Until recently, many people thought eating too many eggs was bad for you. There is cholesterol in eggs, which was thought to contribute to diseases like heart disease.
However, recent changes in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have shown that the healthy fats in eggs are unlikely to cause illness. Like all foods, eggs should be consumed in moderation. Eating two eggs a day can be a healthy choice, as long as you're watching your overall calorie, fat and protein intake.
Eggs are a healthy and nutritious food filled with many beneficial nutrients. It's fine to eat two eggs a day if you're healthy, but people with a history of heart disease or other conditions should only consume one a day.
Eating Two Eggs a Day
However, eating more than one egg a day hasn’t been shown to be harmful for most people. A 2018 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that consumption of up to 12 eggs per week won’t have negative effects on your health — at least not over just a few months.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the changes in the dietary guidelines don’t mean you should just eat as many eggs as you want. While there are benefits to eating eggs in moderation, research has yet conclude that there are any additional benefits of eating two eggs every day. (Basically, it's not a more eggs, more benefits situation.)
It's important to note that consistently eating more than one egg per day could be harmful to your health if you have diabetes or are at risk for heart disease. However, for most people, eating two eggs a day now and again isn’t likely to be harmful. Just be conscious of your portions of other high-fat foods.
Nutritional Value of Eggs
On top of all those vitamins and minerals, eggs have other beneficial nutrients, like protein. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin — nutrients that can help keep your eyes healthy — and healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids. These healthy fatty acids are similar to the ones in fatty fish and other omega-3 rich foods.
Eggs are particularly well known for being healthy vegetarian sources of protein. This is good news for people who are on high-protein or ketogenic diets.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, each large egg should have 6 grams of protein. Because, on average, men should consume 56 grams of protein per day and women should consume 46 grams, each large egg could contribute 10 percent or more of your recommended dietary allowance for protein.
Large eggs are the size typically used in recipes and research studies. This is important, as the nutrients in an egg will change based on size, as will potentially negative factors, like cholesterol.
The USDA says that eggs can range from 1.25 ounces (peewee eggs) to 2.42 ounces (jumbo eggs). If you’re eating eggs from a different bird (like a quail) or peewee-sized eggs, you’re likely in the clear to eat two eggs a day, or even more. Equally, eating jumbo eggs, which each equal two peewee eggs, might mean you’re eating more egg than you might think.
- USDA: Nutrient Data Laboratory
- Health.gov: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015
- American Egg Board:NUTRIENT COMPOSITION TABLES
- Harvard Health Publishing: When it comes to protein, how much is too much?
- American Heart Association: Are eggs good for you or not?
- BMJ Heart: Associations of egg consumption with cardiovascular disease in a cohort study of 0.5 million Chinese adults
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effect of a high-egg diet on cardiometabolic risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) Study—randomized weight-loss and follow-up phase
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source: Eggs