How d'ya like your eggs in the morning?

By Paul Berryman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

If you listen to Chris Evans on Radio 2, you'll be familiar with the classic 1951 song "How d'ya like your eggs in the morning?" To Helen O'Connell's question, Dean Martin croons: "I like mine with a kiss!"

But the egg has received bad press in recent history, kiss or no kiss. Salmonella damaged its reputation. Stories about eggs raising blood cholesterol didn't help. But research shows the humble egg has excellent nutritional properties.

A Leatherhead study showed an egg-based lunch can help people feel fuller for longer compared with a baked potato lunch with equal calories. It's the first major piece of research looking at the benefits of an egg-based lunch rather than breakfast. These days, many people are too busy for a cooked breakfast, so the old adage "go to work on an egg" no longer rings true.

At Leatherhead's Nutrition Unit, 31 people took part in a three-week, randomised, study. Participants ate three isocaloric test lunches: omelette, jacket potato and chicken sandwich. Subjective satiety measures were recorded using visual analog scales. The egg was significantly more satiating than the jacket potato. This makes scientific sense: protein is more satiating than carbohydrate and about 35% of egg's energy value is protein.

Until recently, it was commonly thought that cholesterol in egg caused high blood cholesterol levels. We now know saturated fat is the culprit. So the question, "How d'ya like your eggs in the morning?" is especially relevant. If you fry them in butter or add cheese to an omelette, sat fat levels rocket.

Poached, boiled or scrambled eggs are best. The British Heart Foundation website now states that these are "all absolutely fine and there are no restrictions on how many we should eat as part of a balanced diet".

By the way, I like mine scrambled ... with a hug.

Dr Paul Berryman is chief executive officer Leatherhead Food International

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