healthy eggs

Humans have been eating eggs for thousands of years. They’re widely thought of as a good thing, but there are some conflicting opinions out there; many people believe eggs to be cholesterol-packed, and therefore a food to be avoided.

One large egg contains 80-90 calories – something people tend to focus on a lot when it comes to their food – but the important thing to understand is what these calories are made up of.

Nutrients in eggs

First and foremost, eggs are a meatless source of complete proteins. Complete proteins contain essential amino acids that your body cannot produce itself, and which must come from the diet. This makes eggs a great food choice for vegetarians, who may otherwise struggle to get these essential amino acids with meat and fish cut from their diet.

Fat, both saturated and unsaturated, is another macronutrient found in eggs. Luckily, most of that fat is of the unsaturated, heart-healthy variety that your body needs for keeping cell membranes healthy, protecting internal organs, and helping with absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.

And all this is before we even touch upon the micronutrients… Eating just two large eggs will provide your daily reference intake of vitamin B12, which is essential for keeping your metabolic and nervous systems healthy, among other things. Eggs are a great source of vitamin D, too, which the body needs for absorbing calcium, and keeping bones healthy. They are also one of the few foods that contain iodine, a mineral that’s essential for keeping your thyroid glands, which produce the hormones that control your metabolism, functioning properly.

It is true that eggs contain small amounts of cholesterol. However, unless you have high cholesterol levels and have been advised by a doctor to cut down or cut out your intake, there’s no reason to avoid eggs, because all the good stuff makes up for that extra little bit of cholesterol.

How many eggs should I eat?

The number of eggs you can eat every day depends entirely on what else you’re eating. As long as your diet is varied, including eggs on a daily basis isn’t a problem, and is, in fact, a good way of keeping up protein intake without the saturated fat content that’s present in most meats. If eggs are replacing meat in main meals, a good rule to stick to is no more than two eggs a day.

healthy eggs

Trading a steak for a couple of eggs provides benefits to your health, the welfare of animals, and the environment. Many of us consume more meat than is necessary or healthy, and incorporating at least one meat-free day into each week is something everybody should aim for.

One of the most important things to remember when buying eggs is to buy the best you can afford. The chickens laying the eggs will have lived happier lives with healthier diets, which will, in turn, make the eggs you eat more nutritious. Higher-welfare indoor-bred chickens, free-range, or organic are the ones to look out for.

How to eat eggs and be healthy

When it comes to the best ways to eat eggs, it’s generally accepted that poaching is good and frying is bad. However, both can have a place within a healthy diet.

Poaching – simply dropping food into boiling water to cook – is one of the most beautiful ways to prepare eggs, and when done correctly yields a perfect yolk and delicate but firm white. It can be slightly tricky to retain the perfect shape when poaching (tip: the freshness of the eggs is what makes the biggest difference here), but Jamie’s clever twist solves this problem: he uses clingfilm and a little olive oil to create individual egg-parcels, which are then dropped into the water to bob around while they cook. On top of this, Jamie’s method means you can play around with exciting additional flavours such as chilli, fresh herbs, or soy – simply scatter what you fancy into the clingfilm before parcelling them up for a delicious and unusual poached egg. See how to make your own Jamie-style poached egg pockets below.

Frying, the much-loved method commonly used for the classic full English breakfast, is often frowned upon  for its high levels of saturated fat. However, Jamie’s version is made healthier by simply using a lid on top of the frying pan, which then utilises steam as well as direct heat to cook the egg. This not only means that the egg cooks more quickly, but also that it doesn’t need nearly as much oil – win win!

For more ideas on the best and healthiest ways to cook eggs, have a look through our collection of healthy egg recipes, or read our in-house expert has to say about eggs and animal welfare.


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boiled, eggs, fried, omelette, poached, scrambled

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  • Bubba Jones

    Wonderful article, now my eggs come out the way I always wanted them to.

    As an aside, I must have missed the memo that states, “rather than utilise use we all will now utilize utilise.” When did the medical term utilise replace use? First off it is the wrong use of the word utilise and second it sounds very pompous.

  • Many Trims?

    On your B12 point: Incorrect. In the book titled “Simply Vegan”, Mangels states that “Neither plants nor animals make vitamin B12. Bacteria are responsible for producing vitamin B12”. You can get your daily B12 from food fortified with it. For example, it’s in b12 fortified versions of soy milk, cereals, nutritional yeast and energy bars.

    On there being no proof that eggs are unhealthy: Egg companies are categorically not allowed to use the words “nutritional” or “healthy” because it’s misleading. It’s funny that nutritional yeast is actually allowed the word “nutritional” in the product title itself and is fortified with B12.

  • Richard

    This clown that knows little about the science of nutrition writes an article and now people are going to be quoting it and eating more eggs.
    Meanwhile, health cost and insurance will continue increasing significantly as people get fatter and sicker. No,it is not only about eggs, it is not even only about excessive animal protein. For sure it is not about a lack of exercise.
    Many are not even trying to reach a lifestyle that will increase their chance of a long term healthy old age because of all the noise produced by people/companies out for money or simply misinformed. The government is nearly no assistance in the matter since so many agencies have a charter to support industry.
    Moderate exercise along with a focus on whole plant-based products are what every long-lived culture in the past followed. Because of the state of food production today it may even be better to be vegan but none of the five Blue Zones are vegan. The oceans are full of plastic and other toxins, animals are given antibiotics and the food chain is not what it was just fifty years ago so basing your diet on long-lived cultures may not be safe any longer.

