Fried, scrambled, or sunny-side-up—with a side of bad cholesterol? There’s plenty of warnings out there telling you how eggs could be cooking up some serious health issues in your body, regardless of how you eat them. The popular narrative is that eating too many eggs can skyrocket your cholesterol to an unhealthy level—which seems like a bummer, given that eggs are both easy-to-make and nutritious.
However, as with any healthy debate, there is a counter-argument attesting that what really matters is the number of eggs you eat. As Heather Hanks, M.S. nutritionist, says, “Generally, eggs are a very healthy food that can be incorporated into a daily diet…however, eating too much of anything is a bad thing, and this includes eggs.”
The right amount of eggs could be good for you—and actually, there’s evidence showing that when consumed moderately, eggs might actually be helpful with cholesterol. But, as curious foodies (not to mention big fans of eggs), we wanted to explore just how dangerous it can be to eat too many. Read on to see what we uncovered, and for even more helpful eating tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
It’s not a myth. A single big egg contains 186 milligrams of cholesterol, which is more than half the long-standing recommended intake of around 300 milligrams. As we all know, eggs are best eaten in pairs. As Kieran Knight, fitness trainer and writer, put it, “you’d be over—or well over—your cholesterol budget if you ate two eggs for breakfast every morning.”
However, Knight continued to explain, there is some new evidence that cholesterol is more likely produced in the liver than absorbed by diet. Here’s One Major Side Effect of Eating Eggs Every Day, Says Science.
Bad cholesterol often causes heart disease-related risks, and in the case of eggs, it’s no different. Dr. Rashmi Byakodi explains that when it comes to taking care of your heart, it’s more about the egg yolk than anything else.
“Patients at risk of cardiovascular disease should limit their intake of egg yolk,” she advised. “Generally, doctors recommend stopping the consumption of egg yolks after a stroke or myocardial infarction.”
Dr. Byakodi went on to reference a couple of studies that show that eggs could increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In one, the dietary phosphatidylcholine, which comes from eggs, was shown to exert negative effects on the heart. And in another, higher consumption of dietary cholesterol or eggs was linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.
Not sure how many eggs you should have? This Is How Many Eggs You Should Eat A Day, According To A Dietitian.
As with many foods, it’s very possible to overdo egg consumption and end up in dire need of a good couch-lay while your stomach churns. Heather Hanks explained that overeating eggs “may cause digestive upset—such as bloating, gas, or abdominal pain.”
We’ve all felt this side-effect after a big omelet at brunch. But, as Hanks continued, the risk of bloat “is especially true if you have an undiagnosed food allergy or sensitivity to [eggs].”
She recommends taking an at-home allergy test to determine which foods you may be sensitive to.
Eggs are fatty—a natural fat, yes, but still fat. Especially when you overindulge, the fats in eggs can have a very real effect on your blood sugar. They can increase insulin resistance, which means that the sugar in your blood isn’t used for energy the way it’s supposed to be.
As a result, your pancreas will make more insulin and blood sugar levels will rise. As Certified Nutrition Coach Elliot Reimers put it, “if you already have a cardiovascular condition or type 2 diabetes, it’s best to cut back on your egg consumption.”
However, in order for eggs to have such an adverse effect, you would have to eat a significant amount of them at once. According to Healthline, eating up to three eggs in a day is enough to reap the health benefits (such as omega-3 fatty acids and protein) without experiencing this dangerous side effect of eating too many eggs.
Here’s What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Eggs Every Day.