Three Eggs a Day Keep the Doctor Away! | Chris Kresser

Three Eggs a Day Keep the Doctor Away!

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3 eggs a day, how many eggs a day is too many
Eggs are an important staple of a healthy diet. iStock.com/YinYang

The persistent myth that cholesterol causes heart disease has scared many of us away from eating eggs on a regular basis. But there is absolutely no research that links egg consumption to heart disease.

A recent review of the scientific literature published in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care clearly indicates that egg consumption has no discernible impact on blood cholesterol levels in 70% of the population. In the other 30% of the population (termed “hyperresponders”), eggs do increase both circulating LDL and HDL cholesterol.

You’ve probably been conditioned to believe that anything that raises LDL cholesterol (so-called “bad” cholesterol) should be avoided like the plague. But recent research suggests that it’s not the amount of cholesterol in an LDL particle (a.k.a. LDL cholesterol, or LDL-C) that drives heart disease risk, but instead the number of LDL particles in the bloodstream.

If anything, egg consumption is likely to protect against heart disease because it increases the proportion of large, buoyant LDL particles. Larger LDL particles can carry more cholesterol, which means fewer particles are needed overall. In other words, egg consumption may decrease LDL particle concentration, which is the most significant risk factor for heart disease.

Eggs one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. One egg provides 13 essential nutrients, all in the yolk (contrary to popular belief, the yolk is far higher in nutrients than the white).

Eggs are an excellent source of B vitamins, which are needed for vital functions in the body, and also provide good quantities of vitamin A, essential for normal growth and development.

The vitamin E in eggs protects against heart disease and some cancers; eggs also contain vitamin D, which promotes mineral absorption and good bone health.

Eggs are rich in iodine, for making thyroid hormones, and phosphorus, essential for healthy bones and teeth.

Eggs are also good sources of antioxidants known to protect the eye. Therefore, increased plasma concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin in individuals consuming eggs are also of interest, especially in those populations susceptible to developing macular degeneration and eye cataracts.

There’s absolutely no reason to limit your consumption of eggs to three to four per week, as recommended by “heart-healthy” nutritional guidelines. In fact, consuming two to three eggs per day would provide a better boost to your health and protection against disease than a multivitamin supplement. Eggs truly are one of nature’s superfoods.

It’s important, however, to make sure that you buy organic, pasture-raised eggs. Studies show that commercially-raised eggs are up to 19 times higher in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Unfortunately, almost all eggs sold in supermarkets – even the organic eggs sold at chains such as Whole Foods and Wild Oats – are not truly pasture-raised. To find these eggs, check your local farmer’s market or visit the Eat Wild website to locate a source in your area.

To read more about heart disease and cholesterol, check out the special report page.

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139 Comments

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  1. One egg, two eggs, 3 eggs, 4. I like eggs so please give me some more!! lol

    No matter what topic it is everything has it’s pros and cons. Do what you feel is best for you. I eat eggs every day. I eat 2-3 hard boiled eggs daily and I am just fine.

  2. Of course three eggs a day will keep the doctor away, because you’ll be in the grave. I mean what’s the point of checking the cholesterol of a corpse? Three eggs a day, land in the grave, thanks Chris! Glad to kill a few more brain cells reading your stuff.

    • I eat three eggs a day and quite alive and well! 🙂

      I know this is an old article, but I couldn’t resist. I hope we’ve all learned that cholesterol foods do not give us cholesterol problems.

      • Yea and cigarettes don’t cause lung cancer, Hitler didn’t kill Jews, and Carthage won the Punic Wars. Forget those “experts” from the Canadian Heart Association, British Medical Society, American Heart Association, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, WHO who’ve all claimed through scientific tests and reasoning that dietary cholesterol is bad for you. Can I buy drugs from you? Just because you’re alive doesn’t mean you’re alive and well. An alcoholic is alive but isn’t healthy and neither is a chain smoker or paraplegic.

      • Good for you! My cholesterol labs are super, as well, with a daily egg AND bacon breakfast.

        Those disagreeing with Chris must be upset because they have a deficiency–llikely from omitting certain food groups. Tsk-tsk.

