Articles

Food & fluids

5 good reasons for eating eggs

It was once said that “When there is an egg in the house, there’s a meal in the house” let’s see why?

1.Eggs are highly nutritious

Eggs are a natural whole food contributing, along with other protein rich foods, fruits and vegetables to a healthy balanced diet.
The high-quality protein found in eggs makes up 36% of the calories in a whole egg (6g protein/ 64kcals)

Eggs contain healthy Omega 3 fatty acids; choline; antioxidants; calcium; sodium; iodine; selenium; iron and zinc important for blood, bones and cellular health.

With an impressive line- up of water-soluble vitamins such as B group vitamins B12, thiamin, biotin and folate eggs aid nerve health and their fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E assist our eyes, skin and bone health.

Athletes might be interested to know that eggs are also a low energy source of the branched chain amino acid leucine that is important for muscle protein synthesis. 1

2.Eating eggs has little or no effect on blood cholesterol levels.

In fact, blood cholesterol is raised by eating too much saturated fat so just keep an eye on how you cook your eggs (use vegetable oil rather than lard, butter or coconut oil) also watch what you serve with your eggs. Such things as liver or processed meats such as ham, bacon and sausages will add more cholesterol to your diet than eating the egg itself.

Try adding more plant food when you next cook your eggs for breakfast such as tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, baked beans and spinach.

The NZ Heart Foundation recommends that people with an increased risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes can eat up to six eggs per week as part of a heart-healthy diet.2

 

3.Eggs are easy to cook

Boiled, poached, scrambled or cooked in vegetable oil, eggs are quick and easy to prepare and very versatile. They can also add protein to non- meat meals when combined with vegetables to make omelet’s, frittatas or quiches.

The texture of eggs can be easily adapted to the needs of the palate.

Soft enough to be swallowed with very little chewing and easily added to custards or baking eggs can be easily chewed by children, the elderly or people with chewing difficulties such following surgery to head or neck, radiotherapy, dental interventions, dry mouth syndrome etc.
For people wanting a meal with more texture then eggs can accompany meat, fish, potato cakes, pasta bakes or rice risottos


4.Eggs are a very cheap source of protein

When comparing the same amount of protein found in an egg (6g) with other protein food sources, eggs are very economical.

Foods containing 6 g of protein compared on cost

Food Total Cost Unit Cost
  $ cents
1 Egg, regular sized 3.72/doz 31
1/2 cup Baked beans 1.29/425g 37
25g Edam cheese 10.49/Kg 26
30g Beef mince 9.99/Kg 30
40g Red cod, fresh 19.79/Kg 79
25g Tuna, canned 1.99/95g 52
200ml Milk, whole 3.54/2L 35
60g Tofu 3.79/300g 75
35g Tempeh 5.99/250g 83
55g Walnuts 2.19/70g 172
35g Almonds 27.50/KG 96

Ref: Food works 2019; Pak n Save pricing 7 June 2021


5.Eggs and food safety

Do make sure your eggs are cooked. Dropping a raw egg into a milkshake is not recommended and also take care with mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, Caesar dressing and some desserts especially if consuming these foods when out. The Australian government warn:

“There is a potential risk of illness from consumption of raw or lightly-cooked eggs, or consumption of uncooked foods containing raw egg. Unhygienic practices used by food handlers during preparation of food containing egg have been reported as contributing factors to the risk of salmonellosis.” 3 

Raw or very lightly cooked egg is also considered a high risk food for pregnant women but do still keep eating eggs during pregnancy (as these are a healthy protein rich food) just make sure that these are well cooked 4

Even if you have a strong family history of egg allergy the American Academy or Paediatrics advise that the avoidance of eggs during pregnancy or when breast feeding  does not prevent  atopic disease in children.

Recently published guidelines recommend that the early introduction (4-5month) of allergenic foods such as peanut and egg may prevent peanut and egg allergy in children at high risk 5

If you would like to know more about the topics discussed here or would like to assess the protein content of your diet the contact me for an online appointment.

