How many of you remember that saying?
How many of you remember that saying? It was actually an advertising slogan for the British Egg Marketing Board launched in 1957 to promote eating eggs for breakfast. It was a saying on everyone’s lips for a decade or so, until eggs got hit by the Edwina Currie fiasco, when she claimed that most British eggs were infected with salmonella. Egg sales plummeted and the situation was exacerbated a few years later when we were told that eggs were high in unhealthy cholesterol.
Thankfully eggs now have a more positive image – the egg industry has cleaned up its act and the cholesterol myth has been debunked. Eggs, the ultimate and natural fast food, are making a comeback which is great news as we at Jessica’s Recipe Bag are very fond of them!
Eggs are frequently part of our healthy food delivery. We supply delicious free-range eggs from Clarence Court. This family run farm only uses heritage breeds which are fed a non-GM vegetarian diet.
So let’s unscramble the myths and look at some egg facts:
- Salmonella risk from eggs is now very low. It was helped by the launch in 1998 of the Lion Quality Code of Practice. This was a voluntary scheme that encouraged egg producers to vaccinate their poultry against salmonella and stamp a best before date on the egg shell along with the Lion Mark of quality. Better farming practices have also helped in lowering salmonella risk.
- Eggs do contain cholesterol but it is not likely to have any impact on ‘bad cholesterol levels, in fact it may even lower them. Firstly dietary cholesterol does not directly affect our cholesterol levels. Secondly hens fed a natural and omega fat rich diet produce eggs high in these healthy fats which can keep cholesterol levels in check. It is also recognised now that we do need cholesterol to build cell membranes, make hormones and digest fats.
- Eggs are an excellent source of quality protein as they contain all the essential amino acids (see my earlier blog on protein). This high quality protein satisfies the appetite and keeps us feeling fuller for longer. In fact research carried out at Surrey University found that eating 2 eggs a day helped with weight loss and had no effect on cholesterol levels.
- An egg is packed with numerous vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, D, E, K and some B vitamins along with iron, zinc, iodine and selenium. Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes, skin, the immune system and the digestive tract. Vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones and the immune system. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant which protects the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Vitamin K helps to build strong bones. B vitamins maintain a healthy nervous system and the body’s energy supply. Eggs provide choline which is grouped within the B vitamin group and is vital for brain function. Iron is necessary for transporting oxygen around your body via your red blood cells. Zinc is necessary for a healthy immune system. Iodine ensures proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Selenium is necessary for healthy eyes and the immune system.
- Eggs have recently shown promise in lowering blood pressure. Scientists found that a component in egg white had the ability to lower blood pressure in rats to the same extent as specialised medication. The results were so promising that they will now begin trials on humans. It is unclear the effect that cooking has on the blood pressure lowering capabilities of egg white but it appears that the greater the cooking temperature the better the results.
- Brown eggs are no better than white eggs!