        • Good for me indeed! I rarely have eaten eggs (haven’t eaten any in a decade) and my lung capacity, IQ, cholesterol, vitamin and mineral levels, amongst other things are better than normal. But keep eating those eggs so you can get an early grave. By the way eggs are a food, not a food group, although if one wants to increase acne problems and other things than they should consume eggs and dairy products. Cigarettes are healthy right?

          • “…my lung capacity, IQ, cholesterol, vitamin and mineral levels, amongst other things are better than normal.”
            Good for you; but how about ‘attitude,’ good Sir?

            • Dont waste your time with Jordan Perttu,
              http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/health-tip/art-20048862

              http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ikIQLcMWJtE&b=4869055&ct=7511425

              For all that he listed…no one can prove cause and effect.. People who are vegan still gets cancer. a person who do-sent smoke get lung cancer and those who eat eggs like bodybuilders in the past are still alive…don’t look at those who take steroids on the side…and yes he should read updated findings…and yes its hard for these big companies and organization to swallow their error….you have to admit, if a single answer is accepted by all….there wouldn’t be the need for research facility and off the shelve product like whey protein or soy protein base product….everyone would just head down to the nearest store and get a dozen eggs..the only point worth mentioning is where to get eggs from..

              • Egg’s are 100% BV, and are the food all other foods are judged by, their simply is no nutritional substitute for eggs and cooking them destroys the non oxidized cholesterol, lipids, collagen and many other beneficial nutrients in them, look up current dated information, you can eat 4-6 eggs a day raw, but Not cooked, and as far as cooking the egg whites why waste your time, blend em up with ice and a banana make a really nice shake, induce oral tolerance and feel great

              • I get emails from a local Veggie/vegan society and I always refuse to go along to there get togethers because they generally serve crap in amongst the great healthy food they consume. In many cases their sugar consumption is as high as the average obese brit or amercian. Having said that plant based is the way to go.

          • You are just like the people who go on the “Tattooed Women” website and talk about how bad they all look and will look when they are older. If you are against eating eggs go ahead and enjoy your egg-free life. Why get so angry? Maybe if you gave in and enjoyed a nice meal with eggs you wouldn’t be so cranky.

            • Lol, veganism often infects its hosts with such bad attitudes! A horrible affliction.

              I eat 4 eggs a day scrambled with virgin unrefined coconut oil and it has incredible health benefits so I’m going to stick with it.

              It’s the cereals I worry about…

              • Lol i’ve been almost vegan/fruitarian for 3 months.
                During the last month one of my teeth got completely rotten from inside, was also pretty tired most of the time.
                The only things there were good were the bowel movements!.

                Switched to raw egg yolks and raw milk and the situation changed drastically.

                Strangely i had no problem until last year, when i started consuming butter fried egg white along with the yolk.
                Had like 6 eggs at a time.
                Also eaten plenty of sugary stuff and processed garbage.
                my cholesterol went up like crazy, both LDL and total.

                Why i think it is weird? because aside from the garbage I was eating the same amount of egg yolks, but i was eating it raw.. and that time I did not have any impact on my total cholesterol or LDL.

                Switched back to raw egg yolks and raw milk, in 3 months gonna repeat my blood test and will see what the situation is.. my big suspect is the inflammation caused by processed (both cooked and processed) foods, whey protein powder too.
                let’s see!.

    • I’ve eaten three to four eggs a day for the past 4 years or so. My cholesterol is actually below normal. That being said, I do not eat meat, and would not recommend my consumption to the average person. Do what you want and get your levels checked every once in a while. Everyone’s unique and will handle foods differently.

  3. In order to tell the difference if egg is bad or good for any individual is simply to go on a diet which contain eggs for 2 weeks or more while avoiding other food that contains bad cholesterol. i mean to be realistic…how do you know which food you consume is raising the bad cholesterol….i found out the easy way which was adopt a vegan lifestyle for month while taking only eggs as my protein source.but before doing it i had my blood drawn and know what the result were so to compare after consuming eggs daily a minimum of 4. my ldl was lower than the margin at 2.3. and to answer some of the previous post, vegan have about the same mortality rate as non vegan. what was missing is omega 3 it their diet….there is a vid on YouTube about it. and if conclusion states that eating eggs daily is safe and opposite than what was known…breakfast would be easier cheaper and natural…compared to drinking protein drink and bars. especially if you’re an athlete or involve in sports.

