Egg nutrition: truths and myths
When it comes to eating eggs, there’s a host of old wives’ tales and conflicting opinions to confuse us when it comes to their health benefits. Read on, and watch the video below, as we sort out fact from fiction when it comes to egg nutrition.
Eggs are good for your eyes
True: Two nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, that give eggs their lovely bright yellow colour, may help protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as we get older. The reason? They are absorbed by part of the retina, the light-sensitve layer at the back of your eyeball, where they help protect against damage by free radicals, teh rogue molecules that damage cells.
Too many eggs are bad for your heart
Myth: For years we were told to cut down on eggs because they raised the risk of heart disease. But experts now say moderate egg consumption (one or two a day) doesn’t increase the risk of heart problems in healthy people.
An egg breakfast can help you lose weight
True: Low-carb, low-fat, packed with protein and a host of other nutrient goodies, eggs are little powerhouses of nutrition. An International Journal of Obesity study found that slimmers who began the day by filling up with an egg breakfast shed more pounds than non-egg eaters.
Eggs and orange juice are a good combo
True: Washing down your boiled eggs with a glass of orange juice provides vitamin C, which helps your body to absorb the egg’s iron. Cutting down on juice because of its high sugar content? Other good sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, oranges, mangos and strawberries.
A hard-boiled egg before you drink can prevent a hangover
Myth: In theory this could work because eggs contain the amino acid cysteine that helps flush out acetaldehyde, a toxin produced when our bodies break down alcohol. It’s a nice idea but sadly there’s no research to prove this.
Eating eggs can keep your brain sharp
True: Research shows that lutein and zeaxanthin can help guard against cognitive decline and improve memory scores. And now US scientists have begun a study to see if two eggs a day can help preserve memory in the over-50s. Watch this space!
It’s better to eat eggs whole
True: Egg white omelettes have become a go-to for Paleo fans and low-carbers alike. At just 17 calories per egg white you’ll certainly save on your daily intake. But you’ll also be missing out on vital B vitamins, vitamin D, iron and those all important nutrients including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in the yolks. And at 72 calories for a whole egg, you will hardly be breaking your calorie bank.