Since the 90s, eggs have come under fire time and time again in the media with claims that they contain high amounts of cholesterol and are a potential source of salmonella. However, I’m here to tell you that whole eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet!
There are so many myths surrounding eggs in our diet. For example, there has been talk about how eggs may increase the risk of heart disease. However, many studies have examined this and found no association between the two. They have also previously been demonised owing to their high cholesterol content. However, it is now widely accepted in research that the dietary cholesterol they contain is actually beneficial rather than detrimental. The NHS now states that although eggs contain some cholesterol, the amount of saturated fat we eat has more of an effect on the amount of cholesterol in our blood than the cholesterol we get from eating eggs. In fact, eggs have been linked with more health benefits than health risks.
Egg whites are rich in protein and therefore will keep you feeling full and satisfied. They contain a complete amino acid profile, meaning they have all the essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. Egg yolks contain essential nutrients such as vitamins A, D, B2, B12, folate and iodine. They are also high in antioxidants that can protect our eyes, as well as a brain nutrient called Choline that as much as 90% of people are not getting enough of! The yolk is where almost all of the nutrients are found, including vitamin D which most of the UK population do not get enough of.
The media sometimes uses scaremongering tactics to suggest that eggs put us at high risk of salmonella. However, over 90% of UK eggs are now produced under the British Lion scheme and more than 130 billion British Lion eggs have been sold since its launch in 1998.
The British Lion scheme has been responsible for a drastic reduction in the presence of salmonella in UK eggs and the Food Standards Agency has recently confirmed that they are the only eggs that are safe to be consumed runny or even raw. According to the NHS, British Lion eggs are considered safe for pregnant women to eat raw or partially cooked. If eggs are not produced under the Lion Code, it is advised that they are thoroughly cooked until solid.
With a body of research reassuring us that eggs are in fact very nutritious, more and more people are enjoying eggs as part of a well-balanced diet. Eggs can be a cost effective way of getting more nutrition into our day. Furthermore, they are incredibly versatile! They can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I have some delicious recipes containing eggs in my book Re-Nourish, such as my rainbow pizza omelette
5 medium eggs
1/4 tsp ground turmeric (optional)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
80g roasted vegetables
60g tuna or salmon, flaked (fresh or tinned)
30g mozzarella, torn
Handful of cooked kale or raw spinach leaves
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
Whisk the eggs in a small bowl with the turmeric and chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof frying pan over a low heat. Pour in the eggs, swirl around the pan, and then leave to cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 2–3 minutes until the top starts to brown.
Remove from the oven, scatter over your toppings and return to the oven for another 3 minutes until the cheese has melted and the top of the omelette is set.
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