Tag Archives: Eggs

Unscrambling the Hard Boiled Truth

image003by Anamaria Cretu.  With about 70 calories, five grams of fat, six grams of protein, vitamins and minerals galore, and a whopping 185 milligrams of cholesterol inside its shell, the egg really packs a punch [1]!  So, what’s the “shell” with eggs?  With the ‘incredible egg’ is actually the best way to start the day providing high nutrient contents and overall bodily benefits [1].  However, the word out of every quack’s mouth encourages you to limit egg consumption in your diet to reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease [2, 25, 26, 27].  Let’s break open the shell and let the eggcellent truth spill out for all to realize that eggs are healthy and have little effect on cardiovascular risk [2].  Hear the truth, become a fan and follow Sam because I do like green eggs and ham, and you should like them like Sam I am [20].

Although it’s been deemed that an egg a day won’t keep the doctor away since many docs rave about eggs being the cause for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and even heart failure [6].  Yet, eggs are like the shield of armor for a knight, which can fight off the ‘bad’ cholesterol and actually prevent CVD [7].  Much of the claims that eggs in the diet actually increase LDL greater than the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are really a misrepresentation of the ‘incredible egg’ [19].  When consuming the cracked contents of eggs, it has been shown to elevate this anti-inflammatory and anti-artherogenic agent that may be the reason for fighting off CVD [7].  No doubt, the egg is one mighty superhero for the body. 

Are my eyes really seeing the truth that eggs increase HDL and lower LDL cholesterol [7]?  Although, doc has told us that eggs are terribly bad for the body, the eye popping nutrients inside the eggs are truly the fountain of youth for the eyes in keeping them healthy [8].  So your mom may not have told you, but eggs are a good source of carotenoids, which are the same things in those vegetables that you avoid eating [8].  The blind side of eggs is within the yolk which contains these carotenoid factors known as lutein and zeaxanthin to basically enhance eye pigmentation for adequate vision [8].  Forget the vegetables and crack open a couple of eggs; they’ll surely do your eyes and body a favor. 

When you worry less about cholesterol causing CVD and losing your eye vision, then you’ll love your scale more than ever.  Eating eggs truly is the icing on the cake, but without the extra meaningless calories; the great news is that consuming higher cholesterol during a low energy diet promotes a constant weight management [9].  Up till now, docs have been preaching about a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol by limiting egg consumption [11, 18], but you’re wrong doc because the egg is what it’s cracked up to be.  The ‘incredible egg’ can provide the essential amino acids which are those good’ole proteins that make your body big and strong and even make you fit in those skinny jeans[11].  There’s a reason to scramble ourselves some eggs in the morning rather than eating that cardboard cereal that we always indulge in.   hard-boiled-egg-1    

Aren’t we literally the bread consumers of the world?  Referring to the actual grains, we have become copy cats believing that having a higher fat diet will result in heart failure [10].  Eggs are loaded with fats [11], however, these aren’t the same fats you get from doughnuts.  Folks, there is such a thing as healthy fats. These are known as your omega 3 fatty acids.  They are anti-inflammatory agents and may even prevent certain types of cancer and coronary heart disease [12, 13, 23].  This may shock you but eating a couple of eggs a day doesn’t contribute to negative effects on blood lipid results [13, 26].  However, the goodness of fats is nothing like the muscle enhancer of protein inside the shell of the eggs.

Those docs love to drive you to eat all the whole grain carbohydrates because it seems to them to be the way to lower heart failure; however, fellow egg lovers know that those high carbohydrate diets may not be the best way to lose that stubborn fat since our bodies suck up carbohydrates like vacuums [10, 16].  Being satiated from protein seems to be the way to decrease the chances you’d pull up to the drive-thru window at McDonald’s [16].  You may want to join the latest fad of consuming more protein over carbohydrates since it will be the first class ticket for you to get your next Schwarzenegger looking like body and for your young one to grow and be brain smart  [14, 15, 16, 22].   

All the focus on egg sensitivity and allergies make eggs seem just as bad for your infants and children, right [14]?  Wrong, mothers-to- be you need to listen up here; breast milk has shown a failure in providing the adequate amount of iron needed for the infant, so the super egg is here to fix it all [14].  The yolk is really no joke because it contains the needed sources for iron to prevent early onset of deficiencies in infants [14].  Want to hear more?  The nutrient rich fats in eggs are considered to also be a sufficient source for infants’ brains for memory and sleep especially in the first months of life [14, 22].  In reality, the effects of eggs on infants and children is virtually irrelevant to adults even though the consumption has been shown to maintain the HDL and LDL levels of cholesterol [14, 15].  We know that eggs are so good for you, so what’s the buzz about eggs causing cancer?  

