Do Eggs Belong in a Gout Diet?
Eggs are a practically perfect food: they’re incredibly nutritious and inexpensive, have 70 calories per serving, and are delicious in breakfast dishes, baked products, and other dishes. There are numerous aspects to consider when purchasing eggs, including price and nutrition.
We all love them and eat them! Scrambled, hard-boiled, sunny-side-up, you name it! But are they suitable for the gout sufferer? Let’s take a look and find out!
What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that targets joints, causing severe pain and swelling, most notably in the big toe and fingers. Gout may however, affect other areas of the body, such as the wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles.
Gout flares occur when high levels of uric acid in the body, including the bloodstream, cause urate crystals to develop and accumulate in and around the joints. This is a condition known as “hyperuricemia.” This attracts and activates white blood cells, resulting in gout attacks or “flares.”
High uric acid levels may potentially lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). As uric acid travels via the blood to the kidneys, it is added to the urine and excreted.
When there is an excess of uric acid, the kidneys cannot eliminate it, and it accumulates in the blood. Uric acid may also cause kidney stones, which may also cause infection, scarring, and, eventually, renal failure.
Eggs Provide a Full Protein Solution
Most eggs contain omega-3 fats; however, it all depends on how the farmer feeds the chickens. The amount of omega-3s in the hens’ diets before they lay eggs will impact how much omega-3 is present in those eggs. Eggs are beneficial to those of us who have gout since they are high in protein and have a low purine level.
Furthermore, eggs carry all of the B vitamins from B1 to B12 including choline, biotin, and folic acid. No other food has a higher concentration of choline than eggs. An adult woman needs 425 mg of choline in her diet a day and a man needs 550 mg a day. One egg provides 100 mg of choline.
Choline helps keep your cell membranes working properly and plays a role in nerve communications. It also helps to minimize chronic inflammation and prevents the building of homocysteine in your blood, which may lead to heart disease. Eggs are also low in calories; two eggs typically provide only 150-175 calories!
The Perfect Way to Replace Meat in Your Diet
If we want to replace a meal without eating meat, eggs are a terrific option. Eggs, like meat, are abundant in protein and may help you reduce your uric acid levels. Don’t forget to be a glutton and go eating eggs every day, 1 to 6 eggs a week is perfectly fine.
Why? Because eggs are high in fat, consuming them every day will lead to health problems down the road!
One egg has 6 grams of protein, which includes all nine “essential” amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. That’s significant since those are the ones your body cannot produce on its own. The egg white contains almost half of the protein and only a minor amount of fat and cholesterol.
The Truth About Cholesterol in Eggs
The fact that egg yolks contain cholesterol has contributed to much of the misinformation around eggs. While some cholesterol in our bodies is necessary, the kind and amount of cholesterol in our blood corresponds with the risk of developing heart disease.
Chicken eggs are a low-cost source of protein and other nutrients. They are high in cholesterol by nature. However, eggs don’t seem to raise cholesterol levels, unlike certain other foods, such as those high in trans and saturated fats.
Good (HDL) vs Bad (LDL) Cholesterol
Cholesterol is divided into two types based on the type of lipoprotein with which it is associated. These are LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
- LDL Cholesterol: When people discuss the harmful health impacts of cholesterol, they frequently refer to total cholesterol levels as well as LDL cholesterol levels. This is what most people believe to be “bad” cholesterol. When a person’s blood contains an excessive amount of LDL cholesterol, it might cling to the walls of their blood vessels. This cholesterol buildup may result in plaques that restrict the arteries over time. This makes blood flow more difficult, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- HDL Cholesterol: HDL cholesterol is regarded as the “good” cholesterol. It aids in the control of harmful cholesterol by carrying it to the liver, which recycles or eliminates it from the body.
Eggs May Help in the Production of ‘Good’ Cholesterol
Remember that eggs are animal-based since they are derived from animals. In that respect, you should limit them in your diet, as opposed to complex carbs, which burn cleanly and may be consumed at any time.
Eggs need to be limited in your daily diet since fat is the #1 killer in the US which you can read more about in my ebook Gout and You: The Ultimate Gout Diet & Cookbook. Eggs tend to get a bad rap since they are often eaten in the US during breakfast and are usually fried!
In addition, eggs are commonly served with bacon, ham, and sausage, which are all high in fat! As a result, it has been added to the list of risk factors that may increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol.
However, foods commonly eaten with eggs, such as bacon, sausage, and ham, may do more to increase heart disease risk than eggs. Furthermore, the way eggs and other foods are cooked, particularly if fried with oil or butter, may play a larger influence on the elevated risk of heart disease than eggs themselves.
You’re probably aware that frying eggs elevates LDL (bad cholesterol). However, did you know that cooking eggs boost HDL (good cholesterol) levels?
This “good” cholesterol, known as HDL, appears to increase in persons who eat three or more eggs each day. Of course, LDL, the “bad” form, rises as well. However, the individual pieces of each become larger. That makes the bad stuff harder to harm you and the good stuff simpler to clear away.
