Eggs are a perfect choice for breakfast. Perfect little packages of protein that are rich in vitamins and minerals too. At around 68 Cal for a medium egg and 78 Cal for a large one, you can make a really satisfying and healthy breakfast that doesn’t have to stretch the waistband. The protein in the egg will certainly help keep you going through the morning without the need to nibble.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s we were advised to ‘go to work on an egg‘ but since then, the poor egg has been at the centre of a number of food scares. If it wasn’t the risk of salmonella that made us run a mile in the late 80’s, it was the concern about their cholesterol content causing heart disease in the 90’s.
Like most things, we have come full circle again and eggs are back in favour but as many remain cautious, lets just clear up any confusion about the health and safety of eggs.
Eggs may be contaminated with Salmonella when they form or when they are laid but the odds of this happening these days is pretty minima. A vaccination programme was introduced after Edwina Currie’s egg remarks and following resignation. Eggs are also washed and pasteurized which removes and kills any Salmonella bacteria. So they are extremely safe to eat, although any ‘vulnerable’ people – the young, pregnant, elderly and those who already unwell are advised NOT to eat raw and foods containing raw eggs or only lightly cooked eggs, just in case.
It is always best to store your eggs in the fridge and discard any that are cracked or broken.
Like eggs, cholesterol gets a bad press too. Cholesterol is not all bad news though – we need it to be healthy! In a previous blog on heart health, I explained how elevated blood cholesterol levels can contribute to heart disease but it’s not the dietary cholesterol that is the problem; too much saturated fat in our diet is. Much of the confusion about eggs and cholesterol is that although the egg yolk is rich in cholesterol (there is no cholesterol in the egg white), dietary cholesterol does not affect our blood cholesterol levels. Studies now show that it is the saturated fat (from cakes, pastries, cream, pies and processed meats etc) we are eating that raises our blood cholesterol levels. Eggs are actually very low in saturated fat and consuming them every day is not associated with cholesterol problems or heart disease, providing your cholesterol levels are normal. Just a note of caution – if your cholesterol level is high because of a genetic disorder (called Familial Hypercholesterolaemia which affects around 1 in 500 people), you may be advised to limit eggs.
The other great thing about eggs is they can be incredibly quick to prepare as well as being super tasty. Check out the Shake up Your Wake Up Breakfast Egg Recipes here for some new breakfast ideas 🙂
What you also have to be mindful of is how you cook your eggs – boiling and poaching are ideal but if you are frying or scrambling, watch the amount of butter or oil you add.