Love your googy eggs? Me too. But are eggs OK to eat every day? Or is it over-egging the pudding … and our health? And is it better to eat organic eggs?
The gooey good news is that new findings from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) show higher egg consumption is associated with having a better quality diet.
Findings from the CSIRO Healthy Diet Score report indicate that Australians are consuming 5.7 eggs per week – almost an egg a day. That’s a lot of egg cracking going on.
But it’s OK. Eggs provide an easy, low cost, protein and nutrient rich meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner to aid in achieving a better quality diet.
According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines*, there do not appear to be any increased health risks associated with consumption of eggs. There is recent evidence to suggest that consumption of eggs every day is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease.
For good health, the Guidelines recommend daily inclusion of foods from the protein group, including eggs. Two large eggs (120g) provide one serve of protein.
Here, Professor Manny Noakes, Research Director for Nutrition and Health at CSIRO, answers all your eggstatic questions …
Are eggs OK to eat every day?
“Eggs are ok to eat every day,” confirms Professor Noakes. “There is no specific number, but for good health the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend daily inclusion of foods from the protein group. Two large eggs provide one serve from the protein group of foods. We all need to eat fewer junk foods and add more wholefoods to our diets for overall better health. Our research showed that higher egg consumption was associated with a higher diet quality score. Eggs are an extremely nutritious wholefood – a great choice in a healthy and balanced daily diet.”
What about children? Are eggs OK for them to eat every day?
“Eggs are a very nutritious food for children and yes, they are OK every day for them too. They are a great food for kids that could prevent them becoming hangry.”
What is the nutritional benefits of the egg white and egg yolk?
“Egg white is a great source of protein but it doesn’t have all the 11 vitamins and minerals found in the yolk. Egg yolks also contain protein, as well as most of the iron, B12, vitamin A, folic acid and omega 3 fats, to name a few. Additionally, the yolk contains pigments which are carotenoids that are important for eye health.
“Eating the whole egg is best to get all the nutritional benefits. Eating eggs can also help with controlling hunger, making it less likely to over eat.”
What are the healthiest ways to eat eggs? Poached, scrambled with milk for added calcium?
“Any of those ways are a good way to eat eggs. The important thing is their companions. It’s best with whole grain bread and foods like tomato, avocado, mushrooms, spinach, rocket or asparagus, rather than greasy bacon and sausages!”
“Our survey of over 80,000 Australians showed that those people who ate an egg per day or more had better quality diets. They ate more vegetables but also less junk foods.
What are some fun ways to encourage kids to eat them?
“Dipping soldiers are always fun. I think French toast with Banana and cinnamon is popular (minus maple syrup!). A variation is to cut a round hole in the bread and drop an egg into the middle and cook in a frypan with a little oil. A whole grain English muffin with an egg and tomato is good on the go too. Omelettes and frittata are also popular items outside breakfast.”
What are the differences between free range organic eggs and caged eggs?
“Nutritionally, there is very little difference as the hens’ pellets are often the same.”
Do you have any tips to help parents choose wisely?
“I think just be guided by what you feel is important for you. All eggs are nutritious, so make sure there are always plenty in your fridge for all meal occasions.”
Look out for the OK Every Day logo on your egg carton – coming to a shelf near you soon! Or for more information, visit www.eggs.org.au.
* Australian Government, National Health and Medical Research Council, Department of Health and Ageing (2013), Australian Dietary Guidelines, page 51