T Nation

Whole Eggs


hi, i've recently started to eat alot of eggs everyday for my protein and fat meals.
I'll have about 3 boiled whole eggs with some bake beans every weekday morning at least. Also sometimes i have a 4-5 egg omlette (wit cheese, meat etc.) in the afternoon.

Anyway is there anything wrong with eating this amount of whole eggs everyday? My parents keep telling me to stop because theres to much cholestoral (not sure about spelling) but then again my parents say lots of stupid things: dont eat before you go to bed or u grow fat, and the classic: try not to eat so much and do so much weights because the muscle will turn into fat!

Anyway should i cut down on my whole eggs? i notice alot of diets contain egg whites? would that be a better alternative and why?

Thanks for the help anyone


You have a problem. The problem isn't the eggs. Dietary cholesterol is being found to have much less of an effect on blood cholesterol levels than previously thought. I usually eat at least 10 whole eggs every morning when maintaining my weight or gaining.
The problem is that your parents will doubtfully even want to understand any of this if you happen to be living in their house and still carry "kid" status.


Ginsberg et al. 1994. A dose-response study of the effects of dietary cholesterol on fasting and postprandial lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in healthy young men. Arterioscler. Thrombosis 14:576-586
-There was no evidence that changes in dietary cholesterol intakes altered the postprandial plasma lipoprotein profile (lipoproteins thought to be involved in the development of atherosclerosis) and thus did not alter the atherogenic potential of the plasma lipoproteins. The data indicate that in the majority of healthy young men addition of two eggs per day to a low-fat diet has little effect on plasma cholesterol levels.

Schnohr et al. 1994. Egg consumption and high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. J. Intern. Med. 235:249-251.

To determine the effects of egg consumption on plasma HDL cholesterol levels, twenty-four adults added two eggs per day to their usual diets for six weeks. Total cholesterol levels were increased by 4% while HDL cholesterol levels increased 10%. The dose adjusted response to the change in dietary cholesterol was 2.4 mg/dl per 100 mg/day. The authors concluded that "a moderate egg intake should not be rigorously restricted in healthy individuals."

McComb et al. 1994. Attenuated hypercholesterolemic response to a high-cholesterol diet in subjects heterozygous for the apolipoprotein A-IV-2 allele.N. Engl. J. Med. 331:706-710.

Genetic factors contribute to the variability of the plasma lipid responses to dietary cholesterol and in this study it was shown that subjects with the apolipoprotein A-IV-2 allele have an attenuated response to a dietary cholesterol challenge. Subjects were fed a low-cholesterol diet and one with 1100 mg/day added cholesterol. The change in plasma cholesterol in subjects without the apo A-IV-2 allele (n=12) was 22 mg/dl (dose adjusted: 2.3 mg/dl per 100 mg/day) while for those with the apo A-IV-2 allele (n=11) the change was 6 mg/dl (dose adjusted: 0.7 mg/dl per 100 mg/day). It is estimated that one in every seven individuals in the United States has the apo A-IV-2 allele and, based on the data from this study, has a genetic resistance to the plasma cholesterol raising effects of very high intakes of dietary cholesterol. These findings are a breakthrough in beginning to understand the role of genetic factors in the variability of plasma lipid responses to dietary cholesterol.

Lichtenstein et al. 1994. Hypercholesterolemic effect of dietary cholesterol in diets enriched in polyunsaturated and saturated fat. Dietary cholesterol, fat saturation, and plasma lipids. Arterioscler. Thromb. 14:168-175.
-Studies in fourteen men (n=8) and women (n=6) fed either corn oil (polyunsaturated fat) or beef tallow (saturated fat) with or without addition of 197-226 mg cholesterol per 1000 kcal, documented little effect of dietary fat saturation on the plasma cholesterol response to dietary cholesterol. In the corn oil fed group the addition of cholesterol increased plasma cholesterol 11 mg/dl (dose adjusted: 3.9 mg/dl per 100 mg/day) and in the beef tallow group the increase was the same, 11 mg/dl (dose adjusted: 3.8 mg/dl per 100 mg/day). The findings are consistent with other studies which indicate that with a 30% fat diet, the plasma cholesterol response to dietary cholesterol is independent of the fatty acid composition of the diet. The study also provides evidence which suggests that resistance to the effects of dietary cholesterol occurs in older men and women and is not limited to only young, healthy volunteers.

Tell your parents that middle aged patients have been found to be more sensitive to increases in dietary cholesterol as opposed to younger patients(*). That means while the eggs are just fine for you, they may or may not be for your dad...who I am sure is having regular blood work done in order to know his own cholesterol data.

