Eat More Eggs to Lose Weight (& Get Healthier)

/ 12.7.16 / Medically Reviewed

Eggs are one of nature’s most perfect foods, and better yet they’re delicious. There are so many ways to prepare eggs, and most people can absolutely eat them every day.

There are a few exceptions to the daily egg recommendation. If you’re allergic or sensitive to eggs, you should eliminate them from your diet. Also, if you’re a hyperresponder to the cholesterol in them, you should reduce or avoid them as well.

That said, only 30% of the population qualify as hyperresponders, meaning that they experience an increase in both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) from regular egg consumption. To determine if you’re a hyperresponder, you’ll want to chat with your primary care doctor and get your blood checked. They’ll help you determine if eggs are appropriate for you.

However, the majority of people will not experience an increase in their blood cholesterol levels from eating eggs regularly.1 In fact, the nutrients in this amazing protein source are found to boost health and protect against disease.

5 Health Benefits Of Eggs

healthy-eggs

One large egg contains about 75 calories and 6 grams of complete protein. That means that it contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build and repair lean muscle tissue. Eggs are not only a great source of protein, but contain an abundance of health-promoting nutrients. Here’s a short breakdown of the nutritional benefits:

1. Increased Satiety & Appetite Regulation

Want to lose body fat? If you’re focused on getting and staying lean, then eat eggs for breakfast. Reason being, this breakfast food helps increase satiety, decrease hunger, and lead to lower overall calorie intake.2

This is due to the higher protein and lower carb content in eggs. Protein takes longer to digest while also boosting metabolism. It’s the perfect food to start the day.

2. Antioxidants Protect Your Skin & Eyes

Eggs are a fantastic source of two antioxidants known to protect yours eyes – lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the retina, and reduce the incidence of macular degeneration and cataracts.3

Lutein also plays an anti-inflammatory role, and can counteract or prevent damage caused by ultraviolet radiation (from sun exposure).4 In short, you can protect your eyes and your skin with one food.

These antioxidants are found in the egg yolk, so make sure to eat the whole egg, not just the whites.

3. Essential Vitamins & Minerals That Keep You Healthy

You need a variety of vitamins and minerals to perform optimally and be healthy. Eggs provide a variety of these essential nutrients. This list includes vitamin A, E, and D, an assortment of B vitamins, choline, folic acid, phosphorus, biotin, and phosphorus.

Without going into too much detail, each of these nutrients play an important role in keeping you fit, active, and strong. They affect everything from your energy production, bone strength, immune system, metabolism, blood, and vision.5

4. Iodine & Selenium Support A Healthy Thyroid

There aren’t many foods that provide selenium and iodine, and eggs are one of the few. Both selenium and iodine are necessary for the production of thyroid hormones.

Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolic rate, which affects your weight and energy levels, so it’s important to keep this gland healthy.

5. Healthy Fats Protect Your Heart

Contrary to popular belief, eating whole eggs does not increase the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and cholesterol levels in most people. In fact, the yolk is the most nutrient-dense part of eggs. It’s in the yolk that all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are found.

It’s also the part of the egg that contains healthy fats. Pasture-raised eggs in particular are ideal because they contain more omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain function and normal vision while also decreasing inflammation.6

What Are The Best Eggs To Buy?

Free-range-chickens

We highly recommend buying pasture-raised eggs. These come from chickens that have been raised with free access to the outdoors.

They get ample sunshine and can roam around eating their natural diet of grass and bugs. This leads to eggs with a greater concentration of fat, and especially omega-3 fatty acids.7

How To Eat More Eggs

Italian-egg-Frittata

You can eat eggs for just about any meal or snack, and there are numerous ways to prepare them. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Breakfast: Fry up some eggs to eat on top of avocado toast.

Lunch: Make a healthy veggie fried rice, mixing some eggs into your dish.

Snacks: Hard-boil eggs for an easy afternoon snack.

Dinner: Prepare a chicken & vegetable frittata.

Do you eat eggs? What are some of your favorite ways to eat this food?

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23 Comments

  1. profile avatar
    Marianka Dec 09, 2016 - 09:57 #

    Kristin, by following advice like this I had my cholesterol levels explode. There’s no such type as “hyperresponder to the cholesterol”, everybody is affected. I wonder who medically reviewed this article as quoted on the top.

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Dec 09, 2016 - 11:51 #

      Hi Marianka – if there’s any one thing we know for certain, it’s that every body is unique and each person responds differently to different foods. It sounds to me like eating eggs affects your health and blood markers. I would say that you fall into the category of being a hyperresponder, and should reduce or avoid the consumption of eggs.