For more egg information and recipes visit https://eggs.org.nz

 

References

  1. Berger, S., et al., Dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015. 102(2): p. 276-94.
  2. Eggs and heart health https://assets.heartfoundation.org.nz/documents/shop/submissions/eggs-position-statement.pdf?1622892746
  3. Safe handling of eggs and produce containing eggs. 18/5/21 https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/S_T/Safe-Handling-of-Eggs-and-Products-Containing-Eggs
  4. Food and pregnancy https://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety-home/food-pregnancy/
  5. Greer, FR; Sicherer, SH; Burks, HW; The effects of early nutritional intervention on the development of atopic disease in infants and children: The role of maternal dietary restriction, breastfeeding, hydrolysed formulas and timing of introduction of allergenic complementary foods. Paediatrics 2019 April:143(4)

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

View all posts by Lea Stening »

Comments

Leave a Reply

Also in Food & Fluids View all »

  • Dietary Guidelines are constantly changing:...

    Although science is constantly evolving, generating new recommendations to improve our health, for many people their eating habits are based on things other than their longevity so are guidelines still relevant today? Read more »

  • Coffee concoctions

    Whether we sit in or take out it seems our love affair with coffee just keeps growing. Let's take a quick look at the effect our choice of coffee may have on our nutrient intake. Read more »

  • Potatoes – they’re maybe healthier...

    Potatoes are often labelled too starchy, too fattening too boring, but is this fair? As we grapple with Covid-19 maybe it's time to take a fresh look at how eating potatoes nationally could help our health and economic growth Read more »

  • Snacking on the plant-based diet

    Business is booming in the snack food trade. However not all commercially available foods are good for our health. Find out how planning snacks can help to power your day Read more »

  • Can caffeine improve your performance?

    New Zealand ranks 13th in the world for coffee consumption ahead of Australia and USA. What are the effects of caffeine on our health and can it improve our performance? Read more »

  • Soup to soothe

    There is something very comforting about a bowl of soup especially on a cold winters day or if you are feeling unwell. Here we compare soups available today and offer guidelines on choosing the healthiest. Read more »

  • The active life of yoghurt

    Yoghurt is a healthy, economic and beneficial way to supply the body with macronutrients particularly protein and calcium, very convenient as a meal or snack its health benefits could help you. Find out more.. Read more »

  • Alcohol and sport- Is it a good match for you?

    When used responsibly alcohol can help to relieve tensions in athletes and to build feelings of inclusiveness in a team. However in excess it can slowly unravel training, health and sporting careers. Read more »

  • Don’t like fish?

    Fish is high in protein, iron, B group vitamins and essential fatty acids. But not everyone likes it. What can parents do to help their child try it again? Read more »

  • Are nuts all they are cracked up to be?

    Are nuts healthy and how much do we need to eat in order to enjoy their health benefits? Read more »

  • Wise up to Discretionary Foods for better health

    If you are struggling to lose weight or lower your cholesterol then taking a closer look at your intake of discretionary foods can improve your results. Read more »

  • Could you make healthier decisions when shopping?

    Every food item we drop into our supermarket trolley isn’t just affecting us but also the health of those we provide food for. How well do you shop? Read more »

  • How to put ‘real’ flavour into...

    It can be so easy to snip the top off a packet of flavouring when cooking. But if we really want to reduce the salt, fat and sugar in our diet natural flavours are best. Find out how. Read more »

  • Get children cooking this Christmas

    Increasing the confidence of children to cook from scratch is now seen as part of the strategy to reduce chronic diet related disease and obesity. We offer 12 top foods to know how to cook before leaving home. Read more »

  • Garnishes galore and all those “little...

    Is garnishing getting out of hand? Find out how much energy those "add ons" really do add. Read more »

  • 8 tips to help you break the sugar habit

    What habits would you like to break? With all eyes on sugar reduction learn the steps to make this happen to achieve better health now. Read more »

  • Time your eating for better performance?

    If playing sport or exercising, understanding the GI can help you to select foods that will provide optimal energy at key stages of activity for better performance. Read more »

  • What’s the fuss about fructose?

    Sugar has been the focus of attention lately amidst concerns for our dental health and obesity. But what about fructose, the sugar that intrinsically exists in fruits and vegetables? Could this be injurious to our health too? Read more »

  • Get into fruit and vegetables for optimal health

    Do you get your 5+ A Day servings of fruit and vegetables? Learn how gardening and creative activities can improve your consumption of these foods and maximise their nutritional benefits for better health. Read more »

  • 15 Tips for healthier barbeques this Christmas

    Are you planning a Barbeque this Christmas? It's not hard to lower everyone's saturated fat, salt and sugar intake while still serving beautiful, tasty food. Read more »

  • Tips to help you ‘shake off’ the...

    In a bid to reduce the intake of processed foods many food manufacturers are modifying their products to meet new food guidelines particularly regarding salt. Find out if you are still getting too much? Read more »

  • What’s to drink?

