In 1988 then junior Tory health minister Edwina Currie kicked off an egg scare which lasted nearly three decades.
She declared that most eggs were affected by salmonella – a wild overstatement which led to her resignation but caused many people, especially pregnant women and young children to stave off eggs, especially raw, soft boiled or runny.
Last year Lion Mark eggs, which include almost all UK produced eggs, were declared virtually free of salmonella and ok for vulnerable groups to eat.
On World Egg Day leading Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert explains why eggs are fine to eat – and are a great source of nutrition.
We have come a long way since the 90s, when eggs were demonised for being “unhealthy” and a potential source of salmonella.
With a body of research reassuring us that eggs are in fact very nutritious, more and more people are enjoying eggs as part of a well balanced diet.
Over 90% of UK eggs are now produced under the British Lion scheme and more than 130 billion British Lion eggs have been sold since its launch in 1998.
The British Lion scheme has been responsible for a drastic reduction in the presence of salmonella in UK eggs and the Food Standards Agency has recently confirmed that they are the only eggs that are safe to be consumed runny, or even raw, by vulnerable groups.
There were so many myths surrounding eggs in our diet – for example there was once talk about how eggs may increase the risk of heart disease.
However, many studies have examined this and found no association between the two.
Additionally, we were told not to eat eggs because they raised cholesterol.
The NHS now states that although eggs contain some cholesterol, the amount of saturated fat we eat has more of an effect on the amount of cholesterol in our blood than the cholesterol we get from eating eggs.
In fact, eggs have been linked with more health benefits than health risks.
They contain a complete amino acid profile meaning they have all the essential amino acids that cannot be synthesised by the body.
As well as being a source of protein, eggs contain essential nutrients such as vitamins A, D, B2, B12, folate and iodine.
I often encourage my clients to include eggs in their diet because they are cost effective and versatile too.
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They can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes and eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I have some delicious recipes in my book Re-Nourish such as a pizza omelette, sweet potato fritatta, and nothing beats a nicoise salad.