Eggs have a mixed reputation. Some love eggs, and love their good-fat benefits, and some believe that eggs are a cholesterol disaster in the making. While we will not all agree on their benefits and wealth to dieters and healthy eaters, we can agree that eggs provide enough protein to keep you full during the morning. With such mixed reviews, many may wonder why health and diet professionals cannot agree on the egg issue, and I wonder the same thing. Below are the good, the bad, and potentially ugly of eggs.

The Good: Eggs keep you full.

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The high protein content of eggs and heart-healthy Omega 3’s benefit most of us. Studies have shown that overweight women who eat eggs for breakfast stay satisfied longer than those who have eaten a different breakfast with the same calorie range. This is contributed to the protein and fat content. Eggs are packed with many vitamins and minerals, including zinc, iron, and vitamins A, D, E, and B12, which helps to provide you an energetic boost to your morning. While the US-based Food Standards Agency long placed a limit on how many eggs we can “safely” consume in one day, they eliminated this standard a few years ago. This gives clout to those who reply on eggs to provide a protein and fat boost, such as keto and paleo dieters.

The Bad & The Ugly: Eggs are a no-go for those with Atherosclerosis

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For many with cholesterol issues and atherosclerosis eggs are a no-go. While the high protein content and heart-healthy fat you may think that this should be good for those with heart and cholesterol issues, but studies have found that this is false. A study from the Western University in Canada found that two-thirds of adults with atherosclerosis had similar negative effects to their condition when they ate eggs, which compared to those who did not eat eggs but smoked cigarettes. Disturbing? Yes. Is this study concrete that eggs are bad for everyone? No.

For those without heart issues and cholesterol issues, eggs – in moderation – are a good way to get protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats into your diet. These healthy fats turn potentially deadly when someone has a preexisting heart, artery, or cholesterol condition. Cholesterol conditions can be reversed with care, but even so most doctors and specialists agree that patients should not return to eating egg yolks. While an egg white omelet may not have as much flavor as one with yolks, it is much healthier. While a whole egg contains almost your daily amount of selenium, it also contains 70% of your daily cholesterol, which is problematic. A large whole egg contains about 71 calories and 6 grams of protein, versus 16 calories and 3.6 grams of protein for an egg white. The caloric-saving benefits are great, but consider what else is on your egg white omelet: cheese, veggies, meats, and other fats.

So, are eggs good or bad for dieters? Well, the answer totally depends on you. For those without heart and cholesterol issues, eggs in moderation are good for your diet. While egg whites are better, we all crave whole eggs at one time or another. If you haven’t spoken to your doctor about your heart health, this if your friendly reminder to do so. You need a healthy heart to have a healthy life, and sometimes that means giving up egg yolks.