Cracking the egg myths
Egg lovers rejoice! Eggs are a healthy, nutrient-rich food that experts say you can enjoy every day as part of a healthy balanced diet. But if you still need some convincing, let’s dispel some common myths.
Myth: Eggs are high in cholesterol and can increase the risk of heart disease
Cracked: Many studies have now been conducted in healthy people showing no effect of daily egg intake on blood cholesterol levels. The National Health & Medical Research Council’s Australian Dietary Guidelines advise that consumption of eggs every day is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease. It’s far more important to ensure you’re eating a diet low in saturated fats. Find out more about cholesterol here.
Myth: I don’t need to eat the yolk – it’s better for my health to just eat egg whites.
Cracked: Egg yolks and whites contain different vitamins and minerals. The egg white is a great source of protein, riboflavin and selenium but most of the egg’s nutrients and nearly half of its protein is found in the yolk.
Myth: Eggs are high in fat
Cracked: The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting foods high in saturated fat as this may have benefits for blood cholesterol levels. Eggs are relatively low in saturated fat, containing an average of just 1.7grams per egg (60g).
Myth: You shouldn’t eat eggs during pregnancy to avoid your baby developing an allergy to them
Cracked: There is no research to support this belief. The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) does not recommend pregnant women restrict their diet to eliminate allergenic foods. Eggs have many nutrients which are beneficial for pregnant women. Find out more about pregnancy here.
Myth: You should delay the introduction of eggs into the diet of infants until after 12 months of age to reduce the risk of an allergy forming
Cracked: There’s no evidence that dietary restrictions after six months of age have any additional benefits in avoiding allergies. The Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents recommend that egg yolk be introduced into infant’s diets from eight months of age while research shows it can be well tolerated from around six months of age. While there are no specific guidelines on the introduction of egg white, it is generally recommended from nine to 12 months of age.
Myth: Organic and free-range eggs are better for you than standard eggs
Cracked: There are no nutritional differences between organic, free-range and standard eggs. The only nutritional differences in eggs come from those laid by hens with special-fed diets, such as omega-3 enriched eggs.
Myth: I can’t eat eggs if I have diabetes
Cracked: Diabetes Australia recommends people with diabetes follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which state “there do not appear to be any increased health risks with consumption of eggs.” Eggs should be eaten as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Myth: Older people and kids shouldn’t eat eggs every day
Cracked: Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein and contain 11 vitamins and minerals. This makes them an excellent choice for the different nutritional requirements of kids and those over 60 years of age. To find out more about feeding eggs to babies and children click here.
Myth: Eating eggs every day is bad for my health
Cracked: The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends daily inclusion of foods from the lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans food group. The amounts needed vary depending on age and gender but the most common recommendation is two and half serves daily; two large eggs (120g) is equal to one serve. Eggs are nutritious, cost-effective and delicious. The CSIRO and Professor Manny Noakes have found higher egg consumption is associated with having a better quality diet.