Hardly a day goes by where I don’t eat eggs – I’m talking whole eggs, not just egg whites. Eggs are a true superfood, a low-carb item that’s great for building muscle, boosting testosterone levels and staying lean. Whatever your goal (mass-gaining, leaning out, increasing overall health and wellness), this food supports it.
I recommend eating at least 3 whole eggs per day. A study from Texas A&M University found that subjects consuming 3 whole eggs per day while following a weight-lifting program for 12 weeks gained twice as much muscle mass and twice as much muscle strength as subjects eating no eggs or just one whole egg per day.
But whole eggs have all that fat in them, you may say. Yes, 3 whole eggs provide about 15 grams of fat and over 600 mg of cholesterol, but the fat and cholesterol in egg yolks may be critical factors in why the subjects in the A&M study made such dramatic gains in muscle mass and strength. Research shows that athletes getting in higher fat intake, particularly from monounsaturated and saturated fat, have higher testosterone levels than those getting in low amounts of fat. A whopping 80% of the fat in egg yolks comes from monounsaturated and saturated fat.
When it comes to cholesterol, you need to remember that testosterone is created in the body from, you guessed it, cholesterol. Plus, cholesterol is important for maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, such as those of muscle cells. This is important for muscle strength and growth.
One study from Kent State University found that subjects eating a higher cholesterol diet while following a 12-week weightlifting program gained five more pounds of muscle than those eating a low cholesterol diet. The higher cholesterol diet also led to double the strength gains as compared to the lower cholesterol diet.
But what about increased risk of heart disease from the cholesterol? I thought you might ask that question! It doesn’t appear to be an issue. In one study, University of Connecticut researchers found that men and women eating an additional 640 mg of cholesterol from eggs had no increase in the LDL cholesterol particles that are associated with cardiovascular disease. Many other studies support this claim.
Eggs can also help you lose body fat. Research from Saint Louis University has shown that subjects eating eggs for breakfast not only eat fewer calories throughout the day but also lose significantly more body fat than those not eating eggs for breakfast.
The take-home message to all of this: Eat eggs daily! Your body will thank you for it.
as we advise in our Lincoln Square Wellness clinic, Enjoy your food,
Dr. Edgardo Vargas, DC