Why You Should Be Adding More Eggs To Your Diet, According To A Nutrition Expert

If you're looking for a way to improve your diet and overall health, you might want to try eating more eggs. As it turns out, eating eggs for breakfast is a healthy and tasty way to start your day. As a delicious and versatile food, eggs can be prepared in many different ways (via Insider). For instance, eggs can be boiled, poached, fried, or scrambled. You can even cook them in a skillet to make a frittata and pair them with vegetables and healthy fats, like avocados.

Although eggs have gotten a bad rap in the past, research has since concluded that eggs are actually good for you and can be part of a healthy and well-balanced diet. In fact, eating eggs is associated with a number of important health benefits. In an exclusive interview with Dr. Mickey Rubin, the executive director of the American Egg Board's Egg Nutrition Center, he tells us exactly what makes eggs so healthy.

Why eggs are healthy

According to Dr. Rubin, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new guidelines state that eggs are healthy because they contain many important nutrients. They are also recommended by the American Dietary Guidelines and are considered part of a healthy and well-balanced diet. That's because eggs are loaded with protein and packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. "This affirms the science showing that eggs are an all-around nutrient powerhouse, supplying important nutrients like choline, vitamin D, and essential fatty acids," Dr. Rubin explains.

As a result, these new guidelines from the FDA only confirm what was already known about eggs based on the most recent research. As it turns out, the latest science says that "eggs are a nutritious and affordable high-quality protein, offering essential vitamins and minerals that are important for all life stages," Dr. Rubin shares. But what prompted this guidance to change in the first place and why did eggs get such a bad rap for so many years?

How the guidance changed over the years

Believe it or not, eggs have always been considered a nutrient powerhouse and a great source of protein. For many years, however, eggs were vilified because of their dietary cholesterol content. "In the past, limits had been placed on dietary cholesterol. However, back in 2015, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans removed the cholesterol limit, stating that there was no link between dietary cholesterol in food and risk for cardiovascular disease," Dr. Rubin shares.

This guidance was affirmed again nearly four years later. "In 2019, the American Heart Association provided similar recommendations stating that eggs can be part of heart-healthy dietary patterns — recommending an egg a day for healthy people and two eggs per day for healthy older adults," Dr. Rubin adds. As a result, the new guidance and proposed definition line up with the most current research on eggs and dietary cholesterol, as well as the 2020 recommended Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

This is how many eggs you should eat per day

According to Dr. Rubin, there is no official recommendation on the number of eggs the average person should eat per day. "The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eggs as part of healthy dietary patterns, and like most other foods, they do not provide a specific recommendation for the number of eggs to consume," he explains. Only the American Heart Association has provided any specifics on the daily recommended intake, as Dr. Rubin mentioned, which notes that the average person can safely eat one to two eggs each day.

As it turns out, this is also the recommendation of many other health organizations, like the Mayo Clinic, which states that most healthy people can eat one egg per day or up to seven eggs per week. If you want more protein, however, and are concerned with dietary cholesterol, you can eat one whole egg and additional egg whites. That's because it is the yolk of the egg that contains dietary cholesterol, not the egg white.

Most eggs contain the same nutrient content

While certain brands of eggs may be fortified or raised differently, most eggs are highly nutritious and contain the same exact nutrient content. "Unless the carton label says the eggs are nutritionally enhanced (example Omega 3-enhanced), regardless of color (white or brown), grade (AA, A or B), or how they are raised (organic, cage-free, free-range, conventional, etc.), the nutrient content of all eggs is pretty much the same," Dr. Rubin explains.

In fact, neither the color of the shell nor the color of the yolk indicates a difference in nutritional value, except when it comes to carotenoids. "No matter the yolk color, all eggs are a good or excellent source of eight essential nutrients, including high-quality protein and several vitamins and minerals. However, yolk color can indicate the presence of one type of nutrient — carotenoids — in the yolk," Dr. Rubin shares. "Beyond carotenoids, yolk color does not indicate a more or less nutritious egg."

For more egg nutrition information and recipes, check out IncredibleEgg.org.