      There are many people who don’t have the same experience though, and to say that everyone should avoid eggs because they negatively affect you isn’t quite true. Adam Bornstein, a well-known health and fitness professional, did a personal experiment where he ate 3 eggs per day to determine whether they were healthy, or not. He tested his blood and health indicators before beginning the experiment, and again afterwards. His weight and blood markers more-or-less stayed the same, and his body fat percentage slightly decreased. If you’re interested, you can read his personal experiment here.

      Another great resource on this topic is Chris Kresser, who is a functional and integrative medicine doctor based in the Bay Area. He has become a globally recognized leader in the fields of health and nutrition. Chris shares a review of recent research, discusses all of the nutritional benefits of eggs, and recommends that people eat upwards of 2-3 eggs per day to optimize the health benefits and protection against disease. That said, he mentions that some people are more sensitive to the cholesterol in eggs, and could react poorly to the regular consumption of them. These people fall into the category of being hyperresponders.

      There are no nutrition recommendations that are perfect for every person, which is why I made sure to mention that this recommendation doesn’t apply to everyone. That said, eggs are incredibly nutritious for a lot of people, and they could experience a significant boost in health from eating eggs regularly. It all comes down to figuring out what dietary approach works best for you, and sticking with it.

      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  2. profile avatar
    NT Dec 09, 2016 - 12:07 #

    Having read multiple current scholarly sources, what is the minimum number of eggs one can safely eat in a day or a week?

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Dec 09, 2016 - 14:02 #

      Great question – Chris Kresser, who is a globally recognized functional and integrative medicine doctor, says that you can eat around 2-3 eggs per day to boost health (as long as you’re not a hyperresponder). As a personal experiment, Adam Bornstein (a well-known health & fitness professional) did a personal experiment where he ate 3 eggs per day, testing his blood markers before and after the experiment to determine the effects. At the end of his experiment of eating 3 eggs every day, he experienced an increase in HDL (the “good” type of fat) a decrease in LDL (the “bad” type of fat), and a decrease in his body fat percentage. So, according to these experts (and as long as you’re not allergic or sensitive to eggs, and aren’t a hyperresponder) you can safely eat 2-3 eggs per day. Hope that helps! If you have more questions, feel free to ask.
      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  3. profile avatar
    Kreina Staal Dec 09, 2016 - 15:34 #

    I eat eggs every day: i start with a large handful of fresh spinach and press one large garlic clove onto a hot frying pan, I add 1 whole egg and two egg whites, sprinkle a little feta cheese, salt and pepper.
    Would it be better to use two whole eggs instead of one whole and two whites?

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Dec 09, 2016 - 18:14 #

      The yolk is the most nutrient dense part of the egg. It’s provides all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and half of the protein that you get from eating eggs. So I would argue that it’s better to eat the whole egg, not just the egg whites. And if you’re concerned about the calorie difference – two egg whites provide 34 calories, while one whole egg provides around 72 calories. You’re only eating 38 more calories by eating the whole egg, but you’re getting a huge nutritional boost from all those nutrients. Hope that helps!

      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  4. profile avatar
    Mauricio Dec 09, 2016 - 17:43 #

    When you talk about eggs, do you mean the whole egg or just the whites?

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Dec 09, 2016 - 18:09 #

      Great question! I mean the whole eggs. The yolk is actually the most nutrient dense part of the egg. All of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and half of the protein is in the yolk. So if you’re only eating the egg whites, you’re missing out on the majority of the nutritional and health-promoting benefits. I recommend eating the whole egg most (if not all) of the time.

      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  5. profile avatar
    Graham Hull Dec 09, 2016 - 20:01 #

    I am an egg fan but a recent article in Medscape has caused me to reconsider. Dr Spence, one of the authors, argues strongly against consuming the yolks, in particular. They contain phosphatidylcholine, which oxidises to TMAO, which in turn causes arterial damage, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease. Please could you clarify.

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Dec 09, 2016 - 21:25 #

      Hi Graham – eggs are definitely still a controversial food in the health & nutrition world. The truth is, eggs may (or may not) be beneficial for you. Some people are sensitive to the cholesterol in eggs. Others are not.

      I looked at some of the most recent research regarding eggs in order to best answer your question and came across an article posted on Medscape just two days ago. It discusses a study that found no link between egg consumption and increased risk of coronary heart disease. I came across another study called the Northern Manhattan Study that found an inverse relationship between egg consumption and several markers of carotid atherosclerosis.

      Finally, one more study mentions individual variations in how people might react to eating eggs.

      And that’s how I think we all have to approach the egg debate. The only way for you to know whether eggs are a beneficial part of your diet is to do a self-experiment. I would recommend getting your blood tested to determine your starting point. Then, eat eggs regularly for about 4 weeks, and re-test. If your blood markers don’t change (or they improve), then eggs are probably beneficial for you. But if you experience an increase in your LDL and cholesterol, then you probably want to reduce (or eliminate) how many eggs you eat per week.