With all eyes on the cancers of the world, it isn’t surprising that eggs have captured the attention as an agent causing ovarian cancer in women [17].  If it was that simple for cells to become cancerous after eating the fats and protein of eggs, then we’d all be walking cancers [24].  The eggciting news about eggs is that they have the same association to cancer as does a piece of red meat [17].  What about the diet and the environment as a factor for the hormone distribution in the body to associate with cancer; everyone loves to blame eggs for everything even though they do more good than bad [17, 24].  Never fear though, super egg is here:-)          

The egg really is what it’s cracked up to be!  Eggs are truly an ideal source for improving not only overall health but potential risk factors for disease and cancer too [2, 3, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17 ].  Watch out for the super egg because it’s flying in for a landing on your morning plate to provide its goodness for both you and your young one’s body and mind. 

About the Author:  Anamaria Cretu is an undergraduate student at Nova Southeastern University.  Her field of study is Exercise Science.


1. Incredible Edible Egg. (2012). Retrieved Oct. 20, 2012. http://www.incredibleegg.org/health-and-nutrition/egg-nutrients/nutrient-label

2. Scrafford, C., Tran, N., Barraj, L., & Mink, P. (2011). Egg consumption and CHD and stroke mortality: a prospective study of US adults. Public Health Nutrition. 14, 261-270 doi:10.1017/S1368980010001874.

3. Nakamura, Y., Iso, H., Kita, Y., Ueshima, H., Okada, K., Konishi, M., . . . Tsugane, S. (2006). Egg consumption, serum total cholesterol concentrations and coronary heart disease incidence: Japan Public Health Center based  prospective study. British Journal of Nutrition. 96, 921-928 doi:10.1017/BJN20061937.

4. Djousse, L., Gaziano, M. (2008). Egg Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality The Physicians’ Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr, 87(4): 964–969.

5. Houston, D., Ding, J., Lee, J., Garcia, M., Kanaya, A., Tylavsky, F., . . . Kritchevsky, K. (2011). Dietary Fat and Cholesterol and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Older Adults: the Health ABC Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 21(6), 430–437. doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2009.11.007.

6. Djousse, L., Gaziano, M. (2008). Egg Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure in the Physicians’ Health Study. Circulation. 117(4): 512–516. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.734210.

7. Klangjareonchai, T., Putadechakum, S., Sritara, P., & Roongpisuthipong, C. (2012). The Effect of Egg Consumption in Hyperlipidemic Subjects during Treatment with Lipid-Lowering Drugs. Journal of Lipids. 1-4. doi:10.1155/2012/672720.

8. Moeller, S., Jacques, P., & Blumberg, J. (2000). The Potential Role of Dietary Xanthophylls in Cataract and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 19(5), 522S–527S.

9. Lacombe, C., Corraze, G., Nibbelink, M., Boulze, D., Douste-Blazy, P., & Camare, R. (1986). Effects of a low energy diet associated with egg supplementation on plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein levels in normal subjects: results of a crossover study. British Journal of Nutrition. 56, 561-575. doi:10.1079/BJN19860137.

10. Nettleton, J., Steffen, L., Loehr, L., Rosamond, W., Folsom, A. (2008). Incident Heart Failure Is Associated with Lower Whole-Grain Intake and Greater High-Fat Dairy and Egg Intake in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. J Am Diet Assoc. 108(11), 1881–1887. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2008.08.015.

11.  Kummerow, F., Kim, Y., Hull., Pollard, J., Ilinov, P., Dorossiev, D., Valek, J. (1977). The influence of egg consumption on the serum cholesterol level in human subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 30, 664-673.

12. Endevelt, R., & Shahar, D. (2004). Omega 3: the Vanishing Nutrient beyond Cardiovascular Prevention and Treatment. IMAJ. 6, 235-239.

13. Lewis, N., Seburg, S., & Flanagan, N. (2000). Enriched Eggs as a Source of N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids for Humans. Poultry Science. 79, 971–974.

14. Makarides, M., Hawkes, J., Neumann, M., & Gibson, R. (2002). Nutritional effect of including egg yolk in the weaning diet of breast-fed and formula-fed infants: a randomized controlled trial.  Am J Clin Nutr. 75, 1084-1092.

