Whether you’re eating pancakes, a McMuffin, an omelet, or a breakfast burrito in the morning, your breakfast often starts with an egg. This essential ingredient is one of the most popular and accessible sources of protein, which keeps us satiated and energized for the day ahead.
You encounter eggs in just about every breakfast food, which means many of us eat them on the daily. Nutrition experts herald the humble egg as one of the best things you can eat in the morning. But you’ve probably also heard ominous warnings about the potential health risks that come with daily egg consumption.
So what’s the truth, exactly? Should we be worried about eating eggs every day? Are there more nutritious options that we should consider instead? We talked to nutrition expert Dr. Kellyann Petrucci about all of the factors to consider before you crack open an egg for breakfast.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eggs?
Eggs pack a lot of nutrients into a tiny package. Each large egg contains six grams of complete protein. Compared to meat and fish, they’re one of the most economical protein sources. But beyond a macronutrient perspective, eggs contain several essential compounds that contribute to a healthy diet.
One particularly valuable nutrient is choline, which can be found in egg yolks specifically. “Choline helps builds strong, bouncy cell membranes, and it also plays a critical role in methylation—the process of turning genes ‘on’ and ‘off,'” Petrucci says.
As one of the building blocks of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, choline plays a major role in mood regulation and memory function, too. “A high choline intake may help prevent depression, memory loss, and anxiety,” Petrucci adds.
Not convinced eggs are healthy yet? According to Petrucci, they’re also good sources of riboflavin, iron, zinc, folate, phosphorous, and vitamins A, D, B6, and B12. It’s basically nature’s multivitamin.
Is It Healthy To Eat Eggs Every Day?
You may have heard warnings about the cholesterol levels in egg yolks, which has influenced some health-conscious eaters to forgo the yolk altogether. But before you order an egg white omelet, let’s look at the facts. The yolk’s impact on your overall cholesterol isn’t as scary as we were once led to believe.
Dr. Petrucci dismisses the cholesterol claims as outdated myths. “As it turns out, eggs don’t affect your cholesterol significantly. And when eggs do change your cholesterol, studies hint that they do it in a good way,” she says.
Experts at Harvard Medical School agree. Recent research indicates that our body’s cholesterol levels aren’t impacted by the cholesterol in our food. Instead, it’s primarily made in our own livers with dietary saturated and trans fats. And with only about 1.5 grams of saturated fat in each egg, there’s hardly enough to raise the alarm bells.
So you don’t necessarily need to worry about the health risks associated with eating eggs every day. However, it’s worth evaluating how you’re eating them. Pairing your eggs with sodium and saturated fat-filled breakfast meats like bacon and sausage may introduce its own set of health risks.
While these foods may increase your risk of heart disease and other health concerns, it’s also important to note that these risks are associated with a large, consistent intake of these potentially harmful ingredients. That doesn’t means you have to swear off bacon entirely; just be mindful of how much and how often you eat it.
Dr. Petrucci also notes that the fat you use in the cooking process can also impact the overall nutrition of your eggs. She recommends using high quality fats that can withstand high temperatures, like butter from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows and organic, grass-fed ghee.
Gabby Romero is Delish’s editorial assistant, where she writes stories about the latest TikTok trends, develops recipes, and answers any and all of your cooking-related questions. She loves eating spicy food, collecting cookbooks, and adding a mountain of Parmesan to any dish she can.