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How Many Eggs is Too Many?

so, I am low carbing in order to maintain a recent weight loss and I find that I am eating eggs every morning for breakfast because they are cheap, quick and I am at a loss for anything else that is carb- less to eat. My spouse (who has high cholesterol, this is his hot topic) says that eating 2 eggs every day is very unhealthy and it will give me high cholesterol too. Is he right?

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  1. No, he is not.

    There used to be a theory that excessive egg consumption was bad for cholesterol levels. Such a view is not now generally taken by dieticians.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Harters

      The cholesterol in eggs is not going to cause high cholesterol for you. Harters is correct. This is an old view. Besides, two eggs a day isn't excessive.

    2. Instead of being on a low-carb diet aim for a well balanced diet now that you've lost the weight you wanted.

      It's total calories that count in the long run not what kinds. Too much of anything isn't good for anyone.

      1. Have your blood tests run every year--if your cholesterol goes too high, cut back on your eggs. Cholesterol is a very individual thing--eggs are bad for some folks, not for others.

        I have been low carbing for 3 years, due to diabetes, and it is the best and least painful way I have ever found to maintain my weight, and my numbers are good.

        I often have cheese and crackers for breakfast--I try to keep my carbs down to 15-20 per meal.

        1. It's a very continental European thing to have cheeses and mixed sliced meats (e.g. salami, ham, turkey) for breakfast. You could accompany it with some rye crackers or, for even lower carbs, a selection of pickles and sliced vegetables to dip in flavoured cream cheese. My friends in Berlin used to swear by it... :)

          1. Opinions seem to vary. These days eggs seem to viewed as a very healthy protein source. Current thinking also seems to refute the old idea that "foods containing cholesterol can give you high cholesterol" does not have much basis in actual fact.

            But I'm not a scientist or a doctor...just a confused consumer who is somewhat amused by the medical researchers' flip flopping on so many issues.
            Then again, margarine and Crisco were once touted as a healthy substitutes for butter or lard...and both myths have been widely debunked.

            Personally, I'd just enjoy the eggs and not sweat it.
            The biggest risk from eating 2 eggs a day may be to develop an allergy to them (but that can can apparently happen with almost any food). Scramble away.

            1. I have eaten two eggs for breakfast almost every day for the last 12 years (I've been low-carbing since the summer of 2000). My cholesterol levels are excellent. Diet is not the only contributor to cholesterol levels, however - our livers produce cholesterol (as it is necessary for many bodily functions), so genetics and overall health play a significant role. There is also a good deal of research that indicates that too much insulin contributes to high cholesterol, and the best way to control insulin is to eat a low-carb diet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: biondanonima

                I ate like crappola for years, fast food 8-10 times a week (not that I particularly liked it, but it was convenient and I was pressed for time), junk food, bar food after work, you get it. My cholesterol was always good. In the 180 range with low bad and triglycerides and high good. I ended up big as a house and in 9/04 was told I was pre-diabetic (family trait, I was watching for it). Wham. Fear of blindness, neuropathy, losing feet and insulin put me on the straight and narrow. Cut out the junk completely, no simple carbs, no high fat meat or dairy, yadda, yadda, yadda. It worked. I dropped 70 lbs (which I've kept off), my A1c dropped to 5.7. Why am I even talking about this? Because 8-9 months after I quit eating all the bad stuff, my cholesterol jumped to 265. It sucked. But like you said, genetics control cholesterol levels far more than diet does and my family history said even the tiny women (for some reason, not the men so much) who ate like birds, eschewing all fats, had high cholesterol. My mom's was over 300 (eek!) and she weighed 105 lbs and ate little but lean protein and vegetables. I take a very low dose of Simvastatin. My Cholesterol total is now around 165, with great ratios. We eat eggs multiple times a week and not a blip on the uh-oh radar. An omelet with a few 'shrooms and a little ham and cheese is a quick and easy supper with a piece of whole grain toast and a green salad or fruit. Eat your eggs in peace Kat, just have the doc test you occasionally.

              2. <My spouse (who has high cholesterol, this is his hot topic) says that eating 2 eggs every day is very unhealthy and it will give me high cholesterol too. Is he right?>

                Must current studies show that eggs have a very mild effect on blood cholesterol. Oil and fats actually have much more. If you are really concern, you can eat the egg white without the egg yolk That being said, I do remember about limiting egg consumption to about 2 eggs a day. I won't advise eating more than 2 per day (14 per week), but you will have to do your own research.