    • Uh right lets listen to youtube about “factual evidence” while we’re at it lets listen to an oil company executive about the existence of climate change. Also, there have been countless studies showing that non-vegans have higher mortality rates than non-vegans. Also, the more vegan a country is the higher expectancy they have (WHO, CIA, etc.).

      • Jordan ,
        , if you don’t agree , I find it somewhat odd that you are on here ,
        Or like a lot of narsassistic negative, big mouthed people , do you find a deep seated need to climb upon any soapbox , where there is a crowed gatherd and put forward “your” opinion , but not only put it forward actuall “push” your opinion onto people who truth be told , skip right over your rant the moment they see your name,

  4. HI,

    Im 6.6ft in height .. im 80kg’s, and Look too lean for my height. I want to putton weight .. so i started working out . and eating 6eggs a day… is this safe ? i feel good about my eggs in my deit as it make me fell full.

    please suggest… if this is the wrigh way to consume eggs… im doing 6 a day now …. boiled some time raw

    • “I want to putton weight”
      “eggs in my deit as it make me fell full”
      “is the wrigh way”

      I think all of those raw eggs have given you brain damage.

      • TDDFT_4_lyf: Rude. Not everyone speaks English as their 1st language. Ian was asking a reasonable question. Try to be a semi-decent human being and not such a schmuck.

        Ian: Many have used multiple eggs a day to add muscle. As the article states at the end, make sure your eggs are truly organic and pastured, so you get the full health benefits. Local eggs from reputable neighbors is often a good source, or, if you can, have some fun and get 2 or 3 chickens yourself for your backyard. They take up very little space and are a fun and easy hobby.

    • Yes i have been taking 4-6 eggs a day and i drink green tea daily…i just had my blood work done and my bad cholesterol was 2.3 which is good. but i don’t eat beef burgers or steaks…mainly fish and chicken…to know if its safe for you..in a week eat eggs but skip the usual suspects that would elevate you bad cholesterol…and have a blood work done before you start(so that you know its not the eggs) and after a week or 2(to see if eating eggs makes your lld high)….if you have high bad cholesterol…drink green tea and take oats regularly.

    • I used to eat 5 a day, raw, now I eat 4, but added 2 bananas and ice yogurt, great blend, and great for Arthritis as well, I just wash em off toss em in shell and all, get the benefits of the best most digestable calcium with the most Nutritious food on the planet !

  5. You totally Failed on the post comparing Vegan vs Protein and foods in USA vs say Laos, while everything on the chart is correct (http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/hurtful-food-unrefined-plant-food-consumption-vs-the-killer-diseases.html) the one thing that is not on the chart is the fact that here in the US we live nearly 20 years longer, thus failing that any Vegan diet’s can possibly warrent merit’s,
    Challange post a list of Vegan’s that are not sick from some form of collagnetic condition, that have been Vegan for 15 years or longer, if they are still alive ?

  6. I could type on the benefits of eating Raw Whole Shell and all Egg’s all day long and the benefits of them but I will give you something better
    1st, FDA CFR 2010 finalized Aug 2012, on egg’s look it up, commercial eggs are as good as any other, in fact organic-free range might have open doors to the barn but the chickens are standing in lines to get to the food and watering troughs,
    2nd, the calcium carbonate in egg’s shells contain 27 nutrients that help your blood transport needed calcium, (as you need it not liquified acid calciums)
    3rd nothing older than Aug 2012 is of any benefits on egg contaminations due to FDA intervention, more contaminations take place by the people fondeling the eggs and using dirty hands and utinsiles or counter tops, Eggs are sterile, (we buy them in shrink wrapped cases to no be exposed to dirty fondleing hands of other shoppers)
    4-Egg’s are the nutritional super food by which All other foods are judged by, – period
    lastly I eat 6 raw whole eggs a day, I wash the shells off toss in blender with bananas and ice, suit to taste, be careful of adding junk like ice cream, carmel, espcially vanalla or coconut this makes the whole drink just taste way to good and you might want 3 more,
    5- final note, the Egg’s shell inner membrane contains collagen type 1, lesser 3,4,5,&10 collagen types, but this will help you in the inflamation catigory and you just might see your skin and over all health improver if your are over 30, as we slow way down on collagen production as we age, complex to state (could write a book on it ) but we replicat collagen from the egg’s shell membrane in our pryors patch’in our gut, amazing, (this is why athletes quit by age 40 or so ) here is final note and it is a link for any with auto immune conditions and it helps a LOT !!!
    http://selfhacked.com/2014/11/22/oral-tolerance/#

