All about eggs

Posted on 30 April 2013

Eggs are good for you! Irene Labuschagne, a part-time principal dietitian at the Nutrition Information Centre of the University of Stellenbosch explains what the benefits of eating eggs are.

Is it true that eggs are high in cholesterol?
The South African Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends: ‘Those at risk, who have a family history of high cholesterol, have established atherosclerotic disease or are suffering from type I or II diabetes, should not consume more than 200mg of cholesterol per day.’ So it’s not a good idea to cook an egg every morning. However, if you’re not at risk you can happily enjoy an egg a day, provided that it replaces a portion of meat for the day and the rest of your day’s dietary intake is healthy and well balanced. Irene adds: ‘The healthiest cooking methods for eggs are to boil or poach them.’

Which eggs are better for you?
Always try to eat omega-3 enriched eggs. They are similar to normal eggs (in terms of cholesterol content) and they do contain up to 10 times more of the polyunsaturated fatty acids called omega-3 fatty acids. When preparing eggs, always use as little fat as possible – boil or poach them, using very little vegetable oil – and  avoid eating too much salt on eggs.

Anything we should we know about eggs?
‘Eggs are an important and relatively inexpensive source of high-quality protein,’ explains Irene. ‘They contain most of the recognised vitamins with the exception of vitamin C and are a source of all the B vitamins.’ It is a particularly rich source of vitamins B12 and riboflavin (vitamin B2) and a useful source of folate. Eggs are also a good source of the fat-soluble vitamins A and D and provide some vitamin E.

Are egg yolks good for me?
Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, which is an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects. Two eggs provide about 250mg of choline, or roughly half of the recommended daily intake for pregnant and breast-feeding women.?Choline also aids the brain function of adults by maintaining the structure of brain-cell membranes, and is a key component of the neuro-transmitter that helps relay messages from the brain through nerves to the muscles.? Your eyes benefit, too. Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness.

And what about raw eggs in dressings or drinks?
You shouldn’t eat raw eggs since they can be a source of salmonella. Salmonella is perhaps most common in raw or undercooked poultry and egg products, however it can occur in meats, milk and dairy products. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, fever, headache and fewer.

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The information provided in this article was correct at the time of publishing. At Mediclinic we endeavour to provide our patients and readers with accurate and reliable information, which is why we continually review and update our content. However, due to the dynamic nature of clinical information and medicine, some information may from time to time become outdated prior to revision.

Published in Nutrition