Eggs

What’s the deal with eggs?

Eggs really are a nutrient powerhouse. They are loaded with nutrients, necessary for optimal health. You won’t find many foods with the same nutritional content that an egg has – let’s give them some credit!

They contain doses of almost everything you need. We’re talking vitamin A, B vitamins, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, folate and zinc. Choline is an important nutrient (often grouped with the B vitamins), which plays a role in cell production as well as brain signalling. Eggs are one of the best sources of choline. Not to mention, a large egg contains just 70 calories!

We all know they’re high in protein, containing all essential amino acids (remember, your body can’t make these amino acids, so they have to be externally sourced). One large egg contains approximately 7g of protein. With protein being the most satiating macronutrient, a couple of boiled eggs will curb that hunger for hours! This is also why eggs can be a great breakfast option, as they (dependant on exercise etc) can keep you going until lunchtime. If your goal is fat loss, crack an egg or two in the morning!

You will sometimes hear that eggs are “fatty” which is often why the yolk seems to get pushed to one side. Only 9% of the content of an egg is fat, almost all of which is found in the yolk of the egg. Of the ~5g of fat found in a large egg, the majority comes from monounsaturated fats and only 1.5g comes from saturated fat (the fat we should be aiming to reduce in the diet). So unless you’re eating them by the dozen, it’s okay!

It’s often believed eggs = cholesterol. Let’s clear this one up!

For years it was thought people should limit the number of eggs they eat due to the cholesterol in them; however, current evidence shows that dietary cholesterol is not what we need to worry about when it comes to the health of your heart. Prospective epidemiological surveys of coronary heart disease has shown no independent relationship between dietary cholesterol or egg consumption and coronary heart disease risk (See links to articles below).

It is true that eggs contain dietary cholesterol; however this does not have a significant effect on blood cholesterol. Only around one third of the cholesterol in the body actually comes from the diet, our bodies make the rest. Our liver produces a large amount of cholesterol every day.

In order to reduce total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease and other heart related issues, we need to be focussing on limiting saturated fats and trans fats in the diet. This means limiting highly processed foods such as processed meats, cakes and biscuits. Therefore it’s not eggs and egg yolks you need to be worrying about – eggs can be eaten and enjoyed regularly as part of a healthy, well balanced diet. Instead, aim to be reducing processed foods high in saturated fats.

So that’s the crack!

Due to their protein content and array of multiple other beneficial vitamins and minerals, eggs (in their entirety) are an ideal food to include in the diet when exercising regularly. Whether your goal is to build muscle, reduce body fat or simply just to focus on getting fitter and healthier, eggs can play a key role in getting you towards your goal.

They can make a great breakfast option whether you have scrambled eggs on toast, savoury egg muffins or an omelette packed with a variety of vegetables. They can make a great snack, again either a couple of boiled eggs with salt and pepper, or a couple of savoury breakfast muffins. For lunch try adding boiled eggs to a salad box or wrap, or if you’re at home making a delicious omelette. You could also base your dinner on eggs too – a delicious frittata always goes down a treat! Not to mention their use in delicious baked goods and homemade sweet snacks! Not only are they hugely versatile but they are affordable and taste delicious!

Links to articles

Dietary Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis

Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies

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