What's the Deal with Eggs?
You think eggs are the perfect food. They’re high in protein, low in fat and generally a healthy breakfast choice. Right?
In fact, two tablespoons of chickpeas has the same amount of protein without the fat, choline and dietary cholesterol.
Why do we think eggs are healthy?
We think of eggs as healthy because the American Egg Board (and other organizations profiting off of the sales of eggs) invest heavily in marketing and funding scientists to design studies which will skew the data in their favour.
For example, the AEB spend >$10m annually on marketing and use cheeky tactics to show the benefits of eggs. The clinical trials AEB fund will be designed to measure blood cholesterol levels 7-8 hours after having eaten eggs and use comparisons that, relatively speaking, don’t make eggs look bad. One study concluded that eggs are healthy by comparing them to sausages and cheese.
Why they’re not so great
In evaluating numerous studies a meta analysis of found that eggs are indeed bad for you.
Overall, those who ate the most eggs had a ~20% increased risk of cardiovascular disease, ~70% increased risk of diabetes, and then, once you get diabetes, an 85% increased risk of heart disease.
Interestingly, it didn’t take much—less than a single egg a day was associated with a significantly increased risk of heart disease for three main reasons:
Cholesterol: Eggs are High in Cholesterol (2 eggs is over the maximum daily recommended intake - 422mg in 2 eggs vs. 300mg RDA)
Choline: which interracts with our gut bacteria to produce a compound called TMAO which is extremely problematic.
Oestrogen: Contain steroidal hormone estrogen
This results in:
Increased risk of Diabetes
Cancer - especially prostate cancer onset and progression - <1 egg/day doubles the risk of cancer progression
Stroke - a single egg a day equivalent risk factor as smoking 5 cigarettes a day - just three eggs or more a week was associated with a significant increase in artery-clogging plaque buildup in people’s carotid arteries, going to their brain—a strong predictor of stroke
For these reasons, in the U.S. it is ILLEGAL for the AEB to approve any advertising that calls eggs:
“Good for you”
Or even because of salmonella poisoning, “safe”.
It’s illegal to call eggs “safe.”
Regardless of this, the AEB is increasingly pushing sales of eggs beyond the borders of the U.S. In the last year alone U.S. egg exports to the Middle East region have grown by 73%. Good news for the AEB, but not such good news for health in the Middle East.
In short, don’t eat eggs. Have a cup of chickpeas instead for breakfast recipes/use chickpea flour. For cake recipes you can mix seeds like flax or chia with water to make a gel-like substance that can be used as a replacement. Or, when you buy tinned chickpeas - the gooey water they come with is a great substitute for eggs in baking too.