15. Ballesteros, M., Cabrera, R., Saucedo, M., & Fernandez, M. (2004). Dietary cholesterol does not increase biomarkers for chronic disease in a pediatric population from northern Mexico.  Am J Clin Nutr. 80, 855-861.

16. Weigle, D., Breen, P., Matthys, C., Callahan, H., Meeuws, K., Burden, V., & Purnell, J. (2005). A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, adlibitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations.  Am J Clin Nutr. 82, 41– 48.

17. Larsson, S. & Wolk, A. (2005). No Association of Meat, Fish, and Egg Consumption with Ovarian Cancer Risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 14, 1024-1025.

18. Dawber, T., Nickerson, R., Brand, F., & Pool, J. (1982). Eggs, serum cholesterol, and coronary heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 36, 617-625.

19. Roberts, S., McMurray, M., & Connor, W. (1981). Does egg feeding (i.e., dietary cholesterol) affect plasma cholesterol levels in humans? The results of a double-blind study.  Am J Clin Nutr. 34, 2092-2099.

20. Geisel, T. (1960). Green Eggs and Ham. Retrieved from http://www.mfwi.edu/MFWI/Recordings/Green%20Eggs%20and%20Ham.pdf

21. Spence, J., Jenkins, D., & Davignon, J. (2010). Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: Not for patients at risk of vascular disease. Can J Cardiol. 26(9), e336-e339.

22. Mitchell, E., Slettenaar, M., Quadt, F., Giesbrecht, T., Kloek, J., Gerhardt, C.,Wiseman, S. (2011). Effect of hydrolysed egg protein on brain tryptophan availability. British Journal of Nutrition. 105, 611-617. doi:10.1017/S0007114510004150.

23. Bautista, L., Herran, O., & Serrano, C. (2001). Effects of palm oil and dietary cholesterol on plasma lipoproteins:results from a dietary crossover trial in free-living subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 55, 748-754.

24. Bertone, E., Rosner, B., Hunter, D., Stampfer, M., Speizer, F., Colditz, G.,Hankinson, S. (2002). Dietary Fat Intake and Ovarian Cancer in a Cohort of US Women. American Journal of Epidemiology.  156(1), 22-31. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwf008.

25. Nakamura, Y., Okamura, T., Tamaki, S., Kadowaki, T., Hayakawa, T., Kita, Y., . . . Ueshima, H. (2004). Egg consumption, serum cholesterol, and cause-specific and all-cause mortality: the National Integrated Project for Prospective Observation of Non-communicable Disease and Its Trends in the Aged, 1980. Am J Clin Nutr. 80, 58-63.

26. Njike, V., Faridi, Z., Dutta, S., Gonzalez-Simon, A., & Katz, D. (2010). Daily egg consumption in hyperlipidemic adults -Effects on endothelial function and cardiovascular risk. Nutrition Journal. 9(28), 1-9.

27. Weggemans, R., Zock, P., & Katan, M. (2001). Dietary cholesterol from eggs increases the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in humans: a meta-analysis.  Am J Clin Nutr. 73, 885-891.


Saturated Fat – Not Guilty!

By Scott Robinson.   There’s some serious confusion about saturated fat, and whether it is bad for the heart and is associated with diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and cancers.

The demonization of saturated fat began about 100 years ago, when a researcher fed a rabbit a high cholesterol carnivore diet and observed that its arteries became blocked with plaque.  However, this really took shape in the Fifties with the Seven Countries study by Ancel Keys(1), who reported that a higher saturated fat High_Fat_Foodsintake was associated with a higher cholesterol level and a higher rate of heart disease. The basic premise on which this condemnation lies is that saturated fat (found in foods such as meat, eggs, dairy products, coconut and palm oil) raises cholesterol which in turn, increases the risk of clogged arteries (atherosclerosis). Subsequently, the emergence of low-fat diets and ‘fat-free’ foods has spread with whipping speed and sweep with millions of people deciding to put low fat items into their shopping trolley in the belief that it is doing them good. But is fat, specifically saturated fat, the real criminal here or have we been somewhat misguided by company-funded research, fat-phobic conventional medical wisdom and the advertising prowess of a concept that now encompasses a multi-million dollar industry?

Saturated Fat is Essential for a Healthy Life

Fatty acids play several key roles in the body; they are essential components of all cell membranes, they are responsible for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and include the essential n-3 and n-6 poly-unsaturated fatty-acids (PUFA).

