Become an eggspert!
For as long as we can remember, there have been myths flying round about the nutritional values and health effects of eating eggs. We’ll solve a few of them for you right here…
The amount of calories in an egg depends greatly on its size and the way it’s cooked - for example, a medium-sized boiled egg will obviously have fewer calories than a large fried egg. As a general rule, an uncooked, large-sized egg contains approximately 78kcals, and a medium-sized egg contains 66kcals - or 131 calories per 100 grams.
The nutritional make-up of an egg per 100g is as follows:
- Energy: 547kJ or 131kcal
- Fat: 9.0g
- of which saturates: 2.5g
- Carbohydrates: <0.5g
- of which sugars: <0.5g
- Protein: 12.6g
- Salt: 0.358g
Until fairly recently, eating a high volume of eggs was thought to have a negative effect on a person’s cholesterol levels. But egg-lovers can now rejoice, as recent scientific research by the British Heart Foundation has disproved these theories once and for all.
People used to think that the cholesterol levels in our bodies was directly influenced by the cholesterol in our food - but high cholesterol levels are usually caused by eating too much saturated fat, rather than eating too much cholesterol itself.
So, while eating lots of fried eggs might risk raising your cholesterol, that’s because of the fat used to fry the egg, not the egg itself. Poached, boiled, and scrambled eggs (without butter) will have no negative effects on your cholesterol levels, and can be enjoyed as often as possible. Eggs are also great for people slimming too - as they’re free on most diet plans!
There’s no recommended limit on how many eggs you should eat a day - the most important thing is to eat a balanced diet and get all the nutrients you need. About 30 million eggs are eaten in the UK every day, which is nearly one egg for every two people!
You might already know that eggs are a great source of protein. But you might not be aware that they also contains vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B2, iodine, phosphorus, calcium, thiamine, and riboflavin - quite an impressive lineup!
Nowadays, it’s safer than ever to eat eggs - but having them raw is less safe than having them cooked. This is because the bacteria in raw eggs isn’t killed through cooking, as it usually would be.
Many everyday foods and sauces (like mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, ice cream, and mousse) are made with raw eggs - but manufacturers will usually use pasteurised raw eggs, which means the bacteria has been killed.
So if you’re being adventurous and making your own food using raw eggs, it’s always safer to used pasteurised eggs rather than normal raw eggs.
According to the Lion Code guidelines, eggs should be stored in the fridge for optimum freshness - and if you’re baking with your eggs, you should take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before using them.
Whichever way you store your them, remember that eggshells are porous - so if they’re put next to something with a strong smell, they’re likely to take on the flavour.
First things first - the shell. The protective outer layer is made almost entirely of calcium carbonate crystals, which is responsible for the shell’s bumpy, grainy texture and 17,000 tiny pores. The shell also has a thin coating known as the ‘bloom’ that helps keep out bacteria and dust.
Moving inside, you’ll find the inner and outer membranes - these are surprisingly strong, and are partly made from keratin, a protein that’s found in human hair. After the egg is laid and has cooled, an air cell rests between the membranes at the larger end. It can be beneficial to store eggs point down to keep this air cell intact and ensure a high quality product.
Now we’re starting to get to the good stuff - the white, or ‘albumen’ to give it its proper name. Made of four layers, it contains about 40 different proteins, believe it or not! The white ropes that hold the yolk in place are known as chalazae - and the more prominent they are, the fresher the egg will be.
Finally, we’ve got the yolk, which contains more protein than the white, along with some fat, and most of the egg’s vitamins and minerals. The shade of the yolk is determined by the hen’s diet - and at the happy egg co., we’re proud that our girls reward us with tasty, golden yolks every time.