How do you like your eggs in the morning? Have you got that song stuck in your head now? 😉
Whether you are a lover or hater of eggs, there is no disputing the fact that there has been a huge increase in the amount of eggs we are consuming these days as part of our diet.
“Retail egg sales in the UK have risen for the 11th year in succession, rising by 250 million last year to top 6 billion for the first time in more than 4 decades.”
– Poultry World
In the past, Health Authorities have warned us against eating eggs with a particular emphasis on the fear that eggs could be a major factor in increased levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) which is the bad kind of cholesterol and has been linked to heart disease.
For many years, this meant that people avoided eating eggs, only ate the egg whites or used egg replacements in a bid to lower or manage their cholesterol levels. This meant that they were missing out on a whole host of nutrients that come with consuming eggs as part of a healthy diet.
In contradiction to this, more recent studies have shown that whilst eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, (approximately 186mg with 184mg from the yolk) they are relatively low in saturated fat (1.6 grams in the yolk) and a diet low in saturated fats can actually reduce blood cholesterol. Health Authorities are now saying that eating eggs should be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet.
The British Heart Foundation stated that it has been a long time since eggs were considered the cause of high cholesterol but warns against eating them with foods that are high in saturated fat.
“Eggs are a nutritious food, but you still need to need to pay attention to how the eggs are cooked and to the ‘trimmings’ that come with them. For example, scrambled eggs with baked beans on wholegrain bread are a far different meal than a fry up with eggs, bacon, sausage and white toast with butter. ”
– The British Heart Foundation
Despite the bad press, cholesterol is actually a crucial part of our daily diet and plays an important part in the functioning of our cell walls whilst also providing the body with the right material to make other vital substances and one of the most important jobs of cholesterol is to aide in the production of hormones.
Further information on cholesterol can be found on The British Heart Foundation Website.
Personally, I believe it’s a good thing that the emphasis is now on eating a well-balanced healthy diet rather than restricting and demonising a particular food item.
“Interestingly, people in Japan — consumers of some of the largest quantities of eggs in the world (averaging 328 eggs consumed per person per year — have low levels of cholesterol and heart disease compared with other developed countries, especially the United States. Why? In part, it‘s because the Japanese eat a diet low in saturated fat.”
In actual fact, there are a huge number of reasons that we should be consuming good quality eggs on a regular basis but only as part of a healthy balanced diet.
The Benefits of Eating Eggs
1) Eggs are Rich in Nutrients
Whole eggs are a a nutrient powerhouse containing a little bit of almost every nutrient we need. Just one large egg contains: –
- 6-7 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fat (only 1.6g are saturated)
- 0.6g carbohydrates
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin D
They also contain the carotenoids; lutein and zeaxanthin which act as a type of antioxidant for humans. Antioxidants protect our cells from free radicals or substances that destroy or damage the cell membranes.
2) High in Protein
Eggs are high in protein with 6 grams in a large egg. They are a complete protein meaning that they containing all of the necessary amino acids.
Getting enough protein is very important as it is the main building block of the human body helping to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals and they are also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Proteins are used to build and repair tissue that serve both structural and functional purposes. In fact, our hair and nails are mostly made up of proteins.
Studies have shown that eating a protein rich meal can help keep us fuller for longer and therefore could aid in weight-loss or maintenance.
3) Low in Saturated Fat
There are only approximately 71 calories and only 1.6g saturated fats in one large egg which makes them a good choice for those looking to enjoy a nutritious meal without using lots of calories.
4) Promoting Good Eye Health
There are several nutrients that can help us maintain good eye health and the yolk of an egg is a good source of Lutein, Zeaxanthin & Vitamin A which have all been reported to promote good eye health.
5) Promoting Healthy Strong Bones
The yolk of an egg contains 10% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D (based on an adult eating a 2000 calorie per day diet).
Vitamin D is well known to help us absorb calcium leading to stronger bones but vitamin D also plays a vital role in many other ways: –
- Boosting immunity.
- Increasing muscle strength.
- Promoting good lung health due to it’s inflammatory properties.
- Lowering blood pressure.
- Regulating kidney function.
- Boosting our mood.
- Helping create feelings of fullness as a result of it’s ability to interfere with leptin the appetite hormone.
- improve brain health by helping to rid the brain of beta-amyloid, an abnormal protein that is believed to be a major cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Click HERE for more information on Vitamin D.
6) Improved Brain Health & Mental Clarity
The yolk of an egg contains 10% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin B-12 (based on an adult eating a 2000 calorie per day diet).
Vitamin B-12 can be used to treat the following conditions: –
- Memory loss
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Boost mood
- Boost energy levels
- Improve concentration,
- Improve mental function
- Boost the immune system
- Slowing the ageing process
Click HERE For more information on B-12.
7) Inexpensive and Filling
Eggs are so cheap and cheerful, you can have a meal for less than £1 if you use an egg as the main ingredient and they are so filling. Bargain!
You can use eggs in so many different ways for a variety of meals.
I always buy free range eggs from Clarence Court as they come from their own farm and are really good quality eggs with gorgeous deep golden yolks.
Some Delicious Recipes Using Eggs
This article lists some of the benefits you can get from incorporating eggs into a healthy diet, however if you have an existing condition such as diabetes or heart disease, you should always speak to your Doctor / Nutritionist before making any drastic changes to your diet.
Have an eggcellent day! 😉
With love, Tash ❤ x