                1. I have a cholesterol problem, and I eat eggs when I want — not every day, but one or two about every other day. I take medication for the cholesterol.

                  To keep my weight down, I eliminate added sugar as much as pissible, not carbs generally. This means no ketchup, no peanut butter, and no pasta sauce in jars, among other things. No sodas, no sugar in the coffee, and no geedunks. Most of things I didn't care for anyway.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: GH1618

                    How about "natural" peanut butter that's just peanuts and salt? It's kind of a bore to have to mix it up when you first open it (I always wish for one of those paint-can shaker thingies...), but there's no added sugar.

                    ETA: this was supposed to be reply to GH1618...

                    1. re: kcshigekawa

                      That's right, but for some reason you can't get stabilized peanut butter with no sugar. I've used the oily kind, but would just as soon give it up altogether.

                      It's also possible to get pasta sauce in a jar without added sugar, but it's significantly more expensive. I keep a couple of jars on hand, but mostly make my own now.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        How oily natural peanut butter is seems to vary from brand to brand. All of them are oily when you first open them, but if you stir that up and leave it in the fridge upside-down for a half-day or so it thickens much more. Smucker's and Laura Scudder's seem less oily to me. If you really like peanut butter it's worth experimenting a bit.

                        1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                          That's what I do...leave it in the fridge upside down, after a few uses it doesn't even need to be stirred. Mine is 100% dry roasted peanuts without added sugar or salt, grown from non-GMO seeds. I transitioned about a year ago, after the initial oil/stir shock I couldn't imagine going back, especially because it tastes so pure!

                        2. re: GH1618

                          they stabilize the processed peanut butter by using SUGARS (after all sugar is cheaper than peanuts and agribusiness has figured out that the more sugar they sell at peanut butter prices, the more profit they will make).

                          re: the pasta sauce.
                          the heat that is used in making jarred pasta sauce is high enough to alter the taste profile of garlic. by making your homemade sauce, you will get spoiled, the garlic flavor will taste "right" and, after a while you won't be able to stand the stuff in the jars. . . .

                    2. I don't want to scare you with ***tofu*** but that is a source of good protein, and you can mix it with eggs in a variety of ways. Also consider organic eggs.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sr44

                        LOL, not scared by tofu! I cook it often in stir fry, but never thought of it for breakfast. Good idea to mix it with eggs, thx!

                        1. re: Kat

                          Or crumble and scramble by itself.

                          1. re: Kat

                            or make a faux egg salad using tofu and turmeric (plenty of recipes out there).

                        2. Eggs are good for you, but try to eat fresh, organic, free range eggs. You will be surprised at the difference in taste.

                          Also, high cholesterol is not necessarily harmful. It depends on what exact measures are high. Get a breakdown of LDL that shows Pattern A and Pattern B. Also watch your triglycerides and HDL. You can Google all of this for more information.

                          Also, while you're Googling, look up "paleo diet."

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: taos

                            Yes, organic, free range eggs are so much helthier and tastier than any other eggs. (No, they are not).

                            1. re: MonMauler

                              I can taste the difference in the eggs I buy from a local farm vs. mass produced store eggs. Hell, I can SEE the difference when I crack them open.

                              1. re: MonMauler

                                Definitely tastier. Or I should say the eggs I get are tastier than any supermarket eggs I have had. I was never a big egg person until I started buying from local farmers. The taste was a revelation.

                                1. re: MonMauler

                                  The eggs from pastured chickens do indeed have a different nutritional profile than eggs from factory farm chickens. We buy ours from the farmer every week. There is a significant taste difference between those and factory eggs.

                              2. Agreeing with most people, if your cholesterol is currently normal (or low), then the threat of cholesterol from eggs isn't something I'd worry about too much.

                                However, if you want to expand your egg protein/reduce cholesterol (should you need it), what you could also do is basically cut out egg yolks. What I will do is instead of doing two whole eggs is one whole egg and then add 2 or 3 egg whites to that. When I'm in the US, I don't mind getting the egg white only product sold in most grocery stores and supplementing whole eggs with extra egg whites.

                                This works best with scrambled eggs/omelette - but essentially the idea is to get some of the yolk fat/flavor, but increase the overall egg protein in the serving.