    5 egg’s a day as my HS coach said, he was in his 60’s then and could out pace us! enjoy !! meal in a shell, used to eat em at the farm when collecting them and off to school

    • i’m 40 and i too have been eating an average of 4 eggs(breakfast) a day since 2009. but 1 thing i have to point out the egg white has to be cooked or is not absorbed by the body 100%. Do some reading on this

    • Sisca,

      I’m afraid your comment towards me is the only one that’s off topic.

      My original comments contain a number of points about health. I also examined the biological plausibility of eating the period of another species, an important step in deciding the health effects of what we eat. ‘Fff’ took issue with this, so it warranted further clarification.

      It seems you’re quite bothered by what an egg really is. If this is the case, perhaps you should reconsider eating them.

  7. A lot of studies being cited here, and as is usually the case the studies are conducted poorly with little to no information on food consumption combinations, such as animal protein and simple sugars.
    Simply test any food on yourself, within 60 days you should be able to tell if it is detrimental to your health.
    I eat six eggs every day and I’m perfectly healthy, but I should point out that I do not consume any type of refined (man made or altered) sugar, sweetener, or condiment. Also, I consume about three cups per day of plants. For me, this works very well. I rarely if ever get sick, and along with daily exercise keep the body fat level around 10%.
    Instead of bickering over random incomplete studies, try it for yourself and have your physician test your blood a few times per year, this coupled with the way you feel, day in and day out is an excellent gauge of what will work for you.

  8. Do these egg benefits apply to seniors? For example, can we recommend to parents/relatives in their sixties that they add eggs to their diet (assuming normal health)? Not sure if, at this age, our body begins to handle cholesterol-rich foods differently from our younger years. Thanks!

    • Un fortunatlly for those of us past our 40’s we need to eat more raw egg’s as the shell’s membrane really only contains about 50mg of collagens we need, so yes need to watch that age ticking by and increase accordingly or face the plastic surgen or worse

  9. I have been told that if you break the yolk during cooking you loose all the health benefits of eating the egg.
    Is this a valid assumption?

  10. May I ask, is it still beneficial to eat eggs from supermarkets dispite it has 19 times more omega 6 than pasture-raised eggs?

    Where I live is very hard to find pasture-raised eggs… thanks

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFe7sFxIiLM

      this is the best research information I could find to illustrate the significance of getting Phosphatidylcholine from eggs.
      I believe if you can find the time to watch this short video you will be amazed with the properties of egg-PC…. Yet, if you see my pervious comments to Jeremy, I think cooking destroys the benefits of egg-PC.
      Chris I have only recently begun to read your information. Thanks for doing such a great job…
      Jim

    • Thanks for the link Steve. A great summary of the other side of this discussion. What stood out to me was that:

      “The collective analysis of forty-four studies, separated over 400,000 participants into groups who consumed less than 3, 3-5, or greater than 5 eggs per week. …For colon cancer specifically, the less than 3 and 3-5 eggs per week groups had similar increases in risk—about 15 percent—and the group eating more than 5 eggs per week had a 42 percent increase in risk.”

      Even if you don’t have faith in Dr. Fuhrman as you put it, the other 16 sources he cited, plus the aggregate analysis of 44 studies is hard to ignore. I’d be nervous about 3 eggs a week let alone 3 eggs a day as Chris recommends.