  • Richard

    Whether is was sponsered or the author is an nutritional moron really does not make much difference.
    However, she claims to be university trained which makes me wonder about the quality of the teachers…

  • Richard

    Haha, you really need to read more…

  • Richard

    Nice try, but close only counts in horse shoes. I do not eat to raise a cc of water one C degree. I eat to get the nutrients out of the food thus I do not count the calories .Why do you go off on a tangent about food and water? I never read anywhere about people living without water and food…oh well I am not going to try to compete with your blah, blah…

  • Richard

    There is proof that eggs are not healthy but you seem fixed on your opinion so enjoy! Start with some Harvard studies then go to Dr Greger’s site for more studies relating consumption of eggs to prostate cancer….2.5 eggs per week increase risk by 80%.
    Would you rather take the antibiotics and toxins in animal products to get the B-12 ,which is actually produced by bacteria, or take a cheap B-12 supplement?

  • Richard

    Dr Fixx died of a heart attack in his 50s and did not finish the marathon after ample meat…

  • Richard

    The cholesterol is not the primary problem with consuming eggs…

  • Richard

    I do not eat eggs but realize that cholesterol is not the primary problem with consuming eggs.

  • Richard

    Yes Benoit, and look in the mirror for someone not up to date.
    Perhaps you and the moron author went to the same university for your nutrition training…

  • Richard

    Your point is a valid one that vegans eat more vegetables, fruits and nuts/seeds. However, study the state of the food industry today compared to only fifty years ago and it becomes obvious that fish, meat, eggs chicken and pork are wise to limit or avoid.
    I use to focus on fish because of EPA/DHA but now that studies show 1/4 fish from oceans worldwide have toxins and microplastics I even avoid fish.
    I suppose when more people are dying from superbugs without any assistance from antibiotics the government might get a little interested in the state of agriculture.

  • Richard

    I am happy to report that I studied business and computer science while reading very little provided all I needed about your long winded comment so I have been a vegan for a long time but more importantly not on fries and ketchup but whole plant-based products. LOL

  • Richard

    Blah, blah the best chance of living a long healthy life is to focus on whole plant-based products while limiting or avoiding animal products today because of the changes in the last fifty years. The thought of living like they did 10,000 years or more ago is a myth. That food does not exist on the planet.

  • Richard

    I really do not think harming others includes animals if treated reasonably. However, animal production does hurt others because it waste water and produces pollution, some worse than CO2.
    It hurts others in than many are consuming excessive animal protein which results in heart disease and other health issues.

  • Richard

    “We are meat eaters”, where did you get that? Even if it were true the meat consumed thousands of years ago is not on the planet today or in sufficient amounts to feed many..

  • Richard

    Studies showing that cholesterol consumed is not important are bogus on several counts. Most studies look at people with levels 180 to 250. However, people with levels below 150, especially LDL between 50 to 70, do not have heart disease as about 90% of the adult population in the US.
    I am not the first to state that being average in a sick society is not a good thing. I am 76 and not taking any prescriptions but the average adult over 60 in the US is taking five…
    Maybe it is not because I am focusing on whole plant-based products but when it is not broken, do not fix it!

  • Richard

    It is good to be happy but I rather be happy and on track to have a long and healthy life…

  • Richard

    Hope it is less time than the next heart attack…

  • Jerry Chrome

    Humans are omnivores. Eggs are delicious.

  • BlogZilla

    Eggs are not healthy Jamie. Get over it. They’re full of cholesterol, and estrogen and fat. The problem is people eat too many of these types of foods. Eggs, meat, cheese. And these are the same people that smoke, don’t exercise, drink alcohol too much. So quit sayin’ eggs are healthy, because when you look at people’s habits, no they aren’t healthy.. Espeically for Americans (USA) because they don’t understand the concept of moderation

  • BlogZilla

    Your response statement is dichotomous at the least and contradictory at best.

    If a vegan is eating the foods that keep him healthy simply because meat eaters tend not to eat any of it or too little of it, wouldn’t that mean that a vegan diet is probably better than a meat based diet? .

    Most people seem to be on a meat/refined grain based diet. That’s the worst diet any human could be on….the absolute worst. I don’t understand why it is this way. We weren’t taught in school to shun vegetables and fruits, but that’s exactly what most people are doing. We also were not taught to eat or told that eating so many processed foods is okay.

    I am not a vegan, but I can tell you one thing, I’ve been on a plant based diet for my entire life. And the fact I haven’t had to to struggle to keep a pot belly off of me, and still have glowing skin is a testament to the wonders of nutrition that plants can give us

  • BlogZilla

    Yes, but the reality is people aren’t thinking about “heart” because they only have to deal with the finished product of meat or meat that is died red by blood in the stores that would otherwise be grey.

    She very much needed to refute his point in a forensic manner, because people don’t seem to understand the science involved here. If they understood the science, they would know that a vegan or plant based diet isn’t about a fad or flavor of the month.