Why Animal Products Harm – Eggs

Regardless of confused media messages, the facts remain; eggs are not healthy. Egg consumption has been linked to heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and food poisoning. Cutting eggs out of your diet can only benefit your health so why wait?

Heart Disease

The term heart disease is often used instead of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and describes a chronic disease of the heart and blood vessels. The disease is caused by fat layers clogging the inside of your arteries (blood vessels), hardening and narrowing them (atherosclerosis). This reduces blood flow to the heart, brain or body and there’s a risk that a blood vessel can be completely blocked resulting in a heart attack, stroke or thrombosis. High cholesterol levels in your blood are the main problem, contributing building material for these fat layers, also called cholesterol plaques. 

A certain amount of cholesterol in the blood is essential for good health but your body makes all it needs. Eggs contain high amounts of cholesterol which is not only unnecessary for your health but may be downright harmful for many people. Just one egg contains on average 187 milligrams of cholesterol and the recommended daily limit for people at risk of heart disease is 200 milligrams. A large egg can easily exceed this amount. 

Cholesterol from food doesn’t always raise your cholesterol levels but in people with certain genes, it does and they need to be very careful about cholesterol in their diet. In others, eating cholesterol together with saturated fat – for example having eggs with bacon or egg-based dessert with cream – is the key combination that leads to rising cholesterol levels in the blood.

Eggs also contain a substance called choline – an essential nutrient needed for cell membranes, nerve signal transmission and other metabolic functions. Too much, however, can be damaging to health and eggs are by far the richest source. We can get safe amounts of choline from plant foods but eggs simply supply too much.

Research into choline and heart disease found that one of the by-products of choline called TMAO increases the build-up of cholesterol plaques in your blood vessels, promoting heart disease. The higher the levels of TMAO, the higher risk of stroke and heart attack.

Regardless of what genes you have, there are many studies showing that egg consumption increases the risk of heart disease in general. Daily egg consumption may increase your risk of heart disease by up to 75 per cent.

Eggs and Cancer

Egg consumption has been linked to cancer in several ways. A number of studies found that regular egg consumption increases the risk of dying from cancer. Other studies revealed that eating just a few eggs a week increases the risk of breast, prostate and ovarian cancer – hormone-sensitive cancers.

Scientists suggest egg cholesterol may play a role in this, providing material for the increased production of sex hormones. At the same time, cholesterol and choline from eggs supply building materials for cell membranes and this may also help cancerous cells to grow.

Type 2 Diabetes

Scientific studies found that eating an egg a day may double your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to researchers, eating eggs and their cholesterol in particular affects blood sugar metabolism and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Cholesterol both inhibits the production of insulin (the hormone that makes it possible for your cells to use sugar) and can lower the body’s sensitivity to it.

On the other hand, plant-based diets greatly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is because plant wholefoods naturally contain less fat, and saturated fat in particular, than animal products, they contain a lot more fibre helping to regulate blood sugar, many beneficial phytochemicals and complex carbohydrates – put simply, they make your body work better and lower your risk of diabetes. It may sound too good to be true but the evidence is now so strong that many healthcare professionals recommend a plant-based diet as a part of the disease treatment.


Salmonella food poisoning is one of the most common and widespread diseases carried by food. Salmonella is a hardy bacterium that comes in thousands of different strains and some are antibiotic-resistant. Symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever. In most cases, people who become ill recover within a few days but in extreme cases, or in people whose health is compromised, it can be fatal.

Salmonella are an ever-present problem at poultry farms. The bacteria are destroyed by cooking so the main risk is from raw or undercooked eggs and egg products. Contamination is another infection source – the bacteria passing from one product to another when you’re handling or preparing food.

Egg-Laying Hens and the Environment

The truth is, it’s best to steer clear of eggs – they’re not essential for your health and can significantly harm it. Chicken farms are also a disaster for the environment. It’s because we grow huge amounts of crops to feed billions of egg laying hens, the farms use a lot of energy and produce greenhouse gas emissions and mountains of waste.

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