Older people need more protein, but sometimes struggle with digesting meat. Eggs are a good solution as a nutritious protein source food that’s easy to digest.
However, Eggs NZ (New Zealand’s egg industry representative organisation) has found through Colmar Brunton research that most people over 60 years old don’t actually know that most people can eat eggs every day.
This seems to be the result of decades of being told to only eat two to three eggs a week. Now that nutritional science has evolved and those restrictions are no longer in place, health authorities now agree it’s okay for healthy people to eat eggs every day.
The Ministry of Health’s Eating and Activity Guideline state that eggs can be enjoyed by most people every day of the week. Agreed guidelines by a panel of New Zealand experts outlining the best diet for maintaining health based on current evidence recommend at least two servings of legumes, nuts or seeds a day or at least one serving of fish/seafood, eggs, poultry or red meat a day. The guidelines define one egg as one serving so at least an egg a day can be enjoyed by most people every day as part of a variety of food choices from this food group.
For those at increased risk of heart disease the NZ Heart Foundation recommends no more than six to seven eggs per week, which means an egg a day is fine.
Studies conducted in healthy people show no effect of daily egg intake on blood cholesterol levels. In addition, the latest scientific evidence shows no association between increased intake of dietary cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease or stroke
The small percentage of the population classed as hyper-responders are particularly susceptible to dietary cholesterol having an impact.
Eggs have the highest nutritional quality protein of all food sources – an average egg contains 6 .7 grams of protein. Protein is a source of energy, but its main role in the body is growth and repair. It helps in the formation of muscles, hair, nails, skin and organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver. The protein found in eggs is considered to be of the highest quality, providing the right amount and balance of essential amino acids to match human requirements.
An average egg also contains 274 kJ (65 calories) of energy and 1.1 grams of saturated fat. Eggs are a natural source of at least 11 different vitamins and minerals as well as high quality protein, omega-3 fats and antioxidants.
Ten Ways To Add Eggs To Your Day
- Add eggs to salad
Salads are great for getting your daily vegetable servings but don’t forget you need 1-2 serves of protein daily too, which is why eggs are a perfect addition to any salad. Two medium eggs provide 13.4g of the highest quality protein around, with just the right amount and balance of essential amino acids to match human requirements.
2. Poach eggs for breakfast
Instead of jam or honey, try a poached egg or two on toast for breakfast for a protein boost.. Eggs contain 11 vitamins and minerals as well as protein, making them a great way to start the day.
3. Dip your toast in boiled eggs
You’re never too old to dip toast ‘soldiers’ in eggs for breakfast! And, even better, you can do it every day if you want to. Research shows it’s best to include protein across the day so starting with eggs in the morning gives you the best possible start in the morning.
4. Turn leftovers into an omelette
Omelettes are quick to make and so versatile. You really can add anything to them so they’re a great way to use up leftovers for a quick and healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner.
5. Quick and easy dinner
Eggs are not only a breakfast food, there are great eggy meals you can enjoy for a nutritious dinner too. A simple carbonara is a great dinner to cook for one, two or more people.
6. Banana and egg pancakes
Fancy something sweet for breakfast? Why not try banana and egg pancakes. Start by heating a frying pan with a little oil or butter. Meanwhile mash a banana in a bowl, crack 2 eggs into the bowl and blend with a fork. Spoon pancake mixture into the pan and swirl around to make a pancake. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and serve with canned fruit or yoghurt.
7. A healthy scramble
There’s nothing easier than scrambling eggs for a healthy breakfast. Add salmon too to add omega-3 good fats, and serve on wholegrain toast with spinach to make it a delicious and healthy meal any time.
8. Weekend treat
While eggs are a great everyday food, some of the typical additions to a big breakfast are best as occasional foods – like sausages and bacon. They’re not off-limits altogether though, we like them with potatoes, tomatoes, spring onion and parsley in a hearty scramble on a Sunday.
9. Hard boiled eggs
Feel like a high protein snack? Keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge for up to …. days after boiling, so you can enjoy a filling and nutritious snack when you’re a bit peckish. Studies conducted in healthy people show no effect of daily egg intake on blood cholesterol levels, so there’s no reason not to enjoy hard boiled eggs as a snack each day.
10. Snack on mini egg frittatas
Make snacks more interesting by whipping up a batch of mini egg frittatas. Freeze mini egg frittatas individually then reheat as you wish for morning or afternoon tea for something satisfying, nutritious and delicious.
For egg recipes and to learn more about egg nutrition, visit www.eggseveryday.org.nz
RECIPE: Easy Mini Frittatas
1 Tbsp butter
1 Onion, chopped
1 Clove garlic, crushed
2 slices ham, chopped
1/2 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
1 Red capsicum, finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup of milk
30g Tasty or cheddar cheese, grated
1 Heat oven to 180ºC.
2 Melt butter in a large frying pan and cook onion, garlic, ham, chilli, red capsicum and spring onions over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until onion is soft.
3 Stir in parsley, remove pan from heat andset aside to cool for 10 minutes.
4 Place eggs, milk and cheese in a bowl and mix to combine.
5 Stir in ham mixture.
6 Divide mixture between lightly greased flan dishes and bake for 20-25 minutes or until set.
7 Freeze leftover frittatas individually