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How Many Eggs Should I Eat a Week?

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New guidelines from the government have increased the number of eggs you should eat.

I eat lots of eggs. I mean lots. Naming my blog Fresh Eggs Daily could NOT be more apropos.

I don't really keep track, but I would guess that I single-handedly eat probably at least a dozen eggs a week, easily, despite current federal dietary guidelines to limit egg consumption to one a day, or just seven a week.

So how many eggs should you eat a  week?

Should I worry about my cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease?

Not necessarily.

A bit of background first. I come from a long line of chicken keepers. My grandmother lived to be 99 years old and I would bet she also ate eggs nearly every day, her entire life. And no, she didn't die of a heart attack.

I personally have my cholesterol tested every couple of years according to American Heart Association guidelines and it's always been normal - in fact my 'good' cholesterol is generally extremely high. So I haven't been worried about my egg consumption. 

But although Mother Earth News did a study several years ago showing that free ranged and pasture-ranged chickens lay eggs that contain up to 1/3 less cholesterol than caged chicken eggs, I never really had any scientific proof that eating more than one egg a day, which contains about 180 mg of the 300mg of daily cholesterol recommended by the American Heart Association, was unhealthy. 

And while egg whites have fewer calories and less cholesterol than the yolk, I do eat the yolk because that contains the bulk of the nutrients in the egg. (Even chickens know that. Try cracking an egg into a dish and offering it to your chickens.

They'll eat the yolk and leave the white. They just know stuff like that.) And to make it even more interesting, I often eat duck eggs which contain even MORE cholesterol than chicken eggs - more than 600 mg per egg!

But they also contain more vitamins and nutrients.

How Many Eggs Should I Eat a Week?

Now, however, it seems a new study has just come out which seems to point to the fact that dietary cholesterol isn't the cause of heart disease and the 300mg limit will soon be lifted by the federal government based on recommendations by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. 

Bad cholesterol and saturated fat, such as that in butter, cream, fatty meats etc. is still bad.

But foods high in cholesterol, such as eggs, shrimp and lobster (as long as they aren't drenched in butter, that is!) are now thought to not contribute to high cholesterol. (as an aside, a study done back in 2001 actually said these same things)

Updated 5/31/2021 to add:

Another study done in Finland and published in Science Daily in the spring of 2016 provided more evidence that eating eggs as part of a high cholesterol diet does not increase a person's risk of heart disease or a heart attack. The people in another study done in Finland ate four eggs a week and were found to have no increase in cardiovascular disease from their diet.

And more good news! In 2019, Harvard Health put out an article that eating up to 7 eggs a week won't harm the average person.

And in February 2021 researchers at Medical News Today confirmed that eating one egg a day isn't linked to health problems or high cholesterol in most people, and even approved of older healthy adults eating two eggs a day.

So as long as you don't fry your eggs in bacon grease or butter, and instead use just a bit of olive oil or other heart-healthy fat, poach or hard-boil your eggs, they may actually be far more heart-healthy than you think. Eggs contain Omega-3s and are an excellent source of protein.

They contain every nutrient needed for life (except vitamin C) and most of the fat in them is monounsaturated fat (the 'good' fat).  Eggs help build healthy brains, eyes and muscles, they boost your immune system, give you energy and can even help with weight loss. 

This is all great news for the backyard chicken keeper. Not only do we obviously have basically an unlimited supply of eggs for our own family to eat, if you sell your eggs, a greater demand in response to the new study will mean your business will be booming! 

So go ahead, eat more eggs!

On that note, I'm off to scramble up some eggs for breakfast!

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give any specific medical or dietary advice.  You should consult with your physician before any diet change about the potential benefits or risks to you personally. 

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