Eggs have been considered ‘good’ for most of recorded human history.
Then something switched. About 40 years ago in the 1980’s, eggs started to be considered ‘bad’.
- Eggs had cholesterol.
- They had fat.
- They were an animal product.
But now we know better. Not all fat is bad. Not all cholesterol is bad. And not all cravings are bad either!
Experiencing a craving for a food like eggs is pretty normal.
And the science around eggs has changed to reflect this point. Turns out there is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol and hint, eggs have the ‘good’ cholesterol.
We’ll talk more about cholesterol later, but basically nowadays we hear that ‘eggs’ are good again.
So don’t worry about your egg cravings. That’s the point. The rest of this article will deep dive into why you might get those cravings, but the underlying message is simple:
Don’t feel bad if you are craving eggs! For the most part, eggs can be a great part of your diet.
Here are a few great reasons why eggs are good and why you get those egg cravings in the first place :
1 – Eggs Are A Great Source Of ‘Good’ Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol:
HDL cholesterol actually helps your body to clear away excess LDL cholesterol. It’s kind of strange to think about – a cholesterol helping remove another cholesterol.
LDL is the opposite. LDL builds up and sticks to your artery walls. This is the bad cholesterol. This is what makes for undesirable health outcomes like heart disease.
Here is what Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a medical doctor at the Mayo clinic, has to say about eggs and cholesterol:
“Chicken eggs are an affordable source of protein and other nutrients. They’re also naturally high in cholesterol. But the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t seem to raise cholesterol levels the way other cholesterol-containing foods do, such as trans fats and saturated fats.”
But why do some studies say eggs increase heart disease?
There are indeed a few studies that have found a small association between eggs and heart disease.
However, these studies were limited in nature and didn’t account for other foods people often eat alongside eggs.
For example, oftentimes people eat ham, sausage and bacon and may fry their eggs in oil. These are more likely reasons for a small increase in risk than eggs themselves.
2 – Eggs Give Your Stomach A Great Full Feeling
The standard chicken egg has about 6g of protein.
That’s enough protein to go along with the healthy fats in the egg to keep you happily full for quite some time.
In fact your craving for eggs could mean precisely that your stomach is craving that nice, hearty full feeling that comes from when you get the right amounts of protein and fat.
Compare eggs to your more typical meal of coffee and cereal:
A few eggs will help you feel full and content for hours to come whereas with coffee and cereal you’ll be starving an hour or two later.
But can’t you have too many eggs?
Of course you have too many eggs!
You can have too much of anything, including water, and eggs are no different.
Mayo Clinic Dr. Jimenez, in the same article linked to above, says that “Most healthy people can eat up to seven eggs a week without increasing their risk of heart disease.”
So in terms of whether or not you can have too many eggs, the upper limit of research suggests that 7 eggs per week is just fine for your health.
3 – Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in your body.
It helps your body make red blood cells and produce DNA. Your brain needs this vitamin to function!
However, Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that’s found only within animal products, such as:
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, then your body may be experiencing a vitamin B12 deficiency.
As with any nutritional deficiency, your body will make you start craving foods that provide the nutrient you’re missing.
So if you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency it could mean that you would crave eggs, or other foods that contain B12.
Some of these other foods that are high in B12 include fish, meat, milk and cheese. Some breakfast cereals are also fortified with B12 as well.
4 – Vitamin D
Fun fact – almost half of Americans are lacking Vitamin D.
Eggs, of course, have Vitamin D. That’s why I’m talking about Vitamin D here!
Just like Vitamin B12, if you are low on Vitamin D, you may crave eggs in order to make up for a vitamin deficiency.
How do you get Vitamin D besides eggs?
The sun, it turns out, is your best source for getting enough Vitamin D.
However, these days many people are in their homes for long hours and may lack sufficient access to sunshine.
In these situations, you can take vitamin supplements or eat more foods that are high in Vitamin D like yogurt, fortified cereals, milk and fish. Of course, you can also go for walks in the sun!
And now that we have covered the 4 main reasons why you are craving eggs, let’s talk about cravings in general.
In General, What Does It Mean When You Crave Something?
The conversation about food cravings goes beyond how eggs switched from being perceived as good, to bad, and back again to good.
Really, the conversation takes us to food cravings themselves.
Let me just say something here to wrap up this blog article – we all have food cravings.
Just the other day I started craving orange juice. Why? I’m honestly not quite sure why. Perhaps I was low on vitamin C that day.
So, I got myself a glass of orange juice. I actually poured myself a second glass of orange juice too!
And then my cravings went away. I’m assuming that I was low on vitamin C and that’s why my craving appeared and disappeared.
But truthfully, I don’t really know. I just know that my craving wasn’t ‘bad’.
But sometimes, some people start believing that their food cravings are the result of low willpower and lack of self control. But that’s just not true!
You are not what you eat!
Most likely what happened is that you started a diet sometime in high school or college. The diet was extreme and you began to crave certain foods like ice cream or pizza.
This pattern probably repeated many times, in a phenomenon called yo-yo dieting. The reason you couldn’t stick to the diet was because the diet was restrictive.
However, instead of seeing the diet plan as broken, you may have associated the diet cravings with weakness.
(Thought exercise: you probably experienced food cravings as a child too, but do you think of your child self as weak?)
Cravings are natural. They make you know that your body needs something from you.
All food cravings are some type of message like an email, or some other type of normal communication.
(And the message is NOT that you lack willpower or control if you crave something!)
That’s why these days it’s more important you take your craving in context of the situation.
What is your body really trying to tell you? What does your body really need?
Feel. Pause. Breathe. What is your body not getting enough of?
While these are tough questions, and you may need the help of an eating therapist, digging into these questions is well worth the effort.
While cravings are a natural part of life, for some people cravings can be incredibly disruptive. This doesn’t have to be the case!
You can learn how to ‘get’ the message behind your cravings and to actually get your needs met.
I hope this article with eggs makes sensed. Be sure to let me know your comments down below!