At Easter how about the non-chocolate eggs

When we think Easter we usually think of chocolate eggs, but what about the humble hen egg which can often get bad press but is a very versatile ingredient and a handy think to have in any home.

When we think Easter we usually think of chocolate eggs, but what about the humble hen egg which can often get bad press but is a very versatile ingredient and a handy think to have in any home.

Cara Cunningham, Community Dietitian

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Many worry about the cholesterol found in eggs and if this will lead to higher cholesterol levels. Many years of research have shown that blood cholesterol is affected mainly by the amount of fats, especially saturated fats we eat rather than the amount of cholesterol in foods. Although eggs do contain some saturated fat, more than half of the fat found in eggs is either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. This is why the current recommendation for eggs for the general population in up to 7 eggs per week is healthy, and in those with higher cholesterol to limit egg consumption up to 4 eggs per week.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein which is used by the body for growth and repair of tissues. If you are a vegetarian they are a great alternative to meat as a protein food for your diet, with 2 eggs providing nearly one third of the daily protein required by an average women (¼ of a man’s protein needs). They also contain the antioxidant vitamins A and E, the B vitamins B2 and B12 and also importantly one of the few dietary sources of Vitamin D, which helps keep our bones healthy. Most of us rely on sunshine to provide us with Vitamin D, but in dreary Irish weather it is good to have some foods which will be providing a boost to this!

Eggs are often forgotten in the fridge but can be used to make a meal in minutes either on their own – boiled, poached or scrambled or added to other ingredients to make dishes such as quiches, pancakes or omelette. See below recipe for Spanish omelette which is a great way to use up leftover potatoes to make a delicious dish for lunch or tea.

For more information or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact: The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster Tel: (044) 9353220 or email community.dietitians@hse.ie.