HEALTH CHOCOLATE & EGGS - SUPERHEROES OR ARCH-VILLAINS? At Easter, eggs are everywhere - both the decorated hardboiled variety and the tempting chocolatey type. But what’s the latest advice about eating eggs and chocolate? Do they harm or heal? Eggs Once considered a nutritional Big Bad Wolf, a better understanding of how our body uses food means eggs are now seen as an important nutritional source. Packed with goodness A medium egg is very low in carbohydrates, supplies over 10% of our daily protein needs and contains just 66 kcals and 4.6g of fat (less than a third is saturated). It also supplies many essential vitamins and minerals, including 3 often scarce in UK diets: it provides a third of our daily Vitamin D requirement (vital for bones, teeth and muscles), over half of our required Vitamin B12 (for red blood cell formation, energy metabolism and healthy immune and nervous systems), and nearly half of our selenium requirement. Around 20% of us have inadequate Vitamin D levels, and as eggs also contain useful amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, folate, biotin, iodine and phosphorous, it’s not surprising that they’re increasingly recommended as a healthy and fulfilling food. What about cholesterol? And salmonella? At one time eggs were supposedly rather bad for us and we were given a weekly ‘safe’ limit. The concerns stemmed from misunderstandings about cholesterol, the ‘baddie’ that furred up our blood vessels. But research shows that cholesterol found in eggs and other foods has a negligible effect on our cholesterol level, which is influenced by many factors. Our body produces its own cholesterol, and although saturated fat has long considered the chief culprit in raising our blood cholesterol level, a fresh look at the evidence has recently cast doubt on this. As for salmonella - while the Food Standards Agency is recommending, for now, that vulnerable groups should only eat hard-boiled eggs, the massive increase in chicken vaccination has more than halved yearly cases
of infection. Eggs with the Lion Mark are guaranteed to come from vaccinated chickens, and all of the 150,000 Lion Mark eggs tested during the last two years were salmonella free. Chocolate For years chocolate stood accused of causing acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and diabetes, to name just a few. But research has shown it’s not necessarily guilty, and may also have positive effects. Acne: There’s no scientific proof that chocolate causes acne. If there is a dietary link, studies suggests it’s foods with a high glycaemic load. Obesity & diabetes: Most chocolate is high in sugar and fat, so as with any other high-fat, high-sugar food, prolonged over-indulgence is likely to show on the scales. However, recent studies showed that chocolate can lower your insulin resistance (which could reduce your risk of developing diabetes) and leave you feeling full. In a trial on nearly 1,500 teens, those eating around 1.5 ounces of chocolate daily had less body fat than those eating 0.16 ounces, and also had more energy and higher activity levels. Scientists say 1.5 ounces a day may be beneficial for us: good news! The bad news? That’s about a square and a half. While there’s no need to avoid chocolate altogether if you’re diabetic, experts advise you to monitor your total carbohydrate intake.
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Published on Mar 28, 2014
Published on Mar 28, 2014
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