Eggs – are they all they’re cracked up to be?

Love the ingredient check list for an egg shown here, if only to highlight that the most ‘natural’ foods have an array of chemical compounds they contain. Long, complex names aren’t synonymous with foods that are bad for us and whilst as consumers we are being encouraged to read labels and seek out foods that don’t contain lots of ingredients, we also need a bit of a reality check sometimes. We are drawn to things that are natural as conferring some superior health benefit, but we must remember that the word natural is played on heavily by marketing and has no real scientific meaning.

So back to eggs, the chocolate variety are everywhere, so I thought I’d share some wisdom on the original, assuming that came first!

Hopefully Granny isn’t still avoiding them because they’re high in cholesterol? Whilst being a source of dietary cholesterol, this has been shown to have no effect on blood cholesterol and there is no upper safe limit on the number of eggs we should eat. As with all foods though if you’re eating something in excess, you’re probably not getting enough of something else so no need to go mad!

Eggs have really benefited from the rise in popularity of protein – an all- natural source of 8g of the stuff – a couple of eggs serve is a fabulous protein hit for a meal providing around half what you would get in a chicken breast but a lot more than a glass of milk or handful of nuts.

Protein shows promising results in helping us to feel full, so on-the-go snacks involving eggs have increased with more of us nibbling on hard- boiled versions between meetings. Protein when combined with carbohydrate also helps to regulate our energy levels so great for our performance at work .

Eggs are also a good source of iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12, folate and iodine. It’s worth noting that diet and nutrition survey data shows folate levels are getting lower in the UK diet, which is worrying in women of child-bearing age because of the risk of neural-tube defects and the fact that a lot of pregnancies are unplanned; not everyone is nipping to Boots for their folic acid supplements!

Some sports people seem a little obsessed with the egg white, discarding the yolk in favour of more whites to boost protein without additional calories. The majority of nutrients are found within the yolk though and at only around 60 calories per egg, I’m sure they could cope with a bit more yolk.

Hopefully I’ve given you a bit of insight at this cracking time of year.

 

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