A cardiologist explains how many whole eggs you can confidently eat in a single day.

Is it unhealthy to eat five whole eggs a day? Bodybuilders swear by eating lots of whole eggs, but what about cardiologists? Can too many whole eggs a day raise your bad cholesterol numbers?

“Eggs are one of nature’s perfect foods,” says Jack Wolfson, DO, FACC, a practicing cardiologist in Arizona, author of The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health.

“It is like a multivitamin, containing everything a chicken needs to come to life,” continues Dr. Wolfson. “Hundreds of studies have proven eggs to be safe. In fact, eggs raise the beneficial HDL cholesterol.” HDL stands for high density lipoproteins.

Dr. Wolfson continues, “Eggs were vilified for many years because they contain cholesterol. But humans need cholesterol and it is beneficial to consume it. Times are changing, but many hospitals and doctors do not allow eggs for cardiac patients.”

This is so true. After my mother had her heart bypass surgery, I noticed that she was barred from ordering real eggs off the hospital menu.

The dietary staff knew which orders were being called in from the cardiac unit. Cardiac patients were permitted only the “Egg Beaters” type eggs—which actually is a synthetic goop that (in my opinion) hardly tastes like the real thing.

Hospitals, says Dr. Wolfson, instead serve pancakes with sugar-free syrup. “This is the source of the problem, and this lack of understanding keeps people coming back for more stents and surgeries.”

Pancakes are loaded with refined carbohydrates. These promote inflammation throughout the body and in the coronary arteries.

The body responds to this inflammation by building plaque in the arteries. The onslaught of sugars erode the inner wall of the coronary arteries. In simple terms, think of the repair process as the body shellacking these erosions—the shellac being plaque buildup!

“I recommend rotating foods, so every 3-4 days I will have 3-4 eggs as an omelet, scramble, egg salad and even raw. I always add plenty of herbs and spices when cooking to counteract any damage from cooking the eggs.

“Boiling eggs would not have a much oxidative damage from the heating process. And don’t forget, all of the nutrition is in the yolk.

“Those who order egg-whites only are depriving their body of precious nutrients and may actually be causing harm from doing something so unnatural.”

So back to the original question: How many whole eggs can you eat every day, then, since the cholesterol in them isn’t what actually harms the heart?

Dr. Wolfson explains, “A dozen eggs per week is not a problem according to most published studies. Therefore, 3-4 eggs per day however you like to prepare them is not a problem.

To avoid developing a sensitivity or allergy, I recommend eating eggs only 3-4 days per week at most.”

So there you have it: Enjoy your king-sized omelets (but spare the white flour and add in more vegetables like onions, peppers, mushrooms and spinach. Add in chopped walnuts for a unique addition of flavor and boost of nutrition.)

Wolfson Integrative Cardiology specializes in functional medicine and provides treatment plans for out-of-town patients.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.