Eggs don’t always get the best reputation. In fact, the first thing that may come to mind when you hear the word “eggs” is cholesterol. So, it may come as a surprise to some to see the term “fat-blasting” associated with eating eggs regularly.
But first, let’s clear up the cholesterol confusion. Each egg contains about 185 milligrams of cholesterol, however, you’ll notice the most recent USDA dietary guidelines don’t specify how much cholesterol you should limit yourself to each day (they got rid of that guideline in the 2015-2020 edition). Many experts agree the focus should instead be on limiting the amount of saturated and trans fats you consume as well as added sugars. So, why do eggs continue to receive backlash?
“Eggs have a history of being marketed poorly. Many people still think that eggs can raise their cholesterol levels, but that’s actually not true. Dietary cholesterol actually improves your cholesterol profile,” Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Nutritious Life told Eat This, Not That! in a different article.
In fact, several studies have shown that participants’ HDL (the good kind of cholesterol) levels improved after they ate between one and three eggs daily. And according to Harvard Health Publishing, the higher your HDL levels are, the better. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now).
HDL can help remove the bad kind of cholesterol, called LDL, from the walls of your arteries, aka the blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich from the heart to the tissues of the body. If there’s enough HDL available in the body, it will actually latch onto the LDL that’s building up in the arteries (which can lead to a form of heart disease known as atherosclerosis) and transport through the bloodstream until it reaches the liver. Then, the liver removes the harmful cholesterol by dumping it into the intestines by way of bile where it will be excreted through well, going number two.
Aside from boosting HDL cholesterol levels, eggs also contain an essential nutrient called choline, which is essential for a healthy metabolism. In fact, a group of studies found that obese patients who followed a low-fat diet and ate choline-rich eggs for breakfast lost weight compared to those who ate a bagel for breakfast—for the same amount of calories. For context, a single egg offers about 20-25% of your daily requirement of choline.
More importantly, choline is essential for making a substance that is necessary for removing that harmful cholesterol from your liver and into your intestines.