*-Knopp et al. 1996. A double-blind, randomized trial of the effects of two eggs per day in moderately hypercholesterolemic and combined hyperlipidemic subjects consuming the NCEP Step I diet. (Reported in abstract at the November 1995 American Heart Association meeting in Anaheim, CA)


that study was done with only 2 eggs a day- dozens of eggs will most likely have a stronger effect. you should be ok if you cut down on other cholesterol increasing foods, and if you cut out some yokes. i think the best recommendation would be to get your cholesterol tested now and in three months to see if eating that many yokes a day has affected their levels. plus, getting your blood drawn will allow you to see other factors (such as glucose levels, iron levels, etc) and tweak your diet in order to obtain the most success with lifting.

i wouldn't listen to your parents (mine are the same way- "don't eat that much protein! your kidneys are going to fail out at age 30!" or "that's too much fat!" - saboteurs!!) but i would do extra reading on this site and others. just remember, regular doctors will always err on the side of caution when you consult them on your diet. (i mean, they're still recommending SOY as a valuable source of protein) pssshh


Lol Prof , don't you ever get tired responding to all these damn cholesterol egg posts?


Not cholesterol, but saturated fat has been shown to increase cholesterol levels. So if the eggs contain lots of saturated fat, 35 eggs per week, or 70 eggs per week, could conceivably have negative effects after enough time.

The fats in eggs vary based on what the chickens are fed. I buy eggs that are high in omega-3s. Each egg has
1.5 grams saturated fat
.5 grams polyunsaturated, half of which is omega-3
2 grams monounsaturated fat

Of course these eggs are expensive. But even 10 per day would give me only 15 grams of saturated fat.

Why not do your homework on fats and show your parents what you've learned. Maybe they are afraid that you are just imitating what other bodybuilders do without regard for your future health. That's not exactly an unfounded, irrational fear -- bodybuilders are not known for caring about their health, now, are they? At least your parents care about your future health and the impact of what you eat, even if they've been misled by obsolete information.


Ok,if I see one more post about cholesterol and eggs being bad for you I'm gonna flip.
Read my most recent post.

Cholesterol doesn't make your cholesterol levels go up.
You NEED cholesterol.
I've actually found egg yolks can make your cholesterol leevl go down(email me for more on this).
It's like saying fat makes you fat.


Tell your parents that they've been brainwashed by the medical industry.




The question is not whether or not to eat eggs, as that has been argued 100x of times (eat them), but to COOK them first or go 'Rocky style' and consume them raw.

i quoth Thib from his training journal (pg. 8) I've learned much from the links @ the bottom of his post, they really bring out a different way of thinking about ALL food consumption in general, not just eggs, through the raw debate. Especially as i have never heard this kind of thing mentioned on this site, let alone by one of the site's most credible authors.


If you eat this many eggs you may be best not to scramble them all the time, which 'MAY' cause some oxidation. It's the oxidation and refining of fats that raise cholesterol.

Someone mentioned that eggs may actually lower cholesterol, and this may be down to their cysteine content acting as an anti-oxidant. I'm of the opinion that free radicals are the cause of high cholesterol (excess cholesterol and calcium acting as a protective agent against chronic inflammation and arterial damage - note that I'm not saying arterial cholesterol is healthy, but it is necessary in unhealthy individuals!). Look for the best quality eggs you can though.




May? Isn't this a forsure -- heat and oxygen WILL oxidize the cholesterol forming oxycholesterol which is not good for the body. Just how "not good" is up for debate though. Just to be safe when I scramble I do it on low heat and with a stable fat like coconut oil. Otherwise, I vary up the soft boiled, poached, over easy, etc. I think the BEST has to be soft boiled though...must be the least oxidized.


I recommend only eating the shell once in a while.


yes it's true. for sure it will oxidize to even some degree. Atleast one molecule will undergo oxidation, this is true always. No matter how unreal a chemical reaction may be in terms of energetic cost and stability. Atleast one molecule(or really a very very small almost unmeasurable amount will form) to satisfy certain non-zero conditions in the equillibrium constant.

Ofcourse, this is being entirely gay and anal about the oxidizing reaction. in the presence of vitamin E and other anti-oxidants, Cholesterol should be protected until the antioxidants are fully oxidized. that said, i don' t think it's very likely unless you are excessively burning your eggs.


I can only wonder how much progress someone is making if they are as anal as you seem to be about food.


Good source of calcium!


You think so? Excessively burning? And here I am thinking that nearly ALL the molecules of the cholesterol are oxidized rather rapidly!


You know what, you're right. Time to stop worrying so much. However, bodybuilding progress is one thing, but health and longevity are another and I try to balance the two of them, albeit I tend to put more "weight" on the health side of things.

Hey ProX, since you seem to have pretty good knowledge on this topic, given the information on powdered eggs (whole egg powder), powdered milk, etc. -- in fact it contains ALOT of oxidized cholesterol, would you say to avoid these things like the plague, or do you think it's trivial?


I think "everything in moderation" is a good rule to follow in life. I also think that the biology of a bodybuilder who trains 6 days a week, has 2-3 times more muscle than average and has geared his body to run at a higher metabolic rate than that of a sedentary person will see slightly different effects from his eating habits than that of the people usually used for these studies.