Eggs may be chock-full of essential nutrients but they also get a bad rap when it comes to cholesterol. Ever wondered just how many of these shelled yolks and whites you should be eating?
Phiwokazi Bam, from Theunissen in the Free State, says that eggs are a great go-to snack for a variety of occasions.
“As a mother, I do not have time to prepare nutritious meals throughout the week, so eggs do the trick. Especially because I know they are rich in minerals, such as iron and nutrients,” she says.
Bam adds that she prepares eggs fried with noodles for the children in the morning, then boils some for lunch, since they help to beat hunger.
“I do not generally keep track of how many I consume daily. I consume as many as I choose and typically consume between six and eight a day, depending on what I am eating them with.”
Meanwhile, Nosiviwe Vuyelele, a media personality from kwaLanga Cape Town, says she eats eggs for their nutritional value.
“They help control weight, keep skin healthy, and protect hair. They are my favourite food for these reasons,” she says.
Vuyelele eats two eggs per day. “I like them boiled because when I boil them, I don’t add as much salt that may end up being harmful for human consumption.”
Is the egg diet for real?
Nondyebo Mgoboza, known as Chef Gee, says that she eats at least nine a day after she learned about the benefits of The Boiled Egg diet on YouTube.
“I normally have three eggs with tomato slices and sugar-free green tea in the morning, three more with a green salad or Greek salad for lunch, and another three with cucumber slices, tomato slices, and green tea for supper on three consecutive days.”
She is no stranger to the diet and says that she lost six kilograms and a few inches around her waist the last time she tried the diet.
However, it is recommended that healthy adults consume one to two eggs per day.
Consulting dietitian for the South African Poultry Association, Monique Piderit, says that she has not heard about the “miracles” of the diet Mgoboza has tried. No evidence suggesting an egg-specific diet is safe or effective.
Piderit is also a spokesperson for the Association of Dietetics in South Africa.
How many eggs should you be eating?
Variety is the spice of life when it comes to nutrients. And while eggs are great, it’s all about balance, says Piderit.
“The consensus is always to eat a variety of foods, not too much of one or another, in order to maximise on the nutrient value we get from each food.”
She further explains that eggs are a great source of protein at 7g per egg. “If the only thing we eat is eggs, then we’re missing out on carbohydrates and the fibre that comes with it, such as high-fibre bread.”
“In a study on over 20 000 participants, it was shown that egg eaters had a higher likelihood of meeting and even exceeding their nutrient need. They tended to eat more protein and more healthy fats, as well as more iron, zinc, calcium, selenium, and choline, nutrients which are often neglected in our diets.”
Easy to overeat on eggs
As a chef, Mgoboza says that it’s easy to eat too many eggs without realising it. “For example, you could have them for breakfast, a spring frittata for lunch, and a ham and zucchini pie for dinner,” she says.
“I guess we all need to pay attention to what the main ingredients of each meal are, to avoid eating too much of anything.”