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Food Fundamentals - Egg

Eggs are often referred to as ‘nature’s convenience food’. Not only are they readily available and have the ability to be used in so many different ways, they are highly nutritious, supplying a variety of nutrients in relatively high amounts. In fact, the only 2 things eggs do not contain are fibre and vitamin C.

Eggs are classed as ‘nutrient dense’ meaning for each unit of energy (kilojoule) eaten, there are a high amount of essential nutrients. Each egg contains around 12% of high quality protein, making them ideal for vegetarians or people on a low budget such as students or possibility the elderly.

An egg contains a high amount of vitamins A, E, D and B vitamins in particular B12 and folate, again important for vegetarians. The mineral content is also notable containing good levels of iron, zinc, calcium phosphorus and potassium. Free range eggs not only taste better and have a more colourful yolk, they are higher in B12 and folate. Please buy free range eggs over cage eggs where possible, not only for your own health, but the health and happiness of the chickens!

Aren’t eggs high in cholesterol? In 2005 eggs gained the ‘tick of approval’ by the heart foundation, which reflects the fact that eggs as a food are great all rounders. It has been found in many studies that a diet high in saturated fat, such as that found in fried foods, pastries, processed meats etc is much more of a risk factor for developing heart disease than a diet high in cholesterol. Eating eggs, has very little, if any effect of blood serum cholesterol levels.

Eggs are so versatile, some chefs say there are over 100 different ways to prepare an egg, but the basic four ways are scrambling, boiling, frying and baking. A recommend way of including eggs into your diet by boiling/poaching for a healthy breakfast or snack, making into a delicious omelette or preparing a yummy quiche, frittata or flan.

Eaten in moderation, eggs do not increase the risk of heart disease nor increase cholesterol levels, however if you are unsure then seek the help of your health care professional advises otherwise.

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