Should You Give Up Eggs? Only if You Want to Live Longer, Study Says

|Updated Nov 18, 2022
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Until recently, eggs have been recommended by nutritionists as a healthy breakfast option because they're low in calories, high in protein, and full of nutrients, which made them sound like the perfect choice for someone who wants to build lean muscle or lose weight. But, a growing number of studies now indicate that eating eggs has a harmful impact on your risk of heart disease and increases your chances of dying a premature death.

A frequently asked question is: Why shouldn't I eat eggs? Let's crack the code on the research, not the eggs. The debate–are eggs healthy or unhealthy–has been ongoing among athletes, the medical community, and vegetarians versus vegans as the questions about egg safety, health, and the treatment of farmed hens rages on. The latest research suggests that Americans should eat little to no dietary cholesterol, which is a reversal and significant departure from the 2015 scientific guidelines report that stated: “Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.” Eggs which are one of the highest sources of dietary cholesterol are now found to be harmful and even dangerous to anyone at risk for heart disease risk.

If you are a plant-based eater who is having trouble giving up eggs or want your loved one to trade up their omelet for a JUST Eggs scramble, which is a near-perfect substitute for the real thing and made from mung beans, here are 6 reasons why you should eliminate eggs from your diet to be healthier now, and live longer, and feel egg-cellent!

1. Eggs are high in cholesterol and can increase your risk of heart disease.

As most know, egg yolks are full of cholesterol. In one large egg, there is 187 mg of cholesterol. But that is not the actual reason to eliminate eggs. The killer element in the egg is the fat which can drive up your blood cholesterol, so while you may equate cholesterol in your diet with cholesterol in your blood, the actual truth is that the problem is eating saturated fat from animal products including eggs, dairy, meat, and poultry.

When you eat fatty foods you drive up your blood cholesterol which eventually gets hardened into plaque and causes blockages in your arteries. This happens over years and once you get these plague deposits your heart can no longer pump blood to your body or organs and that's what causes heart disease and heart failure. Once you have plaque it's nearly impossible to reverse the damage although a plant-based diet has been shown to work.  So if you want to avoid heart disease,  heart attacks, strokes, and premature death the key is to avoid animal fat.

2. Eating eggs increases your risk of early death, according to a new study.

By eliminating eggs from your diet, you increase your chances of living longer. The Beet covered a recent study in JAMA which suggests "that swapping out eggs, meat and dairy for plant-based protein reduces your risk of mortality and heart disease by as much as 24 percent and 21 percent for women." The risk reduction was biggest when eggs were eliminated. Overall, eliminating animal protein reduces risk by 15 percent, but when you throw out eggs as well your chances of living longer get that much better.

In the long-term analysis reported by JAMA, 29, 615 adult men and women self-reported their diets with the controlled variable of daily egg consumption over a 17.5-year span. Victor W. Zhong, a nutritional epidemiologist led the research that measured the participant's health and found that participants who consumed as little as one-half of an egg, were significantly associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Dr. Zhong said: “The higher the consumption of eggs, the greater the risk. Those who consumed less than one egg a week had no increased risk.” To make sure you live a long and healthy life, eliminate eggs from your diet now, at any age.

3. High levels of egg consumption can cause an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Eating an egg daily is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in both men and women. In a major study by the American Diabetes Association led by MD Luc Djoussé, researchers used data from two randomized trials of 20,703 men and 36, 295 women. The median number of eggs the participants ate a week was one egg a week.

The follow up for men happened 20 years later and 11.7 years for women. The findings showed that frequent consumption of eggs was associated with higher BMI and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. For those people with diabetes, eating one egg a week appears to increase the risk of heart disease.

4. Eating an egg a day can kill you, according to this study on heart failure.

Consuming more than one egg per day is related to an "increased risk of HF [heart disease] among US male physicians." In a study conducted by Luc Djoussé and J Michael Gaziano, two MD's who work in the Department of Health at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston, they measured the association between egg consumption and heart failure risk. In the cohort of 21, 275 participants who were in the Physicians’ Health Study I, they filled out a questionnaire about lifestyle behavior that impacts heart failure. After their follow-up of 20.4 years, the researchers found that among those who had died of heart failure, they had consumed an egg a day on average. So eating a scrambled or fried egg every day for 20 years increases your risk of heart failure.

5. The calories in eggs are mostly from fat. Eggs have zero fiber.

Nutritionists recommend eggs for weight loss but they turn out to be a bad choice since they are full of fat and have zero fiber. Dietary fiber helps maintain healthy digestion, moves food through the body steadily, and is beneficial for weight loss, a healthy colon, and even protects women from breast cancer. Nutritionists and experts insist that a person should eat a high-fiber diet to maintain a healthy weight or promote weight loss if that is the goal. Ironically, eggs contain zero dietary fiber but some nutritionists recommend eating eggs for breakfast.

In addition, calories in eggs are mostly from fat: Of the 5 grams of fat in every egg, about 1/3 is from saturated fat, the worst kind of fat if you are trying to avoid heart disease. 'Sat fats' raise your LDL or the bad cholesterol that can cause spikes in your blood pressure and eventually lead to heart attacks and strokes.

One large egg, or 50 grams, contains 6 grams of protein, which isn't far off from the protein in vegan eggs which have no sat fat and often do contain fiber. If you eat JUST Eggs, for instance, which is made with mung bean, just 3 tablespoons contain 5 grams of plant-based protein and zero saturated fats.

6. Chickens are one of the most abused farm animals on the planet.

Sir Paul McCartney said it best way back in 2010: "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian." The rockstar legend narrated this video that he created with PETA called Glass Walls, which showcased the cruel behavior that takes place inside  slaughterhouses.

The must-see video clips together behind the scenes footage of chickens who face excruciating pain when they are killed to be eaten or kept for their eggs. He says, "chickens  are the most abused animals on the planet." Glass Walls films the thousands of chickens piled in small cages on top of one another with no room to flap their wings, inside of a poorly monitored slaughterhouse where workers don't appear to care if the birds suffer.

Farmers overfeed chickens to produce more meat, making it hard for the chicken to have enough strength to hold their own weight, many of them collapse and die in their cages. Unsanitary environments can cause diseases, which be transferred to the food we eat. A new report finds that the conditions in these factory farms make for an inevitable health pandemic to follow the one we are in currently. So far avian flu, swine flu, and now the novel coronavirus have all been traced back to the way animals are raised and then slaughtered for consumption.

For great ideas of vegan recipes that are egg-free but still make a perfect breakfast, try The Beet's favorites below. 

Healthy and Filling Tofu Scramble Topped with Fresh Dill: This tofu scramble is a great source of protein, fiber, and B-vitamins to start your morning with.

Tofu Scramble with Spinach and Sundried TomatoesThis recipe contains 27 grams of plant-based protein and 5 grams of fiber.