                                While diet definitely has an impact on cholesterol - it's not the only factor - exercise and genetics also play a role. I have high blood pressure but off the charts low LDL (aka bad) cholesterol - so clearly diet alone isn't resulting in this. Anyways, if you have a cholesterol problem 2 eggs a day would be an issue I'd talk about with a doctor - if you don't then I wouldn't worry at all.

                                1. Interesting responses, much appreciated! I ate my 2 eggs today guilt free.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Kat

                                    Me too. I ain't afraid of no eggs.

                                  2. I think one of the traps of a restricted diet is that they often have the unintended effect of limiting variety, which IMO is never a good thing.
                                    I am solidly in the high cholesterol foods=high cholesterol=nonsense camp but would encourage you to find at least a couple of alternatives that you can rotate through.
                                    Individually portioned stuff that I stash in the freezer and microwave is always in my weekday rotation.

                                    I agree with the comments about not confining yourself to traditional (American) breakfast foods.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: splatgirl

                                      <confining yourself to traditional (American) breakfast foods.>

                                      Honest question. What is American breakfast? Are we talking about cereal or ham and eggs or oatmeal? I can see some problems with the today's high sugar cereal, but ham, egg, hash brown, oatmeal and all should be good, right?

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        I think you pretty much covered! I was just trying to make the point that the default American definition of breakfast foods is fairly limited. Without reminders, I find myself there as well out of nothing other than habit. For instance, this morning's quandry had me settling on a couple of flax/bran/blueberry muffins nuked from the freezer. I felt very ho-hum about that, but it seemed to be all I had (I had eggs yesterday). Only afterward did it occur to me that the leftover veg chili from last night would have been much more interesting and better suited to what I was hungry for. But for whatever reason that didn't even make the list of what I knew I had on hand to eat for breakfast.
                                        But what about fish, soup, vegetables or rice...all things that are standard breakfast fare in other cultures that we almost never consider.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          Hash browns and oatmeal are heavy with carbs, and the hash browns also tend to be heavy with fats (oil, butter, etc) used to cook them.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            ham= high fat
                                            ham= high saturated fat
                                            ham= high sodium
                                            ham= nitrates/nitrites and god knows what other preservatives/chemicals

                                            what could possibly be wrong with ham?

                                            hash browns=a high carb sponge for whatever fat is being used. = a caloric wild card.
                                            if the fat is saturated or transfat that would be all the worse.

                                            what could possibly be wrong with hash browns?

                                        2. I low carb too, and sometimes I have a hamburger for breakfast. It holds me several hours. Sometimes I, gasp, put a piece of cheese on it.
                                          Breakfast used to be a problem for me, until low carb. Now I have a varied breakfast.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Nanzi

                                            Me, too, and sometimes I put a fried egg on that hamburger with cheese.

                                          2. The Huffington Post recently had an article that did a pretty good job in summing up the current status of the egg.


                                            1. I think you can safely eat two eggs a day, at least that's what I've always been told. But if you are that concerned still, why not just separate one of the yolks out - 50% less fat and cholesterol right there, and you still get to enjoy your eggs.

                                                1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                  Dang, Nonnie, you were right! Only a woman can:

                                                  65 Hard Boiled Eggs
                                                  6 minutes, 40 seconds
                                                  Sonya Thomas

                                                  (source: http://www.ifoce.com/records.php )

                                                2. I would look up the work of Chris Masterjohn on cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential to your health -- it is, in point of fact, how the body repairs itself and how the body produces hormones. The problem is not from high cholesterol, but from oxidized cholesterol, and eggs, especially good quality eggs, are not going to oxidize your cholesterol. Skim milk, on the other hand, is loaded with oxidized cholesterol. Eat your eggs in peace.

                                                  1. Cholesterol being bad for you is old-fashioned thinking, like BMI and the "food pyramid". Cholesterol isn't the problem, inflammation is. There's a lot of articles/research that you can find online about this.

                                                    2 eggs are fine, 3 eggs are fine, 5 eggs are fine. Yolks are very nutritious, remember it contains everything that egg needs to become a living breathing creature.

                                                    1. can't say if he's right without looking at your lipid profile.

                                                      that said, if you want to avoid the subject entirely, one approach is to make your morning eggs using three egg whites and one egg yolk.

                                                      all the cholesterol is in the yolk.

                                                      an egg white contains about an equal amount of protein to an egg yolk.
                                                      by making this substitution you will be consuming a roughly equivalent amount of protein while consuming half the amount of cholesterol.