (beginning stages of heart disease). The authors go into great detail regarding dietary cholesterol and it is a very fascinating read indeed. The author’s final words “In our opinion, stopping egg consumption after a myocardial infarction or stroke would be like quitting smoking after lung cancer is diagnosed: a necessary act, but late.”
The egg industry has claimed that cholesterol from eggs is not important and does not raise cholesterol levels. The fundamental flaw in the study the egg industry has used to make this claim is that they measured fasting lipid levels at night and not levels through out the day after egg consumption. “Diet is not all about fasting lipids; it is mainly about the three-quarters of the day that we are in the nonfasting state. Fasting lipids can be thought of as a baseline; they show what the endothelium was exposed to for the last few hours of the night.”
A single egg yolk contains approximately 215 to 275 mg of cholesterol. A safe upper limit can be capped at 200 mg if one is looking to prevent heart disease as recommended by the CDC as one of their nutritional recommendations as seen on page 92. One egg far exceeds this daily upper limit.
The balance of science is clearly against even moderate egg consumption as this food is a packaged deal. We do not get the nutrients found in eggs without getting the cholesterol and saturated fat. This similarity can be seen with chicken in terms of cholesterol and arachidonic acid. “Tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) set by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) are important, in part because they are used for estimating the percentage of the population at potential risk of adverse effects from excessive nutrient intake. The IOM did not set ULs for trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol because any intake level above 0% of energy increased LDL cholesterol concentration and these three food components are unavoidable in ordinary diets.”
Executive summary by my good friend, Christine:
-If you’re eating eggs for lutein, protein, or other nutrients, there are far more nutrients in whole plant sources.
-Same goes for Omega 3 EFA’s.
-And when you consume even ONE egg, you take in more than the highest daily allowance for cholesterol, causing LDL to rise (a proven risk factor for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, among other things).
-One egg also contains major Omega 6 fats which convert to arachadonic acid in the body (meaning inflammation); a risk factor for cancer, arthritis, etc.
-Omega 6 fats also lead to endothelial damage. Recall that the endothelium lines the vessels and is what makes our vessels dilate when increased blood flow is required. When these cells are continually impaired, heart attacks occur.
-Chicken and beef are just as nasty
-Above is some interesting info on how the egg industry designed their studies to show favorable results (for them, not for our health)
-The Institute of Medicine (IOM) doesn’t even set an upper limit for cholesterol (or trans fats, or saturated fats) because anything above zero contributes to an increase in LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood.
Last but not least, check out what Dr. Gregor has to say about eggs: