Just over my first week on Paleo, and now I am on a Paleo challenge with my husband's CrossFit gym peers. We have this concern that there are egg limits (according to several web outlets), and I am confused as to cooking with eggs as an ingredient AND then consuming them (i.e., for breakfast) would be too much.
What should we do, because it's not only a concern of mine, but the gym's coach as well?
I've eaten 8 to 12 eggs a day for about 6 months and just had a lipid panel done last week. My cholesterol came back healthy and my doctor had no concern. It was good to throw in her face because she INSISTED that eating that many eggs every day was going to raise my cholesterol way too much.
I believe the reason mainstream believes egg consumption should be limited is due to fears of dietary cholesterol causing heart disease. I think most (or all) in the paleo community would say those fears are unfounded. This is an excellent blog on the topic:
And this book is quite good as well:
So, eat up those eggs. Especially good if you can find eggs from pastured chickens.
I think you NEED 4-5 egg yolks a day to properly get enough choline in your diet. The RDA for choline is 425 mg/day for women and 550 for men. Choline is important for cellular wall integrity and the nervous system. Its estimated that many adults are choline deficient. They put choline into baby formula because its that important.
The only two paleo things that have REALLY significant choline are egg yolks (113mg/large egg or so) and beef liver (95mg per ounce). Beef muscle meat also has some. While there are amounts in some vegetables like spinach and nuts like almonds, you have to eat impractical amounts to get amywhere near the daily rerquirement. Its like eggs were designed specifically to supply our choline requirements in a very easy way.
The max recommended for choline/day is 3.5 grams so I suppose you could say you shouldn't eat more than 30 eggs per day.
The other thing you may need to connsider is your total vitamin A intake. A large egg has about 245 IU of vit A and 18 IU of vit D. If you get a lot of vit A in the form of retinol you might need to look at total egg consumption. Keep your vit D intake high and the vit A shouldn't be a problem.
I would think that the only reason to limit your egg consumption is due to autoimmune issues, for example, Robb Wolf's autoimmune protocol eliminates eggs among other foods that can contribute to inflammation and autoimmune issues. The only way to really tell if eggs are contributing to these factors for you is to cut them out for a while and see if you feel a difference. I have autoimmune issues (hashimoto's, some swollen, sore joint issues at times) but eggs remain a substantial part of my diet because they are fast and easy to prepare and are also relatively inexpensive. I go through close to 2 dozen a week (for 2 people) and we eat them in a variety of ways as well as an added ingredient in other recipes. I believe that if you are concerned about autoimmune issues and are still eating eggs it may be beneficial to make sure they are well cooked (over hard, scrambled well) and also eating the yolks only and eliminating the whites may be helpful. Here is a link that includes a letter from Loren Cordain about egg consumption: http://thepaleodiet.blogspot.com/2010/01/paleo-diet-q-29-january-2010-update-on.html
You eat 40 whole eggs per week. 5 to 6 eggs daily at breakfast. You eat them with veggies, really like them and feel full of energy at the gym each time your day starts with an omelet.
Why People Say Eating Lots of Eggs is Unhealthy. Eggs contain high amounts of cholesterol. 1 large egg has about 200mg cholesterol and 5g of fat. Almost half of that fat is saturated fat.
The logic is that since eggs are high in cholesterol, a high egg consumption will increase your blood cholesterol. So by cutting eggs from your diet, your blood cholesterol will decrease. This, however, isn't how your body works.
Facts on Cholesterol. You can find studies showing that high cholesterol levels will make you live longer and more immune to infections & diseases than low cholesterol levels. More facts:
1 Your Body Makes Cholesterol. Your liver makes 3-6x more cholesterol than you can get eating eggs and other animal products. 2 Cholesterol is Vital To Your Body. You need it for the production of steroid hormones like Testosterone and to build & repair cells. 3 Dietary Cholesterol Isn't Bound to Blood Cholesterol. There's no relation to cholesterol & saturated fat intake to higher cholesterol levels.
Benefits of Eating The Egg Yolk. Eating the yolk makes your life easier since you don't have to separate it from the egg white each time. Eating the yolk is also healthier for 3 reasons:
1 More Vitamins. The yolk is full of vitamins A, D, E. Vitamin D is especially important since most people lack vitamin D. 2 Twice The Protein. Eating whole eggs doubles the protein intake you'd get eating egg whites only: the yolk contains half the protein. 3 Increased Testosterone Levels. Saturated fat and cholesterol increase testosterone production. Both are heavily present in the egg yolk.
The egg consumption isnt really a concern, although I would ask, if you are doing a 30 day challenge, what will you be cooking with your eggs (ie: will it be baking)?
Only reason I ask is b/c "paleo-izing" non paleo foods (baking) on a 30 day challenge kinda defeats the purpose of trying to see how hard you can push yourself over that 30 days :P.
If anything you should eat more eggs, I find ways to put eggs in almost everything, even protein shakes, I swear it tastes like eggnog, just use vanilla protein, egg yolks(yolks only), and coconut milk. I add cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg too, I swear it will blow your mind!
I used to eat 36 farmer's market eggs a week when my budget was more lenient. I am not sure about supermarket eggs though.. if anyone can answer, I would be happy. What about the chemicals and the omega ratio?