Good or Bad?
For such a little guy, the egg carries more than its fair share of mythical baggage. In earlier times, the yolk of an egg was compared to the sun, and the entire egg was thought to symbolize the creation of the universe. Today, we dye eggs at Easter, and we recite nursery rhymes about poor Humpty-Dumpty.*
And we eat a lot of eggs. In America, eggs are a staple, and for a good reason. They’re easy to prepare, versatile, nutritious and cheap. America loves eggs.
That wasn’t always true. A few decades ago we were told the humble egg would elevate our level of blood cholesterol and have us grabbing and hearts, and quoting Red Fox the comedian “This is the big one, Martha”. It was believed that dietary cholesterol influenced the level of cholesterol in the blood. The American Heart Association recommended limiting total cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams a day. Since one yolk contains 213 milligrams of dietary cholesterol, we were told to indulge in no more than four eggs per week.
More recent scientific research indicates that is might well be saturated fat—more so than dietary cholesterol—that leads to high blood cholesterol. One large egg contains only 5 grams of total fat, of this fat, only 1.5 grams is saturated.
As a lover of eggs lets not forget that eggs are an excellent source of protein, iron and vitamins A, D, and B12 and have only 75 calories per egg. Perhaps we should not fry up two or three eggs, with toast and lots of butter, every morning, but it does mean that eggs can and should be part of a healthful, balanced diet. So now we can celebrate spring by painting our Easter eggs—and eating them, too.
*The history of Humpty-Dumpty.
The rhyme was first printed in 1810 and became famous through Lewis Carroll’s book, ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass,’ where Humpty-Dumpty is depicted as a big round egg.
However, the rhyme goes back to the 15th century. It is believed the true origin of this story is Humpty-Dumpty was the name given to a large cannon, used during the English Civil War (1642-1649). On June 15th, 1646 during the siege of Colchester Humpty-Dumpty was placed on the wall of St. Mary’s church. The cannon caused considerable damage to Lord Fairfax’s attacking troops. The troops bombarded the church wall, and the giant cannon came tumbling down. The damage was so complete that the Kings men could not raise the cannon again.