Nutrition

Nutrition

OK Everyday logoEggs aren’t just delicious, they’re incredibly nutritious. There’s a good reason eggs are often referred to as nature’s multivitamin – they’re one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

HEART FOUNDATION RECOMMENDATIONS

It’s the big news that’s warmed the hearts of the egg industry and consumers alike.

After a review of the current evidence concerning the nutritional value and health benefits of eggs, the Heart Foundation has concluded that eating eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet DOES NOT affect the risk level for healthy people to develop heart disease.

This means the Heart Foundation has now lifted all restrictions for healthy people when it comes to egg consumption. It now recommends healthy Australians can eat eggs without limitation as part of a healthy diet.

However, the Heart Foundation does recommend watching what you eat with your eggs. For example, it’s ok to add mushrooms and avocado, but they recommend skipping the bacon and hollandaise sauce.

Overall, Australian Eggs has welcomed this decision to remove the limits placed on egg consumption for healthy Australians.

It’s a different set of rules for those living with raised LDL cholesterol, cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.

The Heart Foundation recommends you should eat no more than seven eggs a week if you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions.

For more details on the Heart Foundation's revised advice on egg consumption click here.

What’s in an egg?

The humble egg is a superfood with 11 different vitamins and nutrients packed into only 300 kilojoules.

Eggs are a perfect protein source because they contain all the essential amino acids our bodies need in the right amounts. They’re a natural source of key nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, E and B12, antioxidants and choline.

The nutrients found in an egg are distributed evenly between the yolk and the white, which is why we recommend eating the whole egg for a nutritious start to the day.

Every time you crack open an egg you’re receiving the goodness of:

  • Protein: Athletes often consume eggs before training because they’re a good source of high-quality protein. Protein is used by the body for growth and repair, helping in the formation of muscles, hair, nails, skin and organs.
  • Vitamin D: Egg yolks are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, making it a convenient way to up your intake without having to sit out in the sun. An average serve of eggs (2 eggs) provides 82% of your recommended dietary intake of Vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones and muscles, as well as overall health.
  • Vitamins A, E and B12: Eggs contain a number of vitamins including vitamin B12 and are particularly rich in vitamins A and E. Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy skin and teeth, while also promoting good vision. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect body tissue from disease. Vitamin B12 is essential for brain and nervous system function, also aiding proper blood formation.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are essential in protecting against heart disease, inflammatory disease and autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. They help keep your eyes healthy and also play a major role in infant development.  
  • Antioxidants: Eggs are high in several natural antioxidants including Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which protect your eyes and maintain their health. They are thought to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of legal blindness in Australia. Egg whites also contain selenium, which protects your immune system.
  • Choline: Choline is used by the body for metabolic processes such as liver function, normal brain development, nerve function and muscle movement. It’s particularly important during pregnancy to support foetal brain development.
  • Iron: It’s estimated that up to five per cent of Australians are iron deficient. Iron is required to produce haemoglobin, which carries oxygen through the blood. Eggs are an easy way to help hit your recommended iron intake levels.

A good food for life

Healthy eating is good idea regardless of how old you are and what else you do. It helps reduce the risk of lifestyle-related health conditions and boosts energy levels, helping you get the most out of each and every day.

To meet your daily nutrient requirements, it’s important to include a variety of foods from the key food groups. You should also be active, take time out to enjoy life and make sure you get enough sleep.

While diet trends come and go, the basics of healthy eating don’t. And unlike the latest food fads, eggs are relatively inexpensive – making them a valuable inclusion in your healthy, well-balanced diet.

Eggs are also a convenient way for pregnant women, athletes, the elderly, and others with restricted diets or increased nutrient requirements to top up their intake.

NIP Review

A nationally representative sample of Australian eggs was sourced and sent to an accredited analytical laboratory in January 2018. Over an eight week period, in depth analytical testing was carried out to assess any changes.

The 2018 results have been compared with the previous analysis undertaken in 2007. Overall, the nutritional profile of eggs has remained relatively stable but there has been some exciting changes.

The results of the analysis reveal that an average serve (2 x 60g eggs) provides 82 per cent of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of vitamin D.1 

New advancements in the analytical techniques used to detect different forms of vitamin D in foods has found that eggs are one of the highest natural sources of vitamin D.1,2 This result demonstrates that eggs contain significantly more vitamin D than previously thought.1

References
[1] Australian Eggs and Food & Nutrition Australia. 2018 Nutritional review of a representative sample of Australian eggs.
[2] Schmid A & Walther B. Natural Vitamin D Content in Animal Products. Adv. Nutr. 2013 4:453-462.

Nutritional value of eggs

The nutrient profile of Australian hen eggs and the contribution to Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDI) is shown in the following table:

Nutrients  RDI*  Per 100g

Per Serve

2x60g eggs

(104g edible portion)

        %RDI
Energy (kJ)

 8,700

561 583 7%
Protein (g) 50 12.7 13.2 26%
Fat (g) 70 9.1 9.5 14%
Sat fat (g) 24 2.8 2.9 12%
Mono fat (g)  n/a 4.8 5.0 n/a
Poly fat (g) n/a 1.5 1.6 n/a
Cholesterol (mg)  n/a 394 409 n/a
Carbohydrate (g)  310 <1g ~1g 0%
Sugars (g)  90 <1g ~1g 1%
Sodium (mg)  2300 144 150 7%
Potassium (mg) 

2800 (F),

3800 (M)^

131 136 5% (F), 3% (M)
Magnesium (mg)  320 12 12 4%
Phosphorus (mg)  1,000 171 178 18%
Iron (mg) 

12

1.8 1.8 15%
Selenium (µg) 70 28 29 41%
Zinc (mg)  12 1.0 1.0 8%
Iodine (µg)  150 47 49 33%
Thiamin (mg)  1.1 0.04 0.04 4%
Riboflavin (mg)  1.7 0.4 0.42 24%
Vitamin B6# (mg)  1.6 0.02  0.02 1%
Biotin (µg) 30(ESADDI) <5.2 5.4 18%
Vitamin B12# (µg)  2 0.3 0.3 15%
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) (mg)# 5(ESADDI) 1.07 1.1 22%
Folate (µg)  200 88 91 46%
Vitamin A (Retinol) (µg)  750 98 102 14%
Vitamin D (µg)  10 7.91 8.2 82%
Vitamin E (mg)# 10 1.9 2.0

20%

Omega - 3 (total) (g) 

0.89 (F),

1.46 (M)^

0.20 0.20 22% (F), 14% (M)
Short chain Omega-3 (ALA) (g) 

0.8 (F),

1.3 (M)^

0.06 0.07 9% (F), 5% (M)
Long chain Omega-3 (DHA/DPA) (mg) 

90 (F),

160 (M)^

131 136 151% (F), 85% (M)
Lutein (ug)  n/a 259 270 n/a
Zeaxanthin# (ug)  n/a 33 34 n/a
Lutein + zeaxanthin (ug)  n/a 291 303 n/a
Choline (mg) 425 (F), 550 (M)^ 315 327 77% (F), 59% (M)

 

* Food Standards Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Reference Values for Recommended Dietary Intakes on Food Labels, Standard 1.1.1, Schedule Column 3 and Daily Intakes, Standard 1.2.8, Table to subclause 7(3)

^ National Health and Medical Research Council. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, 2006. Adequate Intakes (AI)

~ Limit of Quantification #Lowest average figure according to production system