The evidence that saturated fat is bad is limited. In fact, contemporary research states quite the opposite. A recent meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies(2) showed that the intake of saturated fat is not associated _73638186_fried_sausages-spl-1with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or those two combined (i.e. cardiovascular disease, CVD) before(2) or after(3) adjustment for serum total cholesterol. What’s more, an eloquent study published in the journal Nutrition(4), where researchers looked at the average intake of saturated fat in 41 European countries in 1998 (the latest available data) and the age-adjusted risk of mortality from heart disease, revealed something quite remarkable:

More saturated fat, less heart disease; less saturated fat, more heart disease!

That is, as percentages of saturated fat increased, rates of death from heart disease fell. For example, France who consumed the most saturated fat (15.5% of diet) had the lowest rate of heart disease in all of Europe, whereas Bosnia and Herzegovina who consumed very little saturated fat (<4% of diet) had the highest incidence of heart disease. It is worth baring in mind that ecological data such as this doesn’t necessarily prove that saturated fat can protect against heart disease, but it can more or less disprove a theory as let’s face it, it’s difficult to believe that saturated fat is a major contributor to heart disease when Europeans who are consuming it in abundance are so much healthier, without exception.

So, who is the Culprit?

A comprehensive review of studies on saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease by Kuipers et al. in 2011(5) purported that it is the accumulation of saturated fat in body lipids which should concern us and not the damaging effects of dietary saturated fat per se. Take for instance a study published in Lipids(6) which found that when subjects with the metabolic syndrome were fed either a low-CHO/high fat diet with high saturated fat content or a high-CHO/low-fat diet with low saturated fat content, the low-CHO/high-saturated fat diet resulted in lower saturated fat levels in plasma lipids compared with the high-CHO/low-saturated fat diet. What’s more, an analysis of studies found that replacing saturated fat by CHO with a high glycemic index was associated with a whopping 33% increased risk of myocardial infarction(7). Such findings suggest that replacing saturated fat with carbohydrate in the diet, particularly those with a high glycemic index, may increase risk of heart disease.

N-6 vs. N-3 PUFA

Epidemiological and clinical studies show that PUFA plays a key role in the protection against CVD which has led to the suggestion that replacing saturated fat with PUFA is beneficial to cardiovascular health. A prospective study of cholesterol, apolipoproteins, and the risk of myocardial infarction found that replacing 5 en%  saturated fat by 5 en% PUFA reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 9.1% (8). Interestingly, Kuipers et al. (5) reported that the replacement of SAFA with n-6 PUFA (notably linoleic acid) shows no health benefit and may actually signal towards increased CVD risk which tells us that the protective role of PUFA in the diet lies with n-3 PUFA!

Take-Home Message:

Going ‘low-fat’ isn’t a particularly good option for weight loss nor health and well-being. Fat forms an essential component of the diet and there is increasing evidence to suggest that increasing saturated fat to ~15% total daily intake isn’t hazardous to heart health and may indeed provide a protective effect against heart disease. It is worth noting that many fat-free or low-fat foods are crammed with artificial sugars and sweeteners and therefore many of us who do go ‘low-fat’ often replace fat with carbohydrates; the consequences of which appear to be an increased risk of heart disease as well as other uncommunicable diseases such as diabetes and cancers. It goes without saying that we must not over-indulge ourselves with saturated fat, but eating less dietary carbohydrate (particularly those with a high-glycemic index), trans-fatty acids and linoleic acid, while increasing the consumption of fish, red meat, vegetables and fruit may be an attractive means of keeping our heart healthy.

‘Our genes should be well adapted to eating ~15% saturated fat – 2 x that recommended as maximum by USDA, yet as much as the healthiest populations in Europe’ Coincidence?


Keys A. B. (1980). Seven countries: a multivariate analysis of death and coronary heart disease. London, England: Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts.

Siri-Tarino, P. W., Sun, Q., Hu F. B., et al. (2010). Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91, 535-46.

Scarborough, P., Rayner, M., van Dis I., et al. (2010). Meta-analysis of effect of saturated fat intake on cardiovascular disease: over-adjustment obscures true associations. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 92, 458-464.

European cardiovascular disease statistics (2008 edition). British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group Department of Public Health, University of Oxford and Health Economics Research Centre, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford.

Kuipers, R. S., de Graaf, D. J., Luxwolda, M. F., Muskiet, M. H. A., Dijck-Brouwer, D. A. J, & Muskiet, F. A. J. (2011). Saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease. Netherlands, The Journal of Medicine, 69, 372-378.