      For me the risk associated with eggs far exceeds the benefit of the nutrients they provide. Besides, there’s nothing eggs provide that can’t be equally if not better provided from other (Ideally plant-based) sources.

      If anyone can think of nutrients we have to get from eggs that makes the risk worth taking I’m all ears 😉

      • Jeremy,
        Perhaps eggs can only be eaten raw since “possibly” protein and fats are changed in the cooking process. Plus, I don’t eat the whites since anti nutrients are within the whites. If you cook the whites the biological properties of Avidin are incapacitated. Hmm, if this is true about this protein it would only make sense that other protein lose their biological activity as well…the egg yolk seems so malleable prior to cooking. Yet, it becomes a brick with no plasticity and is no longer water soluble. Just a few observations…

      • Hi Jeremy – Iodine that’s what I eat 3 egg yolks a day for and not the whites because I suspect leaky gut, Jade

        • Hi Jade,

          Thank you for your comment.

          I agree iodine is important, but there are plenty of other sources to get it. For example, 1/4 of a gram of dried seaweed gives 100% of your daily allotment, as does 2 grams of fortified salt. Iodine is in a lot of the foods we eat every day.

          Eating eggs doesn’t just give you iodine. It gives you heart disease and stroke causing saturated fat as well as cancer causing cholesterol. Personally I’ll take my seaweed and salt, etc for my source of iodine 😉

          There’s simply no nutrient we need to eat eggs in order to get. Eggs cause more harm than good to us, not to mention the hundreds of millions of male chicks that are killed within 3 days of birth each year just because they are unable to produce profit for the egg industry.

          Best of luck in your pursuit of health.

          Jeremy

          • So it’s actually about the male chicks , well here in NZ we send the males to farms to become meat so all good yeh , wast not want not 🙂

          • Cholesterol doesn’t cause cancer, cholesterol is needed to make hormones. Everything in moderation people, if you can just stay away from processed foods, and any ingredient label that has questionable ingredients you will be fine!

      • Since Egg’s are the Food the USA’s FDA and EU bases all other food’s nutritional values against (thus putting eggs as the most nutritious food you can eat) What would you suggest swapping to somthing worse than the best ?

      • we blend 6 egg’s raw, and whole shell’s and all 3 for breakfast and 3 at bedtime with 1-2 bannanas and cup of ice, the egg is the #1 food by which all other foods are compaired to and nutritional values are established by, 3 a week, body builders will down a carton a day – best protien -period, I would not recommend starting at that many, start with 1 in am and 1 at bed time, increase ever few weeks, you naturlly make cholestrol, it is needed , and as you increase the eggs in your diet you will make less, body adjusting and the such,

  11. Thanks all for u r comments, but I m scared. I m of 6 feet height n i m weighing 62kg. To increase my body mass I m drinking 24 raw eggs with milk everyday. Please guide me.

  12. Discarding scientific evidence as “myth” is highly misleading. Here’s a chart showing the relationship between animal protein (Eggs) and disease. (http://goo.gl/1tBAv1)

    More specifically, The American Heart Association challenged a similar statement in a 1971 lawsuit. The end result after the egg industry spent as much as they could on lawyers was Judge Ernest G. Barnes ruling:

    “There exists a substantial body of competent and reliable scientific evidence that eating eggs increases the risk of heart attacks or heart disease… This evidence is systematic, consistent, strong and congruent. (http://goo.gl/NC6HBh)

    Please don’t do the egg industry’s work for them and tell people to eat more of something that’s killing us.

  13. Ridiculous how comments focus on the cholesterol in eggs when it has been known for a long time that is not the problem.
    If there is a problem with eggs it is animal protein and choline.
    Maybe like meat it is creating bad bacteria in the colon vs the good bacteria formed by consuming vegetables.
    What is needed is more research but meanwhile you should limit egg consumption to no more than two per week according to some studies.

  14. So, in essence, you can lose weight without exercising ‘ but it’s kind of a waste of time. Leptopril is an OTC v3 diet pill that can be purchased from most drug stores along with Wal-Mart.

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