Whether it’s a fluffy diner omelet stuffed with veggies and cheese or a simple homemade scramble, there’s no denying that eggs are a top pick when it comes to filling yet delicious breakfast foods. It’s no surprise, either, given that eggs are packed with 6 grams of satiating protein—which means they can keep any stomach growling at bay through all those morning meetings, classes, or errands. The question is, what happens to your body when you eat eggs every day? Is this all-American breakfast actually healthy?
According to a 2019 report by the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans are eating more eggs than ever: roughly 279 eggs per person over the span of a year. That averages out to about 95 million dozen eggs annually nationwide. While that may sound like a lot, eggs have become a staple in part because meat-eaters, vegetarians, gluten-free dieters, and even paleo and keto-followers alike can enjoy them. They’re also super versatile: You can hard-boil them and eat them as a snack, toss a soft-boiled one into a salad, fry one up plain with salt and pepper, or add them to a cheesy hash. The possibilities are truly endless.
Eggs are chock-full of essential nutrients—but they also get a bad rap in regards to cholesterol. So, if this is one food you eat daily, here’s what experts want you to know about the possible effects of what happens to your body when you eat eggs every day. And for more healthy eating tips, check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
One solid reason to whip up eggs for breakfast is that they can give you a much-needed shot of lasting energy to power through that long shift at your job, or grueling morning workout.
“Because of their nutrient composition, eggs can be a great source of slow-release energy,” says Sean Allt, nutrition coach at Innovative Fitness. “The combination of protein and fats, which are relatively slow-digesting when compared with carbohydrates, in conjunction with the B12 that eggs contain, help to provide a steady supply of energy over the course of several hours after eating them.”
For even more energy, check out this list of 30 Best Foods That Give You All-Day Energy.
“Eggs can absolutely be included as a part of a balanced diet in order to provide our bodies with the nutrient diversity needed to give our immune systems the best chance at fighting off various illnesses,” says Allt.
Allt adds that eggs have a notable concentration of vitamins A, D, and E, all of which, all of which are key for maintaining proper immune system function.
According to Paul Claybrook, certified nutritionist at SuperDuperNutrition.com, eggs are also high in selenium — a powerful antioxidant that also serves as an immune-booster.
“Antioxidants like selenium also have an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing the need for immune system involvement,” says Claybrook. “Both of these antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties take care of things that the immune system would otherwise have to handle.”
Basically, since there’s only so much your immune system can tackle, selenium helps to free it up so that it can fight other threats.
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Some of the nutrients found in eggs play an important role in keeping your brain in tip-top condition.
For one, Claybrook notes that eggs are high in choline, a nutrient that’s necessary for brain structure and function. Eggs are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids—containing between 100 and 500 mg per egg, depending on the brand.
According to Claybrook, these important fats can enhance brain function. By the way—an egg also contains a whopping 46% of the recommended daily value for vitamin B12.
“Low B12 intake can result in poor memory, mania, dementia, and even psychosis,” he says.
In other words, eating eggs on the reg can play a part in supporting your mental health, too.
Did you know that these omega-3 fatty acids can not only reduce heart disease risk, but also reduce inflammation in the body? Claybrook points out that eggs have substantial quantities of these healthy fats, and given that chronic unchecked inflammation can lead to heart disease, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s.
However, Allt says it’s important to note that while eggs do contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, some varieties are also high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
“What is more important than the absolute omega-3 content is the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6,” he says.
In order to ensure you’re getting eggs that have an ideal omega-3 to 6 ratio, Allt recommends looking for eggs from hens that are pasture-fed (AKA free-range rather than free-run or caged) and/or have been fed an omega-3 rich diet supplemented with ALA or EPA and DHA.
Nope, that’s not a typo: While there’s a widespread belief that eggs—particularly the yokes—will raise levels of the “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body, Claybrook insists that eggs can actually improve your cholesterol profile.
“Cholesterol is an essential structural component of every cell in your body,” he says. “Years ago, the common thesis was that eating cholesterol would naturally raise your blood cholesterol. It turns out your liver makes cholesterol based on how much you eat, so you can’t very effectively change your cholesterol level through diet.”
The two primary types of cholesterol are HDL and LDL. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because it can help your body get rid of cholesterol by transporting it to your liver. LDL is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol to your arteries, where it can build up in the artery walls and eventually lead to atherosclerosis. Several studies have shown that eggs consistently raise HDL, the “good” cholesterol. What’s more, one study found that eggs had no effect on LDL cholesterol levels in 70% of people. The other 30%, called hyper-responders, saw just a slight increase in LDL cholesterol.
“There have been some studies that have shown a link between egg consumption and overall cholesterol levels, however, no study has shown an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy individuals,” explains Allt.
If you’re looking to lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol, here are 17 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.
Eggs are a decent source of both protein and biotin—both of which promote hair growth — so, it’s safe to say that eating them every day could help you to achieve a longer, stronger mane.
Not only that, but Claybrook points out that eggs are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight off the free radicals that cause damage to cells, thus causing signs of aging. Who needs fancy serums and creams? Eating eggs every day could very well help you to maintain a youthful complexion.
Let’s be clear: just because you’re eating an omelet every morning doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to shed some pounds. That said, Allt says that eggs can play a role in supporting your weight-loss efforts—depending on how you’re preparing them and what you’re eating them with, of course.
“Eggs are a nutrient-rich whole food and a source of both protein and fat,” explains Allt. “They can help provide a feeling of satisfaction from a meal that will last longer than if you had consumed one low in protein and fats and can therefore help manage your overall daily caloric intake.”
As previously mentioned, eggs also contain choline, which Allt states is involved in many metabolic processes, including breaking down fat so it can be used as an energy source.
An egg white contains just about 17 calories and 0.1 grams of fat, while the yolk typically contains around 55 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. That said, whole eggs can still be a part of your diet if you’re aiming for weight loss — since they’re high on the satiety index, they may prevent you from needing to nibble on more food between meals. In fact, multiple studies have shown that people who eat eggs for breakfast (yolks included) not only feel more full but also consume fewer calories in later meals, compared with people who eat a bagel for breakfast.
The list of amazing things that eating eggs can do for your body goes on and on. According to Allt, eggs are also a phenomenal source of vitamin A—which is involved in healing wounds, eye health, and can even help reduce the risk of cancer cell formation. Whole eggs are also a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which Allt points out are key for maintaining strong bones. Allt adds that vitamin D may help in mitigating the risk of certain mood disorders, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Keep in mind that how eggs impact blood cholesterol can vary from person to person. The bottom line? Unless you have heart disease or diabetes, experts agree that it’s perfectly safe to eat eggs every day.
“If you suffer from diabetes and are concerned about the possible negative effects of eating eggs, limiting your weekly intake to six eggs or less should pretty well cover your bases—however, I always recommend consulting your primary care physician,” adds Allt. “If you’re otherwise healthy, eggs don’t seem to pose any health risks.”