How Many Eggs Can You Eat In A Week?
A few days ago this article titled “How Many Eggs Can You Eat In A Week?” was brought to my attention, with strange claims that a new study has discovered that eating more eggs is a good idea. I decided to look further into it and find out exactly what the fuss is all about.
My first observation was that this article has no author attributed to it. If you wrote an article in Australia’s biggest news website, wouldn’t you want your name next to it? Well maybe you wouldn’t if you wrote this particular article but you get my point! So why no author? My guess is that it was a paid advertisement, written by an industry lobby group.
Some of the claims made in the article include:
- “And in good news for lovers of a frittata or scramble, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found there were no adverse effects from having as many as 12 over seven days.”
- “The researchers found that weight loss was similar over a year for people on a low-egg (two a week) and a high-egg (12 a week) diet.”
- “They discovered that even participants with type-2 diabetes did not suffer adverse effects from eating a diet high in eggs such as inflammation, cardiometabolic risk levels or raised glucose levels.”
- “It has prompted a call for a review of the National Heart Foundation guidelines, which recommend just six eggs a week.” - Prompted calls from who exactly? The eggs council? Of course they want a review, they want us to help line their pockets by eating more eggs!
First let's look at the study that says 12 eggs a week are ok…
Was it funded by industry? Turns out it was funded by the Australian Egg Council, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it does alert us to the fact that we should be very careful and look into the study design before accepting their findings. In this case if you know what you are looking for then you’ll see that this study is specifically designed to get the results the Egg Council wants. The study itself seems to be another paid advertisement for the Egg Council.
The study splits people into two groups, the first ate 2 eggs per week and the second ate 12. There was no group eating no eggs per week, a big red flag for me. I would think that having a no egg group would be the least they could do, let alone having a Whole Food Plant Based Diet group invloved. The two groups were macronutrient matched, meaning the group who ate fewer eggs had to eat more meat and cheese in order to make sure they got the same levels of protein, fats and carbohydrates as the group who ate more eggs. In other words they replaced one crappy food with some other crappy foods! After all this they found there was no significant difference in the health outcomes of the two groups. Of course not, if you compare two crappy diets you can expect to find that they are both crap!
I also wanted to find out more about the Egg Nutrition Council, which is quite obviously an industry lobby group, in case you didn’t work that out from the name. Their job is to try to get people to believe that eggs are healthy and nutritious. Part of the way they do this is with help form the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) who used to be a respectable organisation producing great science. Since the government drastically cut their funding they’ve become a ‘science for hire’ organisation who openly say they can produce science for you to help sell your products - as long as you pay them enough!
On behalf of the Egg Nutrition Council, the CSIRO produced a report on national egg consumption rates in Australia, this report involved using a ‘healthy diet score.’ They proudly claim that people who eat more eggs have a higher average healthy diet score, as though eating more eggs automatically means your diet is healthier. What they don’t make so obvious is that the reason people who eat more eggs have a higher healthy diet score, is because they’re also more likely to eat more fruit, veggies and other whole plant foods. For example, people who eat eggs for breakfast might also be more likely to have a fruit salad with them. People who eat scramble eggs might also be more likely to have some cooked veggies along with them. In both cases, the fruit and veggies are what makes the diet healthier, NOT the eggs as the CSIRO and Egg Nutrition Council would have you believe!
I’d like to see a study that compares egg consumption with potatoes or rice or oats or bananas, or indeed a whole food plant based diet. I don’t like my chances of getting funding from the Egg Council of Australia for that one!
So back to the original question, “How Many Eggs Can You Eat In A Week?” Well that depends on how sick you want to be…
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