How Many Eggs a Week is Healthy?
By wlr staff Trudi Purdy
- Eating up to 12 eggs a week does not increase risk for heart health
- Eggs can be part of a healthy diet for everyone
- and have no adverse effects on cholesterol levels
A new study from the University of Sydney has shown there is no need for people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes to avoid eggs.
Findings show that eating up to 12 eggs per week as part of a healthy diet has no adverse effects on blood cholesterol and did not increase cardiovascular risk factors.
Led by Dr Nick Fuller, the research was conducted with the University of Sydney’s Medical School and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
In the initial trial, there were two groups – one on high egg consumption (12 eggs a week) and one on low egg consumption (less than 2 eggs a week). Both groups aimed to maintain their weight for three months.
At the end of this trial, there was no difference in cardiovascular risk markers.
The same groups then embarked on a weight loss diet for another three months, continuing with their previous egg consumption. The researchers followed up for a further six months, up to 12 months in total. There were still no adverse changes and both groups achieved equivalent weight loss.
Dr Fuller said,
‘Despite differing advice around safe levels of egg consumption for people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, our research indicates people do not need to hold back from eating eggs if this is part of a healthy diet.’
He went on to say,
‘Eggs are a source of protein and micronutrients that could support a range of health and dietary factors including helping to regulate the intake of fat and carbohydrate, eye and heart health, healthy blood vessels and healthy pregnancies.’
But he emphasised that egg consumption needed to be part of a healthy diet.
‘A healthy diet as prescribed in this study emphasised replacing saturated fats (such as butter) with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (such as avocado and olive oil).’
He went on to say,
‘While eggs themselves are high in dietary cholesterol this study supports existing research that shows consumption of eggs has little effect on the levels of cholesterol in the blood of people eating them.’
The rise and fall and possible rise again of eggs
Over the years, the message regarding eggs has been a bit scrambled.
First the message was ‘Go to work on an egg’. They were a good thing to have for breakfast.
Then, eating eggs contributed to heart disease – don’t eat them.
Some people will remember the Salmonella scare in the UK in 1988 and the humble egg was even more of a villain.
It got worse for the egg. In 2017, eating one egg a day was as bad as smoking five cigarettes a day according to the ‘What the Health’ documentary on Netflix.
But the findings of this study say the egg is a good thing to eat. As long as they are part of a healthy diet. And that’s the important part.
They are a good source of protein, good fats, vitamins and minerals and they help keep you fuller for longer, but as with all food, moderation is key.
We have some egg-cellent, calorie counted egg recipes that you could try:
A quick take-to-work lunch, if you boil the eggs in advance you can toss it together in minutes - simply keep the dressing separate until you serve. A healthy, low calorie summer lunch - at around 200 calories per serving (and 1½ of your 5-a-day).
1 serving 209 calories per serving
For a quick lunch, why not try this easy to make non pastry quiche? This low carb, low calorie recipe is perfect for picnics, bbqs, or just as a snack!
4 servings 117 calories per serving
Tortilla can be served warm as a main course or cold as it makes excellent picnic food cut into wedges. The Spanish serve tortilla sandwiched between chunks of crusty bread!
4 servings 259 calories per serving
Everybody loves a fry up, try this low calorie, simple fry up on toast! Try adding a tablespoon of fresh salsa rather than tomato sauce for a tangy twist.
1 serving 220 calories per serving
If you'd like to have a closer look and see how healthy your diet is, try the tools and databases in wlr. You can check if your diet is balanced, how many calories you eat (and how many you need!), track how many servings of fruit and veg you eat in a day, and look up the calorie, protein, carbohydrate, fat and fibre content of UK foods. Try it free.