The humble egg has had a tough time over the years. They were still rationed in the early Fifties, said to be linked with heart disease in the Seventies and, in the Eighties, Edwina Currie’s remark about salmonella sent sales plummeting.
But these smooth-shelled kitchen staples are bouncing back. Recent research found that today’s eggs contain 70 per cent more vitamin D and double the amount of selenium - a mineral believed to have various health benefits, including helping prevent certain cancers - than those tested 30 years ago.
They also contain around 20 per cent less fat, more than 20 per cent less saturated fat, 13 per cent fewer calories and more than 10 per cent less cholesterol than previous surveys suggested, according to data produced by the UK Foodcomp project and funded by the Department of Health.
The changes are thought to be down to improvements in hens’ feed and an increase in the ratio of white to yolk in an average egg.
Analytical methods have also improved since the 1980s, when the last official analysis was carried out.
A separate study found eggs were a great way to start the day, as they reduce hunger and boost hormones that make people feel full.
And the commonly-held belief that we shouldn’t eat more than three a week was dispelled by UK health advisory bodies in 2009.Scientists concluded that cholesterol in eggs has only a small and clinically insignificant effect on blood cholesterol levels.
Singing the praises of these yolk-filled beauties, dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton says: “Eggs are suitable for all age groups - from weaning onwards. In addition, British eggs are among the safest in Europe, making them an ideal food for young and old.”