Are eggs healthy? Let’s unscramble the facts.

Eggs are certainly not the demon some experts have claimed, but are still creating controversy,  due their link between cholesterol  and heart disease.

A few years ago we were told to limit our egg intake because of the high cholesterol content found in the egg yolk. We were recommended to limit our intake to 3-4 egg yolks per week or toavoid altogether. This was because high cholesterol levels are linked to heart diseases and any foods that were seen as containing dietary cholesterol needed to be limited. But many of the early studies did not take the saturated fat content of foods into consideration.

Today we know that saturated and trans fats play a greater role in blood cholesterol levels (specifically LDL cholesterol, the ‘bad one’) than cholesterol from food sources. Even though we know this to be true, the studies are not clear cut, leaving many guidelines at 300mg or less dietary cholesterol per day for healthy individuals and 200mg or less for those with a high risk of developing heart-related issues.

How many eggs should we be eating?

One of the largest egg studies revealed no overall association between egg consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke in normal, healthy men and women, even at the highest level of intake of one egg per day, seven eggs per week.

Eggs are just like any other food, the key is moderation. What is more important is to look at your diet as a whole and to limit your saturated and trans fat intake. If you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with lots of vegetables, having an egg a day is fine. It’s not the egg that’s a problem; it is often the more unhealthy, high fat options we tend to eat eggs with e.g. bacon, sausages, hash browns etc.

Did you know the biggest egg eaters in the world are the Japanese, and they also have the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease. This is because their diet is low in saturated fat.

 

Eggstra Benefits:

Eggs are made up of a lot more than just cholesterol.

They contain high-quality protein and are an excellent source of many essential nutrients.  They are also inexpensive, easy to find and tasty.

  • Eggs have high-quality protein (+6g), which is easy to digest and has the right amount of amino acids for human growth and development. Most of the protein in the white (3.6 g),  but a considerable amount  is also found in the yolk (2.7 g).
  • Including high-protein foods such as eggs is particularly important for older adults because it can help reduce muscle loss
  • Eggs are inexpensive and low in calories
  • Eggs also contain two carotenoids, Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential to eye health. In the retina, these two compounds act as antioxidants, minimizing damage and reducing the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
  • Choline, a component of egg lecithin, is essential for normal development and has been shown in animal studies to improve memory and performance. Eggs are one of the few foods that contain high concentrations of this nutrient.
  • Folate, known for its importance during pregnancy, plus vitamin B12, riboflavin, and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K are also found in eggs.

 

Guilt Free Hollandaise Sauce and poached eggs

Serves 3

  • ½ cup low fat plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp leamon juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of fresh black pepper

Directions:

  1. Use double boiler (place one smaller bowl into a pot with some hot water).
  2. Beat together the yoghurt, lemon juice and egg yolks.
  3. Heat over simmering water, whisking frequently, until the sauce has thickened. This normally takes about 15 minutes (the sauce will become thinner before it thickens up again).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in salt, mustard and pepper.
  5. Use the same pot of simmering water and poach some free range eggs.
  6. Serve your eggs on a potato rosti or a wholewheat English muffin and drizzle that guilt free hollandaise sauce over your eggs.
  7. Enjoy