Volek J. S., Phinney, S. D., Forsythe, C. E, et al. (2009). Carbohydrate restriction has a more favourable impact on the metabolic syndrome than a low fat diet. Lipids, 44, 297-309.

Jakobsen, M. U., Dethlefsen, C., Joensen, A. M., et al. (2010). Intake of carbohydrates compared with intake of saturated fatty acids and risk of myocardial infarction: importance of the glycemic index. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91, 1764-8.

Stampfer, M. J., Sacks, F. M., Salvini, S., et al. (1991). A prospective study of cholesterol, apolipoproteins, and the risk of myocardial infarction. New England Journal of Medicine, 325, 373-81.

Bio: Scott is a Doctoral Researcher in Exercise Metabolism at the University of Birmingham, UK. He holds a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science and a Masters with Distinction in Sports Physiology. He currently works as a Nutrition advisor for Myprotein UK who are the UK’s number one online sports nutrition company. For regular updates on the latest in exercise metabolism and nutrition, follow Scott on Twitter @scottrobinson8 or if you have any questions please feel free to email him slr247@bham.ac.uk  

Eggcellent Protein

By: Jose Antonio PhD
Date Published: April 2011.

Yes, eggs are indeed wonderful for your body and brain. We know the harmful effects of eggs have been completely overblown(1). In fact, one study showed that eating eggs more frequently, up to almost daily, was not associated with an increase in coronary heart disease incidence for middle-aged Japanese men and women(2).  And we know that egg yolk has two very important carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which have been shown to be great for eye health. But there’s also another ‘story’ to eggs. For instance, scientists have known that reduced brain serotonin function is involved in stress-related disturbances and may occur under conditions of chronic stress. We also know that serotonin production depends on the availability of tryptophan (TRP). Recently, an egg protein hydrolysate (EPH) was developed that showed a much greater effect on brain TRP availability than pure TRP and other TRP-food sources. So does that mean EPH might be effective for performance under stressful conditions? Scientists looked at the effects of EPH compared to placebo protein on plasma amino acids, stress coping and performance in subjects with high and low chronic stress “vulnerabilities”. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study, 17 volunteers with high and 18 participants with low chronic stress vulnerabilities were monitored for mood and performance under acute stress exposure either following intake of EPH or placebo.

And here is what they found. EPH significantly increased plasma TRP availability for uptake into the brain, decreased depressive mood in all subjects and improved perceptual-motor and vigilance performance only in low chronic stress-vulnerable subjects. The scientists in this study concluded that the acute use of a TRP-rich egg protein hydrolysate (EPH) is an effective way of increasing plasma TRP for uptake into the brain and therefore may be beneficial for perceptual-motor and vigilance performance in healthy volunteers(3).
So this benefits you because for one thing, EPH is an excellent protein source. Heck, whole eggs are a great food. But also, for those of you who are trying to get cut and lean, dropping calories, albeit temporarily is a strategy that you need to do. And to do that most effectively, you need to maintain optimal protein intake. For instance, a recent study looked 20 young healthy resistance-trained athletes were fed fewer calories (but with the same calories but one had higher protein and the other lower protein).

They discovered that about 2.3 grams of protein per kg of body weight or approximately 35% protein was significantly superior to approximately 1 gram per kg or approximately 15% energy protein for maintenance of lean body mass in young healthy athletes during short-term hypoenergetic weight loss(4).  For a 200 lb athlete, that is roughly equal to 209 grams of protein or about 35 eggs or 4-5 chicken breasts. So anytime you try to lose body fat or weight, just make sure to take out some carbs and jack up the protein. And while you’re at it, add an egg or two to your diet.

About the Author:

Jose Antonio is an author, speaker, radio show host, sports nutrition scientist, and avid outrigger paddler.  www.theissn.org


  • Egg-cellent news for most, but not those with diabetes. The harmful effects of eggs were overblown, but the studies show that people with diabetes should still limit how many they eat. Harv Health Lett. Jul 2008;33(9):6.
  • Nakamura Y, Iso H, Kita Y, et al. Egg consumption, serum total cholesterol concentrations and coronary heart disease incidence: Japan Public Health Center-based prospective study. Br J Nutr. Nov 2006;96(5):921-928.
  • Markus CR, Verschoor E, Firk C, Kloek J, Gerhardt CC. Effect of tryptophan-rich egg protein hydrolysate on brain tryptophan availability, stress and performance. Clin Nutr. Feb 16. 2010.
  • Mettler S, Mitchell N, Tipton KD. Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. Feb;42(2):326-337. 2010.