What is The Best Way to Eat Your Eggs?
Unfortunately, there is only one way to eat your eggs and that is hard-boiled. I know this is a bummer to learn for most of you including myself since I used to love eating my eggs sunny-side-up.
Putting your eggs on the pan and frying them either sunny-side-up or scrambled is a big no-no! Even though some health gurus say “add some olive oil”, or “it’ll be healthy”, don’t do it!
By frying the eggs in butter, Pam, olive oil, or any other type of oil, you increase the free radicals which cause diseases and eventually destroy your health. I repeat, the only way to eat your eggs from now on is boiled.
Besides, eating your eggs boiled is how you get all the nutrients that an egg provides. Let’s cut the nonsense that health gurus tell you! And don’t go eating just the egg white or just the egg yolk, eat both!
Yes, the egg yolk is where all the fat is but that’s where all the healthy minerals and vitamins are in like omega-3s, carotenoids, vitamins A, B5, B6, B12D, E, K, folate, choline, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron and manganese! The egg yolk is richer than the egg white, so don’t skimp on it!
Finally, you can also have your eggs poached, boiling them in hot water, adding some white vinegar so it can help the egg stay together, and then adding it to your whole wheat toast, as long as your eggs are not fried, you are fine!
Is Cholesterol a Gout Risk Factor?
We noted in our earlier post, “Gout and Cholesterol,” that having high cholesterol levels does not necessarily raise your chance of developing gout. However, elevated blood cholesterol, like gout, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
High uric acid levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, according to research. Whether gout or high cholesterol arrived first, having both conditions increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
People who are being treated for excessive cholesterol levels are frequently prescribed diuretics, also known as water pills. However, did you know that diuretics may also cause gout?
Gout may contribute to elevated cholesterol and lipid levels. As a result, all gout patients must monitor not just their uric acid levels but also their cholesterol levels.
Top Health Benefits of Consuming Eggs
As you can see, I value eggs, albeit with some reservations. Nonetheless, I believe eggs are one of the few meals that should be designated as “superfoods,” because they are high in nutrients, some of which are uncommon in the modern diet.
Here are 10 health benefits of eggs that have been confirmed in human trials, including several that have already been discussed.
#1) High in Cholesterol but Have No Negative Effect on Blood Cholesterol
A single egg has 212 mg, which is more than half of the daily recommended consumption of 300 mg. However, it’s crucial to remember that consuming cholesterol does not always result in higher blood cholesterol levels.
Every day, the liver creates a considerable amount of cholesterol. According to research, when you increase your dietary cholesterol consumption, your liver just produces less cholesterol to balance.
Nonetheless, studies show that people’s reactions to eating eggs vary:
- Eggs have little effect on cholesterol in 70% of persons.
- Eggs may mildly boost total and LDL cholesterol in the remaining 30% (dubbed “hyper responders”).
#2) Amazingly Nutritious
Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. A whole egg has all of the ingredients needed to develop a single cell into a baby chicken. A single large boiled egg comprises the following ingredients:
- 5% of the RDA for Folate
- 5% of the RDA for Folate 9% of the RDA for phosphorus
- 22% of the RDA for Selenium
- 7% of the RDA for Vitamin B5.
- 6% of the RDA for Vitamin A
- 9% of the RDA for Vitamin B12.
- 15% of the RDA for Vitamin B2
- Eggs are also high in Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, and Zinc.
This has 77 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 5 grams of healthy fat. Eggs also include a variety of trace elements that are beneficial to health. Eggs are practically the ideal food. They have a small amount of practically every nutrient you require.
If you can find pastured or omega-3 fortified eggs, that’s even better. They have more omega-3 fat and are substantially higher in vitamins A and E.
#3) Contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin
One of the drawbacks of aging is that one’s vision deteriorates. Several nutrients may help in the battle against some of the degenerative processes that might impair our eyes. Fortunately, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are antioxidants with significant eye health benefits.
They are potent antioxidants found in the retina of the eye. Consuming enough amounts of these nutrients have been shown in studies to greatly reduce the incidence of cataracts and macular degeneration, two extremely prevalent eye problems.
Both lutein and zeaxanthin are abundant in egg yolks. In one controlled trial, consuming just 1.3 egg yolks each day for 4.5 weeks boosted blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin by 28-50% and 114-142%, respectively.
Eggs are also high in vitamin A, which is worth mentioning again. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness worldwide.
#4) May Help With the Prevention of Heart Disease
LDL cholesterol is commonly known as “bad” cholesterol. High LDL levels are widely known to be associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
However, many people are unaware that LDL is classified into subtypes based on particle size. There are two types of LDL particles: small, dense LDL particles and giant LDL particles.
Many studies have indicated that those with mostly small, dense LDL particles are more likely to develop heart disease than people with predominantly large LDL particles.
Even while eggs may cause a minor increase in LDL cholesterol in certain people, studies suggest that the particles transform from small, dense to large LDL, which is a good thing.
