Eggs are a well-liked, healthy whole food that contains a wide range of important nutrients. They are versatile and affordable.
Based on current scientific evidence
Eggs are a ‘complete protein’, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids needed for healthy body functions. For their weight, eggs provide the highest quality protein of all foods. This protein is highly digestible and may provide satiety (keeping you fuller for longer), which helps weight management.
The protein in eggs is particularly useful for:
A medium egg contains about 4 grams of fat – roughly 1g saturated and 2g unsaturated. The fat in eggs supply energy and contain fat-soluble vitamins.
Concerns about eggs stemmed from the fact that egg yolks are high in cholesterol. However, while cholesterol in food (such as egg yolks) can slightly increase our blood cholesterol, saturated fats have a greater impact on increasing our blood cholesterol levels.
If you are trying to improve your blood cholesterol, focus on changes such as reducing saturated fat intake, increasing vegetable intake, and eating more whole and less processed foods, rather than just restricting egg intake. Note that meat with skin on is high in saturated fat, whereas other protein sources such as fish, seafood and eggs are much lower in saturated fat (and legumes such as chickpeas and kidney beans contain virtually none).
Eggs contain the following essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants:
Eggs contain the phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants and are thought to be protective in the prevention of eye disease.
Click to our report on the role of eggs in New Zealand Diet
The objective of this report is to review the literature on the major health areas that are relevant to eggs, draw conclusions and provide recommendations for various target audiences. Eggs are a popular food choice amongst the New Zealand population with each New Zealander consuming approximately 237 eggs per year.
Over the years there have been mixed messages on potential negative health effects of eggs, in particular the effect of increased consumption on cardiovascular health. This is partly due to earlier epidemiological data that demonstrated a weak, positive association between dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular risk, and the fact that eggs are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol. However, public health messaging on egg consumption has evolved over the past years, with many national and international health organisations including regular egg consumption as part of a healthy, balanced diet in their dietary recommendations.
Last reviewed: 21/06/2022
Last modified: July 15, 2022