Cheap, nutritious and easy to cook, eggs are an essential staple in every runner’s diet – and with good reason. Packing 6.3 grams of protein, and providing a natural source of vitamins A, B2, B6, B12 and D plus zinc, copper and iron (yes, that’s a lot to list!), the humble egg has a lot to shout about.
Saying that, we’ve been given mixed messages about their health credentials over the years, and the advice is ever-changing: only yesterday (12/10/17), the Food Standards Agency declared British Eggs safe to eat for groups vulnerable to infection (ie, pregnant women and young children).
To mark World Egg Day, we’ve asked registered nutritionist Jenna Hope to separate fact from fiction, by unscrambling the most common myths surrounding eggs.
1/ Eating too many eggs will raise your cholesterol
False. This is a very common myth. Some research has suggested that eggs may raise cholesterol however, they raise your 'good' cholesterol (HDL) which contributes to reducing your 'bad' cholesterol (LDL). Therefore overall, there is no need to worry about the effects of eggs on your cholesterol when consumed in moderation (one to two eggs per day).
(Related: Looking after your heart health)
2/ Eggs help you see
True. Eggs are a source of vitamin A which plays a key role in sight. Egg yolks contain an antioxidant called lutein which contributes to healthy vision.
3/ You shouldn't eat too many yolks
False. Everything in moderation and the same goes for egg yolks. However, egg yolks are a source of vitamin D which is essential for bone health and healthy fats which are required for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
(Related: Basic guide to essential vitamins)
4/ Soft boiled eggs will give you food poisoning
False. UK food safety regulation ensures that you are at very low risk of food poisoning from soft boiled eggs.
5/ Eggs can help prevent overeating
True. Eating eggs for breakfast in exchange of a high sugar breakfast can help to stabilise blood sugar levels across the morning and keep you fuller for longer.
(Related: 5 healthy make-ahead breakfasts)
6/ You need to store eggs in the fridges to prevent food poisoning
True. Eggs should be stored at a temperature below 20°C. Be careful of cross-contamination and it is not recommended to store boiled eggs for longer than 2 days.
7/ Eggs help prevent type-2 diabetes
True and false. Eggs alone will not prevent type 2 diabetes, however, they can help to contribute to more stable blood sugar throughout the day when eaten as a replacement for high sugar meals/snacks. But remember: like anything, eggs should be eaten in moderation.
Not an egghead?
If you’re vegan, allergic or, well, just don’t like eggs, these foods will give you similar nutritional benefits.
Edamame: These magic beans pack almost 11 grams of protein per 100 gram serving – putting eggs to shame (shhh!).
Carrots: Although there are no direct vegan sources of eye health essential vitamin A, beta-carotene – a pigment naturally occurring in plants like carrots – is converted into vitamin A in the body.
Hemp seeds: While the ‘aromatic’ smell might hail back to a misspent youth, these hearty seeds contain 25% of your RDA of zinc, plus 15% of your iron RDA per three tablespoons.