Maybe it’s not the internet, maybe it’s just me, but five dozen eggs a day seems to pose some serious problems.
So go the lyrics to Gaston’s most famous number from Beauty and the Beast, explaining how he gained and maintains his formidable physique.
But that’s a whole lot of eggs, and I’m not the only one who’s noticed. There’s the people who’ve noticed that sixty eggs a day really is too many eggs. There’s a letter explaining the travails of Gaston’s egg supplier in town—it’s no mean feat to keep up with the man. And of course there’s reddit, where when you ask the right question, you get a very detailed explanation of how many 18th-century French hens would be required to feed Gaston’s 420-a-week ovoconsumptory habits (TL;DR: 140-ish).
Still, all of my questions have not been answered. Assuming it’s even possible to acquire and consume said 420 eggs each week—to the positive, I give you Exhibit A: The amount of cod Dwayne The Rock Johnson apparently eats daily—it’s just too much to really wrap your head around. Aside from probable downright evil effects on your digestive tract, what does “five dozen eggs a day” mean?
According to eggs.ca (yes that’s a real website, thank you Canada), one large grade A egg contains:
- 70 calories
- 5g fat
- 6g protein
- 1g carbohydrates
- 65mg sodium
- 195mg cholesterol
Also, according to a further breakdown of some of the vitamins and minerals in eggs provided by Wikipedia, an egg also contains 172mg phosphorus per 100g, which being two (slightly smaller) eggs would be roughly 86mg per egg.
These numbers are great if you eat a few eggs a day. But five dozen eggs being, you know, sixty eggs… let’s scale this up:
- 4200 calories
- 300g fat
- 360g protein
- 60g carbs
- 3900mg sodium
- 11700mg cholesterol
- 5160mg phosphorus
So 4200 calories is a lot of calories, but it’s not totally absurd. For the remainder of this article I’m going to assume Gaston is less cartoonishly muscular than he is, and is just very muscular indeed. I’m going to use Wikipedia’s numbers for Dwayne The Rock Johnson‘s “billed” height and weight, and say that for metabolic purposes Gaston is 30 years old and works out for hours a day. That gives us the following:
- 260lb (118kg)
- 6’5″ (196cm)
- 30 years old
- BMR: ~2500 calories
That’s not that bad, calorie-wise! It’s “only” 1700 calories above his basal metabolic rate. The Rock himself (apparently) eats over 5100 calories a day (and SO MUCH COD). At that height and weight, that 1700 calories is a roughly 9 mile run, going 4.5 miles per hour. If Gaston runs for two hours every single day (at that weight), he can burn the additional 1700 calories without even doing “arm day.” With a lot of dedication, Gaston will not die from overconsumption of calories alone. If he eats those eggs hard-boiled with nothing added. And eats nothing else. Yes I know he says this is just breakfast. Yes I know he’ll need fiber to avoid probably dying.
But there are other issues.
First off, 3.9g of sodium is pretty high. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2.4g, but they also admit that on average Americans consume more than 3.4g of sodium per day. Given his mass, Gaston might be okay with the extra—so long as he doesn’t add anything to it. I hope he doesn’t like salt on his eggs.
The cholesterol isn’t a huge deal either, since it’s not the cholesterol you eat that’s really at issue, so much as the cholesterol your body generates in response to eating saturated fats, but 11.7g of cholesterol a day is still a teeny bit higher than the recommended 0.3g (300mg) and I can’t be held responsible for Gaston’s long-term health on that account.
And then there’s the phosphorus. Of all the things about eating this many eggs, it feels like this one might actually pose an issue. Normally, you’d be all “phosphorus? what’s that?” because most people don’t have to think twice about the phosphorus in their diet. But 5160mg of phosphorus a day is a lot. I’m no expert on nutrition, but this study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that “higher phosphorus intake was associated with higher all-cause mortality in individuals who consumed >1400mg/d[ay].” According to Healthline, too much phosphorus in your diet (and I think we can all agree that 5.16g a day is probably “too much”) can cause “diarrhea, as well as hardening of organs and soft tissue.” Furthermore, “high levels of phosphorus can affect your body’s ability to effectively use other minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. It can combine with calcium causing mineral deposits to form in your muscles.”
None of this sounds healthy, and a lot of it sounds like he’s going to have the hardest arteries you’ve ever heard of at a much younger age than he should.
So to sum up: Gaston eats too many eggs, probably smells horrendous (I mean I think that goes without saying), and will probably end up living a much shorter life than if he’d just eaten with a little more variety, but maybe not for the reasons you think.
Might I suggest a little cod, instead?
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Richard Ford Burley is a human, writer, and doctoral candidate at Boston College, as well as Deputy Managing Editor at Ledger, the first academic journal devoted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In his spare time he writes about science, skepticism, feminism, and futurism here at This Week In Tomorrow.