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How Many Eggs Is Too Many?

By Geraldine Campbell
January 31, 2020
Photo Credit: Cookie + Kate

I recently started eating a lot of eggs. I eat them in the morning, usually scrambled, but sometimes fried in olive oil. Every once in a while, I make a big batch of hard-boiled eggs. I eat them as a midday snack or put them on top of salads or avocado toast. The point is, I probably go through at least a half-dozen eggs per week, often more. And this got me wondering: How many eggs is too many?

The quick backstory on eggs and health is this: Eggs were once thought to be unhealthy because they are high in dietary cholesterol. A single large egg yolk has 186 mg of cholesterol. To put this into perspective,  guidelines for dietary cholesterol intake used to recommend no more than 300 mg — and no more than 200 mg if you had a high risk of heart disease. In other words, an egg a day seemed like a pretty bad idea for your heart health.

Research Says an Egg a Day Is Healthy

However, more recent research shows that, for most people, dietary cholesterol has very little influence on blood cholesterol, including LDL or “bad” cholesterol. And, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last year specifically looked at the correlation between eggs and blood cholesterol.

According to research from the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, “Moderate egg intake, which is about one egg per day in most people, does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or mortality even if people have a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.” Furthermore, “no association was found between egg intake and blood cholesterol, its components or other risk factors.”

The takeaway? While some studies in the past expressed concern and offered recommendations of no more than three or four eggs a week, this new study gives one egg per day the a-okay.

But is more than egg one too many? Since high blood cholesterol is most closely related to foods that are high in saturated fat, and eggs are low in saturated fat (not to mention high in protein, vitamins, and minerals), more than one egg a day may also be okay for heart health long-term. So long as you’re not regularly eating them with a side of bacon.

Of course, a healthy diet is a balanced diet, with a variety of things besides eggs. And, as always, talk to your doctor if you have concerns. But we can at least safely say that one egg a day is totally fine.

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