#5) Contains Choline
Choline is an important nutrient that many people do not get enough of. It is a nutrient that most people are unaware of, even though it is an extremely important chemical that is frequently paired with B vitamins.
Choline is needed to form cell membranes and has a role in the production of signaling molecules in the brain, among other things. Because the symptoms of choline insufficiency are severe, it is thankfully uncommon.
Whole eggs are a good source of choline. A single egg offers almost 100 milligrams of this vital vitamin.
#6) Contains Omega-3 or Pastured Eggs That May Help Lower Triglycerides
Not all eggs are created equal, and the nutritional content of eggs varies depending on how well-fed and cared-for the chickens were. In general, eggs from hens raised on pasture or fed meals fortified with omega-3 fatty acids have significantly higher omega-3 fatty acid content.
Triglyceride levels in the blood are a well-known risk factor for heart disease, and omega-3 fatty acids are proven to lower these levels. According to studies, eating eggs that are omega-3 loaded is a highly efficient strategy to lower blood triglycerides.
One study found that consuming just five omega-3-enriched eggs each week for three weeks lowered triglycerides by 16–18%.
#7) High in Protein Quality
Proteins are the most important components of the human body. They are used in the synthesis of a variety of tissues and molecules that serve both structural and functional purposes. Eggs, in addition to being high in high-quality proteins, also contain the essential amino acids in the proper ratios.
Getting enough protein in your diet is critical, and studies reveal that the currently recommended quantities may be inadequate. A single big egg has six grams of protein, making it a great source of protein.
Because eggs contain all of the essential amino acids in the proper ratios, your body should be well to use the protein in them. Eating enough protein may aid with weight loss, muscle mass gain, blood pressure control, and bone health, to mention a few benefits.
#8) The Myth That Eggs Raise the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke May Be Exaggerated
Eggs have been wrongly maligned for many decades. They are said to be damaging to the heart since they contain cholesterol. Many recent studies have investigated the relationship between egg consumption and the risk of heart disease.
A meta-analysis of 17 trials with a total of 263,938 participants found no link between egg consumption and heart disease or stroke. Much additional research, unsurprisingly, has reached the same conclusion.
Some studies, however, have revealed that persons with diabetes who eat eggs have a higher risk of heart disease. Because these types of research may only reveal statistical associations, it’s unclear whether the eggs are truly causing the elevated risk. They are unable to demonstrate that eggs caused anything.
People who consume a lot of eggs and have diabetes may be less health-conscious on average. Eating eggs on a low-carb diet, which is by far the optimal diet for persons with diabetes, improves risk factors for heart disease.
#9) Eggs Are Filling and Tend to Cause You to Eat Fewer Calories, Assisting You in Losing Weight
Eggs, despite their small size, are very filling. They contain a lot of protein, and protein is by far the most satiating macronutrient. This is why they have a high satiety index rating. The index helps to evaluate a food’s ability to create feelings of fullness and hence limit later calorie consumption.
Eating eggs instead of bagels for breakfast enhanced feelings of fullness in one study of 30 overweight women. It also caused them to eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours.
How Should I Buy My Eggs?
The best way to buy your eggs is from a farm, if possible. Speak to the farmer and find out how the chickens were raised and fed. The best eggs are those that have been “pasture-raised” or “pastured.”
However, phrases such as “free-range” or “cage-free” may appear on the box. This indicates the hens were grown in a grassland environment outside. These are by far the best-tasting and nutritionally rich eggs you can eat!
I remember when I was 8 years old and I visited my grandmother’s village in Cephalonia, a population of 22. She showed me the entire process of a chicken carrying her eggs. We used to visit her nest every day to check up on her until she laid them until the time was right for the chicks to come out! Wow!
It was an amazing sight to see 12 chicks running about my grandmother’s backyard. And what a difference those eggs made when compared to the junk they sell at supermarkets. A gout diet should include hard-boiled eggs.
Personally, I love adding them to my salad for supper or cutting them up in slices and adding them to a sandwich. Make sure to eat a pair of hard-boiled eggs at least once a week.
What to Look for When Purchasing Eggs
It’s not always possible to go to a farm to buy the freshest eggs available. The reality is that most people get their eggs from their local grocery stores.
The good news is that egg growers take great care on the farm and adhere to food safety standards and regulations. It is your responsibility to keep your eggs secure once they have been properly transported to the store.
Keep the following points in mind when shopping for safe, high-quality eggs:
- Always buy eggs in a refrigerated case.
- Check the expiration date.
- Examine for cracks.
- Keep an eye out for the UDSA grading mark or shield.
- Choose the most practical and cost-effective egg size.
Because eggs are naturally low in purines, they are a healthy protein source for patients with gout. Although consuming foods with reduced purine content may help lessen the amount and intensity of gout attacks, you will almost certainly need medication to lower the uric acid concentration in your blood to treat this condition correctly.
Consult your doctor about the different methods you might relieve gout pain, including adopting a uric acid-lowering diet.