5 reasons over 50s should eat more eggs
With the cost-of-living crisis on everyone's mind, there is one food that packs a serious nutritional punch as well as being kind to your budget – eggs.
A recent study in the journal, Nutrients, reported that egg protein: "has a number of beneficial effects that protect humans across the life spectrum".
Dr Carrie Ruxton, an independent dietitian, says "Eggs tick the box when it comes to maximising nutrients while saving money on our food bill. Older adults have similar vitamin and mineral needs to younger people but need fewer calories. This means that every calorie has to count to ensure they're getting a balanced diet.
The top 5 reasons for eating more eggs if you're in the 50+ age category…
#1 Egg protein protects against muscle loss
Getting older often leads to a few extra pounds or a spare tyre. This is because age-related changes to the body – driven by hormonal changes – cause muscle loss and body fat gain. It’s a problem because muscle influences metabolic rate, the programme which tells our body how many calories it needs to stay active. Less muscle means lower metabolic rate which means more body fat if we keep eating the same amount of food.
#2 Eggs support weight management
With more than six in ten older adults now heavier than they should be, UK over 50s are facing an epidemic of obesity. This puts them at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, joint problems and some types of cancer. Eating less is one solution but the type of food we choose also has an impact. Clinical trials have confirmed that high protein diets help to suppress appetite by changing the balance between hunger and fullness hormones, like ghrelin and GLP1.
#3 No limits on eggs
In the past, older people were warned off eggs and prawns as these foods are rich in dietary cholesterol. But evidence over the last 20 years has turned this view on its head – leading to major changes in health advice in the UK and America. Eggs are no longer restricted, and the British Heart Foundation says: "there is now no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat, as long as you eat a varied diet".
#4 Eggs are rich in vitamin D for immune support
The recent pandemic highlighted the issue of widespread vitamin D deficiency in the UK and how this has a negative impact on the nation's immune defences. An international study from 2022 found that people with the most serious Covid symptoms were 60% more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
#5 Eggs are one of the few sources of choline – vital for brain health
Choline – an essential nutrient similar to B vitamins – is needed for normal brain development in the womb, as well as renewal of brain cells. Eggs are a major source, as well as liver and seafood.