    As concern, regarding the sugar and energy content of carbonated drinks and fruit juice, gathers momentum many people are looking for alternative drinks to have. Read more »

  • Is going “Gluten Free” a healthy...

    As the popularity of gluten- free diets grow we need to question whether in fact it is a healthy option for any of us and if not how can we make it so? Read more »

  • 8 Healthy tips when making ‘real food’...

    If we choose a lifestyle where others grow and process our food can we be sure that it is still safe to eat? Find out more. Read more »

  • Does your diet tick all the boxes?

    Is dieting still fun if it ages you? Find out if your diet ticks all the boxes for your better health and performance. Read more »

  • Organic food markets are gaining traction

    Organic foods are more expensive but as more farms convert to organic food production the costs do come down and the savings to the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality may, in the long-term, be money well spent Read more »

  • Fish and mercury contamination

    While fish can also contain some mercury it is still possible to enjoy the health benefits of eating fish and keep the exposure to mercury within safe limits. Read more »

  • Juice diets – are they as healthy as...

    For busy people, who might rather drink than chew their fruits and vegetables, the juicing trend sounds like a "gods send". What possible disadvantages could there be to health? Find out the pros and cons of this new diet craze. Read more »

  • Taste is important to fluid consumption

    Taste is an important factor affecting fluid choice and level of consumption and therefore is an important consideration to overall sporting performance Read more »

  • Feeling full is the secret to weight loss

    Gaining an understanding of the many factors contributing to a sense of fullness can provide some very powerful tools for those seeking to lose or control body weight and find more energy for life! Read more »

  • Milk matters

    How safe is cow’s milk in the raw and homogenised state? When can cow’s milk be given to infants and how can we protect children against developing allergies to cow’s milk? These are just some of the questions that have come up in the media lately and are in need of some clarification Read more »

  • Muesli and sports bars can aid performance

    Muesli and sports bars are designed to provide a convenient source of energy to be thrown into a lunchbox, gym bag or pocket and eaten “on the run”. However if eaten daily as a “lolly” or relied on as a meal replacement they can lead to unnecessary weight gain. If used wisely during training and competition they can provide athletes with a measured source of carbohydrate vital to performance. Read more »

  • Healthy meals for one

    Coming home to a nutritious cooked family meal was once the norm for many of us. Recent social change however is now seeing more people living in single dwellings many of whom are turning to meals “on the run” that are quick and easy to prepare Read more »

  • Can coconut improve our health?

    Coconut oil was once associated with tanning. Something young people coated themselves with before lying out in the sun “to bake”. Today coconut products are being heralded by many as the new “wonder food" that can cure many ailments. We take a look at some of these claims. Read more »

  • Food planning is important for hiking safety

    Research does show more injuries occur in the mid-late afternoon in open country than other times of day. This is often when people become dehydrated, their muscle levels of energy (glycogen) can become depleted and blood glucose levels may be falling, all factors which lead to fatigue Read more »

  • Sugar control is essential for better health

    After years of encouraging a low fat diet with some success (a decline in heart disease and some forms of cancer) attention is now focusing on sugar as a possible reason for our weight and diabetic problems. Read more »

  • Boosting fibre intake offers health benefits

    Research shows that a diet high in fibre can reduce the risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, bowel and breast cancer, gallstones, diverticular disease and weight gain. It also seems that some fibres are better than others. Read more »

  • How to increase the ‘Good’ fats...

    If you are thinking of cutting fat out of your diet stop right now. Fat is important for nerve and cellular function but choosing the right “type” of fat is what matters most to our long term health. Read more »

  • Can a high fat diet improve sports performance?

    Fat carries more energy than other macro nutrients (9kcals/37kJ/g compared to 7kcal/29kJ/g for alcohol and 4kcal/17kJ/g for protein and carbohydrate respectively). So with so much energy to offer does eating more improve performance? Read more »

  • How much food do you waste every day?

    In New Zealand around 258,886 tons of food waste is dumped in landfill each year. This equates to around 64kg of food waste per person/year in NZ compared to 82kg /person/ year in the USA. Read more »

  • Healthy ideas for family takeaway meals

    Did you know that in 2012 around 21% of New Zealander’s weekly food expenditure was spent on eating out and takeaways? Read more »

  • Are you a “sneaky snacker”?

