One egg is not an egg. Traditionally, we eat a lot of eggs during Easter. Painted eggs, scrambled eggs, egg muffins, you name it. But the Nutrition Center advises us to eat a maximum of two to three eggs per week. Can we actually let ourselves go during the holidays?
The advice is two to three a week, vegetarians are allowed one more. Iris Groenenberg, knowledge specialist Nutrition and Health at the Netherlands Nutrition Center, explains what that advice is based on. “If you alternate eggs with other sources of protein such as meat, fish, legumes and unsalted nuts, we arrive at this weekly advice.”
An extra egg is harmless, but systematically eating too many eggs could lead to increased cholesterol levels, says Groenenberg. “Eggs contain cholesterol. If you eat large amounts of products with cholesterol for a long time, this can lead to a small increase in cholesterol in your blood. But products with saturated fat have a greater effect on your cholesterol level.”
“A lot of research has been done since then, so we know that eggs don’t have much of an effect on your cholesterol.”
Henja Keur, dietician
Dietician Henja Keur expects that the advice of a maximum of three eggs per week will change. “When I started my education twenty years ago, this advice was already valid. A lot of research has been done since then and we know that eggs do not have that much effect on your cholesterol.” This is also evident from an American research from 2017.
Eating a lot more eggs than normal at once is also harmless, says Keur. “That applies to everything you suddenly eat during parties or holidays. That is fine, as long as you resume your normal diet afterwards.”
Eggs are also good for health
For athletes, a slightly different advice applies with regard to egg consumption, says Keur. “They eat eggs for the proteins because they need more of it. But I don’t say to them either: go eat unlimited eggs.”
The most imposing man in the Netherlands Olivier Richters, also known as The Dutch Giant, told in a talk show Jinek that he eats ten eggs a day. Groenenberg: “That’s really a lot. It can contribute to higher cholesterol. For all foods that are healthy in principle: don’t take too much and keep varying.”
An egg on bread prevents snacking in between
If you stick to all these ‘rules’, an egg simply fits into a healthy diet. There is enough good in it: vitamins B12 and D and minerals such as phosphorus and selenium. “And it is of course a source of protein. So you can use eggs as a substitute for meat in your meal,” says Groenenberg.
Keur: “You are also safe in terms of nutritional value, it only contains seventy calories. It is a shame not to eat the egg yolk, for example, because it contains the most calories. The egg yolk contains many vitamins and minerals.”
In addition, an egg fills well and is therefore a good choice for bread, says Groenenberg. “We sometimes notice that people find it difficult to choose sandwich fillings. They quickly reach for, for example, chocolate spread. Then it is better to go for an egg, which is more filling and thus prevent you from snacking later in the day.”