Eggs are undoubtedly a healthy food with unparalleled nutritional value, ideal for all ages and safe to eat for a variety of health conditions ranging from gastritis to hemorrhoids. The big question however is how many eggs should you eat to enjoy all the benefits they have to offer and avoid the potential side effects of a dietary excess? Not surprisingly, recommendations regarding how many eggs it is safe to eat per week differ from person to person. Because no food is universally healthy and what is a normal and safe amount for someone could be a dietary excess for another person. And over time, eating too much of anything could have a negative impact on your health.
Individual nutritional requirements as well as existing medical conditions and their dietary restrictions need to be taken into account prior to making any dietary recommendations. This is true for all foods. In order to be able to tell how many eggs you should eat per week, you first need to assess your state of health and consider any existing medical conditions that could be affected by eggs consumption. This will also have you know the general nutritional value of eggs to be able to determine how much of certain nutrients in eggs you need and could benefit from or if you are getting enough of some nutrients and would not benefit from excesses.
Of course, you need to take into account your current diet because while one food will not make or break your health, that one food could add to the risks of an overall poor diet. Say you eat more animal products than plant products and have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Instead of adding 2 eggs a day, 5 days a week to your breakfast, it might be healthier for you to reduce your intake of animal products by excluding some and replacing them with healthier, plant-based meals. For example, you can start your morning with whole wheat cereals or oats with a plain yogurt and some fruit. How could this help you? Well, because you add balance to your diet this way. A balanced diet should provide more plant products than animal products.
Also, if you were to cut down on your already high intake of animal products, which could mean two less steaks, one less oily fish serving or two less dairy or cold meat servings (hard cheese, butter, sausages or salami) a week, this would means less sodium, fats and cholesterol in your diet and overall better health with time. And it would also allow you to eat some eggs and enjoy the benefits they have to offer.
For example, cholesterol together with vitamin B12, both found in generous amounts in eggs, help make up the protective layer surrounding the tail of nerve cells, called a myelin sheath. Without the two of them, this protective layer can disintegrate and expose neurons, affecting their ability to transmit electrical impulses between nerve cells. The resulting demyelination is a cause of chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Vitamin B12 can also improve mental confusion, productivity, support learning and memory.
In order to better understand how many eggs you should eat per week or a day, it is important to know their nutritional value and determine if your current diet lacks or has too much of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in eggs, then further adjust your diet for even better health. This could mean eating more eggs, less or excluding unhealthy foods from your diet so you can include some eggs.
Eating 2 chicken eggs, hard boiled (100 g) provides you with 15% vitamin A, 15% vitamin D, about 40% vitamin B2, almost 30% vitamin B5, over 10% vitamin B9, 45% vitamin B12, over 50% choline, 6.6% iron, 14% phosphorus, about 10% zinc, 12.6 g of protein, all essential amino acids (so a source of complete protein), 1.12 g of carbohydrates, 10.6 g of fat, 373 mg of cholesterol, high amounts of Omega-3 and 155 kilocalories.
Translated into health benefits, eating cooked eggs would get you the following benefits:
- Nourishment for the brain, reduced mental fatigue.
- Less brain fog, better mood, increased productivity, support for learning, thanks to all the essential amino acids, B vitamins, choline, cholesterol and fats in the egg yolk and egg white.
- Protection against degenerative nerve diseases like multiple sclerosis owed to the content of cholesterol and vitamin B12 in eggs.
- Better digestion, better absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. The fats in eggs are essential for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
- Help you better cope with stress and have more energy.
- Stronger bones and teeth from phosphorus and vitamin D.
- Better immunity thanks to vitamins A, D, zinc and a good protein content.
- Cardiovascular benefits on cholesterol levels and blood pressure as a result of high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Also, eggs are good for pregnant women thanks to Omega-3, vitamins B9 and B12, helping prevent neural tube defects in infants and promoting brain development in the uterus.
So how many eggs is it safe to eat per week?
There are many opinions on how many eggs it is safe to eat a day or a week and studies support both eating as much as 3-4 eggs a day and as little as 2 eggs a week. I for example eat 2 eggs a day 4 times a week, which amounts to 8 eggs a week for me. The more demanding my job, the more eggs I eat. But I may not eat eggs at all for two weeks straight. For me, roughly 8 eggs a week is an amount that helps me feel healthy, energized, satiated and allows me to enjoy good cholesterol, blood pressure as well as maintain a healthy, steady weight and, believe it or not, sustained work productivity and good mood.
Your daily or weekly requirements might be extremely different from mine. For example, if you have a high risk of developing heart disease or diabetes, it means that you may be already eating too much fat, cholesterol, sugar and should rethink your diet and maybe cut back on processed foods, fried foods, sweets, animal products, including eggs. If you aren’t eating any eggs, it could help to include some in your diet, but start off slowly with maybe two eggs a week and see how you feel and if you need to up your intake.
In the end, it’s all about context and balance. If you have a medical condition that limits your intake of fats, cholesterol or other nutrients found in generous amounts in eggs, then eating less eggs might be better for you. If you have a diet already high in fats, cholesterol, calories, then you should at least cut down on other foods rich in these elements (usually meat, dairy, processed foods) if you want to eat more eggs. If you are looking to add quality protein to your diet, maybe to build muscle or tone your body, then eggs are a good choice.
As for how many you should eat a day or a week, it’s all about the nutrition you, as an individual, require for the amount of activity you enjoy every day. So if two eggs a week is enough for you, then there is no need for more. If you eat two eggs a day 4-5 times a week and it helps keep you energized, satiated and productive, without experiencing any side effects, then that might be a good amount for you. But try not to eat eggs every day continuously because excesses are never good in the long run. See the eggs page to learn more about the nutritional properties, health benefits and side effects of different egg varieties and choose the best one for you.
Eggs are without a doubt a nutritious food and it’s a fact. Their nutritional value makes them an important addition to any diet, but how many eggs you should eat per week depends on your individual nutritional requirements, your diet as a whole and whether or not it is already rich in animal products, fatty foods or, on the contrary, mostly plant based. The idea is to consider what eggs have to offer nutritionally speaking and determine if your diet could use more of such nutrients like vitamin B12 or less like fats and cholesterol, or if eggs would be a healthier food for you than, let’s say, deli meats.