    Some people find it hard to control snacking and are continuously thinking about food. They may find themselves constantly picking, stock piling foods in drawers and cupboards at home and work. Read more »

  • Give healthier gifts this Christmas

    If you want to enjoy the company of friends and family when you get older then if is important that you look after their health, as well as your own, as you age. Read more »

  • “Free foods” for hungry children

    Free foods", while bulky, are very low in energy and filling. So their cost in terms of calories is much lower than most other dietary components, hence the term "free". As these foods are also naturally fat free they make ideal snacks for anyone trying to control body weight Read more »

  • Party plans for children

    Birthday parties should be fun and the chance to celebrate a child’s special day with a minimum of work and cost for busy parents. If the party can be timed to fit around a normal meal time then “junk” foods can be kept to a minimum. Read more »

  • Care for “the carers” during family...

    When family members are sick or hospitalised it can be very challenging to find the time to exercise and maintain a healthy diet for yourself. Particularly if you are working, caring for children, or trying to complete a course of study. Read more »

  • What are our children drinking?

    In 2015 New Zealanders consumed a total of 518 million liters of carbonated drinks. Outside of the drinking of milk and water there is real concern about the energy content of some of these beverages because of our rising incidence of diabetes and obesity. Read more »

  • Drink milk for better health

    Fonterra’s announcement that it will sponsor free milk in schools is good news for the future health of young New Zealanders. Milk is promoted on the basis of bone health but there are many other health benefits that should be promoted. Read more »

  • Make healthy decisions this Christmas!

    We all like to think that we call the shots regarding what we eat and drink. But who really has the last say over what we swallow? Read more »

  • Marvellous mushrooms

    Did you know? New Zealanders consume 2.7kg of mushrooms per person each year. Mushrooms rank as the third most popular vegetable in this country in 2010. White button mushrooms are the most commonly eaten type of mushroom in New Zealand. Mushrooms do not need light to grow. They obtain all their goodness and nutrients from … Read more »

  • Brace yourself for the brassicas

    With Winter now upon us its time to eat more Brassica vegetables. What are they? Broccoli – 7th most popular vegetable in New Zealand Cauliflower – 13th most popular Cabbage (all types) – 12th most popular Brussel Sprouts Broccolini – consumption rocketing! Swedes Turnips Why are they so good? Brassicas contain: Antioxidants, from the following … Read more »

  • Navigating Christmas without weight gain

    Measurement is an important evaluation tool at any time of the year, it is only human nature to want some means of measuring progress; however can we rely solely upon any particular measure and expect to obtain a reliable result? For each aspect of life we require some measure to determine our successes or failures, … Read more »

  • Alcohol and type 2 diabetes

    The protective role of alcohol in protecting against heart disease has been reported throughout various media sources in previous years, however only recently has it also been shown in people with Type 2 Diabetes. Epidemiological evidence suggests that a light to moderate alcohol intake may have a protective role against the development of Diabetes in … Read more »

  • Sweeteners

    Public awareness of sugars within our diet has slowly increased in recent years. Whilst fat has borne the majority of blame for its implication in development of excess body weight, sugar has escaped relatively lightly. Read more »

  • Warning signs of excess alcohol

    During times of stress it is tempting to reach for alcohol in the hope that it will relax you and take away the pain or sense of loss you may be feeling. Read more »

  • Food safety

    If you do suffer bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea then here are some helpful tips.. Read more »

  • Easter treats

    If given a tray of Easter Eggs can you stop at one or two or do you eat the whole lot? Read more »

  • Slow food

    Slow Food was founded in Italy in 1989.The reaction of an Italian journalist to the opening of the first McDonald’s in Rome. Find out more. Read more »

  • Summer fruit warning

    High levels of fructose may lead to increased blood levels of triglycerides and lactate. This can be of concern to those who are overweight, diabetic or have elevated blood cholesterol levels. Read more »

  • Fish for good health

    Through out your life, eating fish regularly can greatly improve your health and fitness. Read more »

Would you like to subscribe to our fantastic FREE monthly newsletter?

Each month we'll keep you up-to-date with the latest nutritional articles and healthy recipes from LeaStening.com. You are free to opt out at any time, but we think you'll enjoy what we've got in-store for you.

Plus as a bonus offer — subscribe today and receive FREE weight loss tips for two weeks! Learn how a number of foods, many one would consider 'healthy', may in fact be slowing your progress.

Subscribe

Yes please, it sounds great! (and it's FREE after all).


OR

Enter

No thanks, I'm not interested (or I'm already a subscriber and really enjoying these fantastic newsletters!).