Eggs: Can’t live with them can you live without them?
Can you live without eggs? Most definitely yes!
Should you live without eggs? I will cover my views below.
Quick takes :
- HealthfulMD egg as a healthy food rating is a minus. It does not contribute to good health and eggs do not promote healing.
- Egg industry funded studies have been geared towards convincing you they are healthy but are misleading.
- You do not need to introduce eggs earlier to your child as an essential food.
- Eggs are in fact high in cholesterol and not necessary cholesterol
- While eggs are an easy and fun source of protein for young children they do not contribute to better health. And are not an essential part of a nutritionally excellent diet.
- There are many healthier sources of protein other than eggs.
If we are talking about basic scrambled, poached, hard boiled, sunny side up; eggs as the main protein dish, are not all they’re cracked up to be. And certainly not the healthiest way to get the same level of protein. If you never eat a whole egg you get more than enough of the daily recommended amount of egg ( one a day) in all sorts of baked goods and prepared foods. Eggs are the staple of most recipes as a binder and filler and therefore you are getting more than enough of the good things you think you need from eggs without ever trying.
Should you introduce eggs early under a year of age to babies to prevent allergies like we have instituted with nuts?. No I do not believe you should. Eggs are not a food essential to good health and therefore introducing early just helps your child develop a taste for eggs earlier than necessary. Something that potentially is not healthy should not be pushed earlier .
The big controversy surrounding eggs are not whether you should be having any at all but whether they contribute to a nutritionally sound diet in an ongoing effort to be healthier , have less disease . and heal.
The egg industry and their funded studies would have you believe that eggs are a healthy source of protein and nutrition and make you healthier. Many respected physicians and dietitians still follow their propaganda .
Nutritional scientists, Cardiologists,cardiac researchers, and those of us promoting optimum health and healing nutrition have a less than flattering take on the value of eggs and the necessity of including then as a mainstay of our diet.
They have plenty of protein for your nutritional needs.
They have biotin which is essential for nails, hair, and skin. .
Eggs provide choline which can help nerve and brain function, muscle movement, and metabolism. .
Eggs are an easy food to prepare and relatively inexpensive meal .
Yolk has some omega 3 and vitamins.
Eggs have very high cholesterol 213 mg, which is not directly correlated to high cholesterol but definitely contributes due to its high saturated fat. Recommended daily intake of cholesterol is not more than 300 mg a day.
The choline in the egg form may actually not be healthy. While they are high in choline this choline is turned into tma by our intestine and then tmao by our liver. Tmao seems to be associated with higher risk up to 9x of heart disease and stroke.
Egg white- the white of the egg has methionine which stimulates igf-1 growth factor which contributes to cell growth and may cause cancer cell stimulation in adults.
Only the yellow has omega 3 but this is the less desirable portion as far as cholesterol and fat.
The biotin is not as useful as alleged because eating too many eggs actually binds the biotin and has the opposite effect. Whites have protein that can interfere with the body’s use of biotin as well.
Eggs have a much higher risk of salmonella than most foods. Which causes gastrointestinal illness.
A substantial portion of the population have egg allergies even if you were to introduce them earlier .
Alternatives for the nutritional content that eggs are promoted to provide but in a healthier form.
Choline : Plant source of choline are anti inflammatory. Have better glycemic index, more fiber and are healing. Most plant sources of protein have good levels of choline. Beans and lentils have a comparable choline content to eggs but in a healthier healing form.
Biotin: Healthier sources of biotin at similar levels to eggs include swiss chard, berries, nuts, carrots, and onion. All have anti inflammatory properties, low fat, high fiber, and healing phytosterols. All of which eggs have minimum amount in comparison.
Protein; There are many healthier sources of protein besides egg. Beans , nuts, tofu, wheat, etc. See protein article. All of the plant sources come without the negative effects of egg protein.
Omega 3: Many plant sources have substantially more and healthier omega 3, flax seed for one.
Egg substitutes: Both for health and for cooking use.
Chia seeds with water or almond milk protein.
Tofu scramble mixed with turmeric for yellow color .
Egg substitutes like the” Vegg”, Egg beaters and pea protein substitutes . Should be organic.
“Aquafaba”- bean juice. The liquid in the can from chickpeas ( used most commonly)
Or other legumes – beans. Either from the can or cooking in water for 2 hours. 3 tablespoons of aquafaba liquid is approximately the equivalent of one egg. This liquid is used in the same way as eggs particularly the properties of egg whites for cooking, baking, whipping. Nutritionally has protein and starch but no fat, no cholesterol, and no animal inflammatories.
If it’s too thin or watery drain some of the water out to improve the consistency.
Bottom line : Although eggs are easy and a mainstay of our western diet, they are not necessarily a part of optimal nutritional health. I do not recommend you introduce them to your children earlier in order to develop a taste for them or avoid allergies . At best the egg industry studies supporting eggs as a good food have only shown that if you are already very ill with high cholesterol or heart disease eating eggs will not make you sicker. But if you are not ill they definitely contribute to poor health.
The process of farming eggs often is not environmentally sound or humane for the chickens. Please buy organic and eggs from free range chickens.
Warren Krantz MD , FAAP