After  decades  of  communicating  the  need  to  limit  eggs,  it  has  now  become  evident  that  eggs  have    had   a   very    unfair    report    card;    the   Ministry    of    Health’s    latest    Eating    and    Activity  Guidelines1   reflect    more    recent    developments    in    scientific    understanding    and   the   new  statement  helps  clarify the  guidelines  when  it  comes  to  eggs.  

The  new  statement,  agreed  by  the  Ministry  of  Health,  says:  Eggs  are  a  healthy,  natural  whole  food   that the   New   Zealand   Ministry   of   Health   Eating   and   Activity   Guidelines   state   can   be  enjoyed  by  most people  every  day  of  the  week.  

This  is  great  news  for  egg  lovers,  as  many  may  have  been  given  incorrect  advice  in  the  past  or   still   be   trapped   in   old   school   thinking.   For   healthy   New   Zealanders,   experts   agree   that  consuming  eggs  each day  will  provide  excellent  nutritional  benefits  and  won’t  increase  our  risk  of  heart  disease.  

However,  Kiwis  have  yet  to  catch  up  to  the  revised  recommendations,  and  are  still  confused  about  how often  they  can  eat  eggs.  Recent  Colmar  Brunton  Research  found  that  only  41%  of  New  Zealanders  know that  healthy  people  can  eat  eggs  every  day.

Dr Pamela von Hurst, a member of the Ministry of Health’s Eating and Activity Guidelines Technical Advisory Group, agrees the new statement will help New Zealanders understand that most Kiwis can enjoy eggs daily without restriction.

Dr von Hurst, who is a Senior Lecturer in Human Nutrition at Massey University says, “a lot of people have been concerned about potential health consequences of eggs in the diet.”

“I think it is great that there has now been some clarification about the guidelines around consumption of eggs because they are such a useful, healthy contribution to the diet,” Dr von Hurst adds.

New  Zealand  nutrition  experts  are  in  agreement  that  eating  eggs  every  day  can  be  a  beneficial  part  of  a healthy  balanced  diet.  

Professor  Elaine  Rush, scientific advisor for New Zealand Nutrition Foundation and esteemed Professor of Nutrition at AUT says, “the statement about being able to eat eggs every day for most people is a very sensible one.”

Through  recent  studies  on  eggs  we  know  more  about  the  health  benefits  and  nutritional  value  of  eggs than  ever  before.  Recent  studies  conducted  in  healthy  people  show  no  effect  of  daily  egg   intake   on   blood   cholesterol    levels3,4,5    and   the   latest    scientific    evidence   shows    no  association   between   increased   intake   of   dietary   cholesterol   and   increased   risk   of   heart  disease  or  stroke.

The  agreed  statement  also  follows  the  recent  update  to  the  Heart  Foundation’s  advice.  Their recommendation  is  now  that  those  at  risk  of  heart  disease  can  eat  6  to  7  eggs  a  week.  

“The amount of evidence we have, particularly high-quality evidence about cholesterol, eggs and risk for disease, has now accumulated so we are able to analyse many studies and draw the conclusion that for most people eggs have no risk at all,” Professor Rush says.

“Eating eggs does not cause or increase risk of heart disease for most people, and are actually a very sensible food to eat,” she adds.

Eggs are good for our health in so many different ways and they are an excellent source of very affordable nutrition.

Claire Turnbull, NZ Registered Nutritionist, regularly recommends eggs as part of a healthy balanced diet.

“Both the egg white and the yolk have different nutritional benefits so for maximum goodness, it is really good to eat both – they have lots of protein in them as well as 11 different vitamins and minerals including iron, B vitamins as well as the fat-soluble vitamins A and E,” Turnbull says.  “For the average healthy Kiwi, it’s absolutely fine to be eating eggs every day”.

Head of Performance Nutrition at High Performance Sport NZ and NZ Registered Dietitian Jeni Pearce also encourages people to eat eggs, and says most of the athletes she works with would have them every day in some form.

“The unique thing about an egg is that it is a complete source of the highest quality protein, while not being a high calorie food, so it’s very easy to add an egg to the diet for great nutrition,” she explains.

"Many athletes don’t get enough protein at breakfast and eggs are a great way to increase this.”

Pearce concurs with New Zealand’s nutrition experts that the new statement agreed by the Ministry of Health will be helpful for Kiwis who can now be assured it is okay for most people to eat eggs every day.

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