In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How many eggs can you eat a day? We will teach you how the body regulates cholesterol and together we will find out what can happen if we eat several eggs a day.
How many eggs can you eat a day?
Science clearly states that eating up to 3 whole eggs per day is safe. But… How much is too much?
Unfortunately, there are no studies in which people eat more than 3 eggs per day.
When we eat a large number of foods high in cholesterol, the liver begins to produce less. It is possible (although unlikely) that consuming a higher amount could have a detrimental effect on health. Eating more than 3 eggs a day is uncharted territory, so to speak.
However … Something interesting found a case study (a study with only one person). It was about an 88-year-old man, who consumed 25 eggs per day! He had normal cholesterol levels and was in very good health. Of course, a study of one person doesn’t prove anything, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
It is also important to note that not all eggs are the same. Most of the eggs in the supermarket are from factory-raised chickens and cereal-based feed fed. Eggs fortified with omega-3s, or eggs from pasture-raised chickens are healthier. These eggs are much richer in omega-3 fatty acids and contain important fat-soluble vitamins.
In general, eating eggs is perfectly safe, even if you are eating up to 3 whole eggs per day. So, stick with a balanced diet and remember that eggs can be very healthy food. A whole egg contains all the necessary nutrients to turn a single cell into a chick. However, eggs have gotten a bad rap because the yolks are high in cholesterol.
In fact, a single medium-sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, which is 62% of the recommended daily intake.
People believe that if you “eat cholesterol,” blood cholesterol increases and contributes to heart disease. But it turns out it’s not that simple. The more cholesterol we eat, the less our body produces instead.
How the body regulates cholesterol levels
We tend to think of cholesterol as something negative. When we listen to it, we automatically think about medication, heart attacks, and premature death. But the truth is, cholesterol is a very important part of the body.
It is a structural molecule that is an essential part of every membrane in our cells. Without cholesterol, we couldn’t even exist. It is also used to produce steroid hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol.
Given how important cholesterol is, the body has developed elaborate ways to ensure that we always have enough available. Because getting cholesterol from the diet is not always an option, the liver produces it.
But when we eat a lot of foods high in cholesterol, the liver begins to produce less. Thus, the total amount of cholesterol in the body changes very little (or not at all), as it is coming out of the diet instead of the liver
What happens if I eat several whole eggs a day?
For many decades, we have received warnings to limit the consumption of eggs, or at least egg yolks (the white of the egg is mainly protein and is low in cholesterol).
Common recommendations include a maximum of 2-6 buds per week. However, in reality, there is not much scientific support for these limitations. Fortunately, we have a number of excellent studies that can clarify this question for us.
In these studies, people are divided into two groups… one group that eats several whole eggs (1-3) per day, the other group eats something else (such as egg substitutes) instead. The researchers then follow the people for a few months.
These studies show that:
- In almost all cases, “good cholesterol” (HDL) rises
- Total cholesterol and “bad cholesterol” (LDL) levels usually do not change, but sometimes rise slightly
- Blood levels of carotenoid antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin are significantly increased
It seems that the overall response to egg consumption depends on the person.
In 70% of people, it has no effect on total or LDL cholesterol. However, in 30% of people (called “hyper-responders”), these figures go up slightly.
That being said, you shouldn’t think of this as a problem. Studies show that eggs change LDL (bad cholesterol) particles from small, dense to large.
People who predominantly have large LDL particles have a lower risk of heart disease. So even if eggs cause slight increases in total and LDL levels, this is not a cause for concern (10).
As part of a balanced diet, eggs help maintain a healthy digestive tract and help acute digestive problems. In addition to being high in nutrients, eggs are generally easy to digest than other foods high in protein.
We remind you that science clearly states that eating up to 3 whole eggs per day is safe. So, stick with a balanced diet and remember that eggs can be very healthy food.
If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!