Thursday, 12 February 2009

As sure as eggs are eggs

Apparently eggs are now deemed to be good for you, after years of being told that they raise ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. Even the BBC says so Regular eggs no harm to health. It gets really annoying when you get dietary advice that one minute a basic food that people have eaten for millennia, like eggs or meat or milk is good for you, then it’s bad for you, then it supposedly good for you again a few weeks later. I think most of us just get so bored and bamboozled by the ‘science’ that we just switch off.

It gets even more annoying when foods are broken down into supposedly healthy and unhealthy components, the fat taken out, extra fibre put it etc. and we are sold all these hideous dishes like egg white omelettes and highly processed replacement foods. You can even buy eggs pasteurised and in a tube, so you can measure how many ‘eggs’ you are adding to recipes, to save people the inconvenience of breaking eggs and being horrified if bits of shell fall in.

I am not a qualified nutritionist or anything. But it seems to me the best advice is to eat fresh, whole foods. So I am sceptical about homogenised and ultra heat treated milk, and meat products that are extruded into shapes and pumped full of additives like phosphates. As well as processing, the production has an impact of the nutritional value. So I instinctively trust studies that show that beef from grass fed cows can have more Omega 3 essential fatty acids than farmed salmon fed on pellets.

I would not be surprised if eggs that are from hens which are not caged up all day with their beaks trimmed, and fed on GM grain, or feed laced with pesticide residues are less ‘healthy’ than eggs from free-range hens eating more natural feed. I have heard that the original research purportedly showing that eggs raised levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol were on powdered egg, which has oxidised on exposure to air, not fresh whole eggs. So I reckon that as long as eggs are actually eggs, they are probably OK.

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