Tools

Eggs: good nutrition on a budget

By Shirley Hall

We are still in the Lenten fast and hopefully we are cleansing our minds and bodies and maybe losing some unnecessary weight.

Complete fasting produces the largest possible calorie deficit of any diet. Long-term fasting, however, introduces multiple health risks which can lead to serious health problems.

The minimum amount of protein must be eaten and is necessary to prevent muscle-wasting effects, while still eliminating fats and carbohydrates.

Fasting is a natural process for our bodies. During water- or juice-fasting, the protein levels of the blood remain constant. Although protein is being utilised even during a 40-day fast, you should not suffer any deficiencies.

Eggs have the highest biological value of protein of any food. But you have to eat the yolk. In addition to protein, it also contains Vitamin B12, which is necessary for fat breakdown and muscle contraction.

Eggs are vitamins and minerals over easy; they're packed with riboflavin, folate, Vitamins B6, B12, D and E, and iron, phosphorus and zinc. Don't worry, eating a few eggs a day won't increase your risk of heart disease.

The basic egg is a great way to prepare an easy, low-cost, nutritious meal as an alternative to meat. Eggs are naturally high in protein, with one having less than five grammes of fat and 11 vitamins and minerals, especially iron and calcium.

Eggs stay fresh in or out of the fridge. They can be fried, boiled or baked into many tasty dishes.

Somewhere eggs got a bad reputation. We fear the calories and cholesterol, and too many people avoid eggs for the wrong reasons.

Realistically, eggs are a great food to include in your diet, whether you are young or old. Eggs are nutritious and they contain good cholesterol.

Research has demonstrated there are two very different types of cholesterol, and eggs have the good kind, which doesn't block arteries. There is no reason to worry about having a heart attack due to eggs. They also help your belly feel full longer.

HEALTH NOTE

Eggs supply all essential amino acids for humans, and provide several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, riboflavin (Vitamin B2), folic acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, choline, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium.

The egg is one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. A large egg yolk contains approximately 60 calories, the egg white contains about 15 calories. A large yolk contains more than two-thirds of the recommended daily intake of 300 milligrammes of cholesterol. The yolk makes up about a third of the liquid weight of the egg and it contains all of the fat.

Eating cholesterol actually has little effect on blood cholesterol, according to the US National Heart Foundation.

Eating saturated fat or trans fat (a fat found in many deep-fried and commercially baked products) is more likely to increase bad blood cholesterol . There is little saturated fat and no trans fat in eggs.

Eggs contain good amounts of omega-3 fats that have been proven to benefit heart health in multiple ways. Also, studies have shown that when women have eaten a good number of eggs as children and teens, their diet lowers the chances of getting breast cancer by almost half.

DID YOU KNOW?

An egg shell is made of calcium carbonate, the main ingredient in some antacids, and contains pores that allow oxygen in and carbon dioxide and moisture out.

The temperature is about 105°F when an egg is laid. The average hen lays 250 to 270 eggs a year. White eggs come from white chickens and brown eggs come from brownish chickens.

Here's the secret to predicting the colour of eggs a chicken will lay: look at their earlobes. The pigments in the outer layer of the eggshell will always approximate the colour of the earlobe of the chicken that laid the egg.

The colour of the shell has nothing to do with egg quality, nutritional value or flavour. One reason brown eggs cost more is because the brown-egg variety of chickens are bigger eaters.

The largest recorded egg weighed almost 12 ounces and measured 12 inches around. The largest number of yolks found in a single egg was nine.

This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.

Express Poll

Do you think that Anil Roberts should resign over the findings of the audit into the LifeSport programme?

  • Yes
  • No

Featured News Headlines

Weather

More Weather