      Adam Bornstein, a well-known health & fitness professional, did exactly that egg-experiment, and he experienced an improvement in his HDL, a decrease in LDL, and lower body fat percentage.

      I hope that’s a helpful answer! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  6. profile avatar
    Tim C. Dec 09, 2016 - 20:18 #

    Great article Kristin. I was not aware of the benefits of the “yolk”. I thought by having just an egg and then adding egg whites that was a healthier choice than 2 whole eggs. My blood tests have shown I am not affected by the yolk. However I was still a little concerned with the thought of how much cholesterol I was having by eating 2 eggs for breakfast.
    There is no doubt that eggs in the morning satiate me better than oatmeal or anything else I have tried.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Dec 09, 2016 - 20:49 #

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Tim! The egg yolk is so nutritious (& tasty), there’s no reason to waste it. Whole eggs are definitely one of the best things to eat to start your day.
      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  7. profile avatar
    Hank Dec 09, 2016 - 22:09 #

    Just wanted to weigh in and having reviewed dozens of papers pro and con the majority state it is safe for the vast majority of people to eat 3 eggs per day.

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Dec 10, 2016 - 11:46 #

      Thanks for sharing your insights, Hank! I really appreciate it.
      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  8. profile avatar
    Beth West Dec 10, 2016 - 01:39 #

    Good article Kristin. I appreciate your courteous and thoughtful responses to those who comment as well. Thank you for your work!

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Dec 10, 2016 - 11:45 #

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! And I appreciate everyone who asks a question – especially tough ones, because it encourages me to look at more research and learn more.
      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  9. profile avatar
    Michelle Dec 10, 2016 - 10:17 #

    Hi Kristin
    Sometimes I get a very strong craving for eggs. Does it mean I’m lacking something in my diet?

    1. profile avatar
      Kristin Rooke, CPT Dec 10, 2016 - 12:04 #

      That’s a great question, Michelle! It’s also not an easy one to answer definitively. There’s probably one of two possible explanations here:

      1. You’re craving the specific nutrients in eggs – the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, or fats. This is a perfectly healthy craving, and you should absolutely satisfy this craving by eating an egg-based meal.

      2. You could be allergic to eggs, are are craving the inflammatory “high” that you get from eating them. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why we crave certain foods that we’re allergic to, but one explanation suggests that its because our bodies become addicted to the chemical messengers (histamine and cortisol) that our immune cells secrete in response to allergens in our bodies. There’s a great discussion of food sensitivities and cravings on The World’s Healthiest Foods. If you’re concerned about the possibility of your egg craving being related to food allergies or sensitivities, I recommend chatting with your primary care doctor and getting allergy tested.

      If you know for sure that you’re not allergic (or sensitive) to eggs, then it’s probably the first scenario. Considering that your egg cravings sound like they only happen occasionally, I’d venture to guess that it’s more related to craving the nutrients in eggs.

      I hope that helps! If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.

      -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

  10. profile avatar
    Mary Dec 11, 2016 - 15:03 #

    Eating three eggs a day is healthy for most people. However, if you have high cholesterol that goes down to one egg per day. If you have diabetes 7 eggs per week may be high. In addition, egg allergies are common and being tested is probably a good idea. Lastly, if in doubt try egg white omelettes (no cholesterol) or with one yolk.

  11. profile avatar
    Ted Jan 04, 2017 - 20:47 #

    Cholesterol is necessary for brain function. It is the foundational lipid by which synapses are made.

    Certainly a balance needs to be struck. But to deprive oneself of cholesterol treating biology based on black and white dogma does a disservice that shuns the basic science.

  12. profile avatar
    Natalia Jan 22, 2017 - 22:21 #

    I enjoyed eggs at anytime of the day. However, I gas up easily from eggs especially if I eat boiled eggs wich I would love to carry as a protein snack. What can I do to continue eating eggs without the embarrassing after math..? Im so thankful for this free website and the fact that he keeps it current! Thanks Mark and team!

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jan 23, 2017 - 23:26 #

      Thanks Natalia for the nice comment! I hope Kristin can chime in, but it sounds like the eggs are slightly upsetting your stomach a bit and making you gas up. One solution I’ve found that has worked for me regarding these types of small food intolerances is to take probiotics for a week or so. They can make a huge difference. I became lactose intolerant in my mid 20’s. After taking probiotics, I didn’t have any issues at all digesting milk (even though I rarely drink it). Just an idea. Of course, you can consider consulting a nutritionist / doctor!

    2. profile avatar
      Ted Jan 24, 2017 - 01:55 #

      One thing to consider is you may have cbs genetic mutation causing ammonia building when sulfur is metabolized.

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