Eat Eggs, or, I Really Love Being Right

A few days ago I wrote a little bit about a study on meat consumption and heart disease in which I referenced  a new study (from my Alma Mater, no less) that came to an unexpected conclusion..

A panel of international scientists led by researchers at Dalhousie and McMaster universities systematically reviewed the evidence and have recommended that most adults should continue to eat their current levels of red and processed meat.

The researchers performed four systematic reviews focused on randomized controlled trials and observational studies looking at the impact of red meat and processed meat consumption on cardiometabolic and cancer outcomes.

In one review of 12 trials with 54,000 people, the researchers did not find statistically significant or an important association between meat consumption and the risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

In short, they conclude that you can keep on eating red and processed meats at your current levels and that cutting down has little to no effect on your health.

Moving on, why do I say that I love being right again? Because when I spilled 700 words on the topic here I said there were experts to tell you absolutely anything you wanted to here, including

  • Eggs are bad for you
  • No, wait, eggs are good for you, but only the egg whites
  • No, wait, eggs are good for you

I included eggs specifically because they’ve literally been: bad, ½ bad ½ good and good for you. That’s pretty much the entire spectrum of possible opinions. Well, now that eggs are good for you again, I thought I’d give you another reason to eat them.

Lately I’ve been doing a little more on nutrition and weight loss. One of the more effective ways to lose weight, and keep it lost, is to gain muscle mass. In order to gain muscle mass, you need to eat protein, and eggs are a great source of protein.

In order to build muscle, your body must digest a protein, break it into it’s amino acid components, and then rebuild it into the proteins your body requires. Thing is, not all proteins are created equal.

Turns out the best source of dietary protein is mother’s milk, which is converted to body proteins at a rate of 49%. This certainly makes sense, as for the first six months (ideally) it is a baby’s only source of nutrition (including proteins).

Next up…drum roll please, eggs, which have a 47% conversion rate. Which also makes sense, because (in a similar way to mother’s milk) everything inside that shell is all the chick has for nourishment. So eggs are your best dietary source of protein.


But what? But you have to eat the whole egg, including the yolks. Don’t eat the yolk, and you get a conversion rate of 17% (just about 1/3 the rate of the whole egg). So, looks like ol’ Andrew’s “eat like your grandmother” approach to food was right again.

Grannie ate eggs, poached as I recall, and she ate the whole damned thing. No “two egg omelette, whites only please.” So, not only are eggs healthy again, not only is eating the entire egg, yolk and all, healthy again, but if you’re looking to build lean muscle, turns out they’re your best dietary source of protein. Unless you’re drinking mother’s milk.