Eggs & Nutrition
Eggs are a nutritious concentrated source of good quality protein with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Eggs are great value, easy to cook and a very versatile ingredient for both savoury and sweet dishes. They provide meals in minutes either on their own (boiled, poached, scrambled) or added to other ingredients (quiche, pancakes, omelette).
Remember, dietary guidelines do not apply to a single meal, recipe or food, but to your diet over a period of days or even a week.
An adequate protein intake is vital for the day to day working of the body. Eggs are an excellent source of protein. A standard portion of eggs (two eggs) provides nearly one third of the daily protein required by an average woman and almost one quarter of an average man’s requirement.
Eggs contain substantial amounts of vitamins A, B, D and E.
|Vitamin A||Maintains healthy immune system, skin and eyes.|
|Vitamin B2||Involved in energy production.|
|Vitamin B 12||Involved in cell replication, and healthy blood and nerves.|
|Vitamin D||Important for the development and maintenance of healthy bones.|
|Vitamin E||Acts as a powerful antioxidant – keeps cell membranes healthy.|
Eggs are a good source of the following minerals:
|Iron||Transport of oxygen around body. Also important for normal growth and development and good immune function.|
|Phosphorous||Important for energy metabolism and healthy bones.|
|Zinc||Involved in over 200 roles in the body including wound healing, healthy hair and skin.|
|Selenium||An important antioxidant.|
The fats found in food fall into three main groups.
Each has a different effect on your cholesterol level.
Fat Types: Where they come from, what they do
|Polyunsaturated Fats – PUFA|
|Monounsaturated Fats – MUFA|
An Egg A Day is OK
Recent scientific studies on the effect of eggs on blood cholesterol levels conclude that there is no evidence to show that eating eggs as part of a healthy balanced diet raises blood cholesterol levels and that a healthy adult can eat up to seven eggs a week (1).
A review by Trinity College Dublin, the Egg Scientific Research, has found that while many people are concerned about the cholesterol content of eggs and that there is a popular misconception that cholesterol in food directly influences blood cholesterol. Most recent scientific studies show that this fear is unfounded and seven eggs a week or an egg a day can play an important role in achieving nutritious diet in a healthy child or adult without having an effect on cholesterol levels(2).
The review of scientific studies on eggs promotes the consumption of an egg a day provided it is part of a balanced healthy diet that is overall low in fat – with less than 11% of energy from saturated fat, high in fibre and high in fruit and vegetables.
1. Guide to Daily healthy Food Choices, The Health Promotion Unit, Department of health and Children, 2001.
2. Note: All information taken from the study – An Overview of the Nutritional Role of Eggs in the Diet; Report prepared by Ms Edel Duffy B.Sc. (Dietetics) and Dr. Sinead McCarthy Ph.D (Nutrition) on behalf of Bord Bia (2006).