How many eggs is too many to eat in a day?

For many years, eggs got a bad rap. They were demonized as being a main source of high cholesterol — or at least their yolks were given the blame. This led to such low-fat (and low-taste) menu items as egg white omelets being all the rage in the fat-is-evil years of the '80s and '90s. Luckily, medical science finally established to nearly everyone's satisfaction that dietary cholesterol had very little effect on the body's levels of LDL, aka "bad" cholesterol.

As Harvard Health Publishing reports, most of the cholesterol in the body is produced by the liver, and the production of LDL cholesterol is mainly stimulated by the consumption of both saturated fats and trans fats. Another Harvard Health Publishing article notes that eggs, yolks and all, have low levels of saturated fat (just 1.5 grams per egg), and they're also trans-fat free. This means that eating eggs isn't going to raise your bad cholesterol very much, if at all. In fact, eating eggs every day may even raise your HDL, or "good" cholesterol.

So how many eggs can you eat, then?

Different sources provide different numbers as to how many eggs are safe to consume on a regular basis. New Zealand's Heart Foundation says that even patients at risk of heart disease can eat up to six eggs per week, while Harvard suggests that the average healthy person should be okay with seven eggs per week. The American Heart Association agrees, noting that one egg per day (or two egg whites) is acceptable. In contrast, previous recommendations once limited everyone to no more than two to three eggs per week. Basically, you can now eat anywhere from twice to three times the number of eggs that were permitted in past decades — but for your own specific health needs, you might want to consult your doctor before you develop a daily egg habit. Overall, though, you might want to avoid eating the equivalent of over more than one egg each day.

So, yay! Not only are eggs super-nutritious, but they're also one of the cheapest sources of high-quality protein. Not to mention they're oh-so-versatile, and make the perfect portable snack when hard-boiled. You can even dress them up and make them into fancy appetizers and luxurious, caviar-topped breakfasts, and what would the holidays be like without eggnog? While medical science is never likely to come out with a study saying that relaxing on the couch eating cookies all day is the secret to a long and healthy life, giving us permission to eat eggs nearly every day is (almost) the next best thing.