Questions and Answer With Dietitian, Miss Bibi Chia.
Are All Eggs The Same?
Not all eggs are the same. Depending on the feeds of the chicken, the yolk can have varying quantities of nutrition. Fortified eggs can have more desirable micronutrients and less cholesterol.
For Nuyolk specifically, it has 7.5 times more vitamin D and 5 times more DHA than regular eggs.
Based on USDA food data ( rounded off figures ):
For Vitamin D: 1 NuYolk = 7 regular eggs
For DHA: 1 NuYolk = 5 regular eggs
For DHA: 1 NuYolk has more DHA than 1 capsule of 1000mg of Regular Strength Fish Oil.
Why do we need Vitamin D and DHA?
Vitamin D plays an important role in good bone health and DHA is an Omega 3 fatty acid, which supports brain, heart and eye health. Both vitamin D and DHA is important for a healthy immune system. The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D for adults in Singapore is 2.5mcg per day while other countries might recommend about 10mcg to 20mcg per day. Vitamin D deficiency is common among the elderly. Those who have low vitamin D levels may need 25mcg per day or more depending on the severity. Our dietary needs for vitamin D depends on our age, amount of time spend under the sun and other health needs.
Source: Health Promotion Board Singapore
Although the recommended daily allowance for DHA has yet to be established, the World Health Organization recommends 250mg/day of EPA and DHA as part of a healthy diet for adults and 300mg/day of EPA and DHA for pregnant and lactating women of which at least 200mg/day should be DHA.
What are the sources of Vitamin D and DHA?
Vitamin D is made in our bodies naturally when we get direct sunlight. However, due to our lifestyle or work, we might not spend enough time under the sun. We can depend on some dietary sources of Vitamin D in fortified eggs such as Nuyolk, salmon, fortified foods and cod liver oil.
DHA is an Omega 3, which can be found in fatty fishes, fortified egg yolks and some algae. Our bodies can convert vegetarian sources of ALA such as canola oil and flaxseed to DHA but the process is limited. Hence consuming EPA and DHA directly from foods or supplements is the only practical way to increase these fatty acids in the body.
What gives Nuyolk eggs a bright red yolk?
Hens fed with a fortified feed containing astaxanthin from micro algae and spirulina will impart some of its nutrients and colour into the yolk. Astaxanthin is currently being studied for its potential health benefits as a super antioxidant.
Are eggs suitable for pregnant women, children and the elderly?
Yes, eggs are suitable as long as they do not have egg allergies and the eggs are cooked to ensure food safety. In fact fortified eggs like Nuyolk can help them to meet their additional nutritional requirements during pregnancy, growth and for better immunity and repair.
How would you recommend eggs be prepared?
Egg is a versatile natural ingredient and can be added into many foods to boost its nutritional content. For example for children and the elderly, eggs can be added into soups, porridge or oats to easily increase its protein, vitamin D and DHA content. Eggs can also be boiled or poached and added into sandwiches or salads as a quick healthy balanced meal. Alternatively they can be added into home made pancakes and waffles as a healthier high energy and protein snack.
How many eggs can we eat?
1 egg a day or 7 eggs a week may be part of a healthy diet. Research shows that for most people, cholesterol in food has a smaller effect on blood cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol than saturated and trans fat. When choosing eggs, pick one that is higher in nutrition such as vitamin D and DHA and lower in cholesterol.
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Currently as a Principal Dietitian in Raffles Medical Group, Ms Bibi Chia graduated in Australia with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, and specialises in healthy ageing, weight management and paediatric nutrition. She is an APD member of SNDA (Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association) and former member of World Anti-ageing Association, and Study of Obesity Association. Bibi is also a qualified Workplace Health Consultant and is certified in Intravenous Nutrition and Advanced Food Hygiene.
Bibi has developed weight management programmes for both adults and children. Since 2003, Bibi has been providing her expertise to Singapore’s government agencies and headed various healthy lifestyle projects such as the Model School Tuckshop Programme, Healthy Eating in Childcare Centre Programme, HealthZone Education Sessions, Preschool Health Grant, Healthy Bones Begins with You, and Lose to Win.
Bibi has conducted numerous health talks and seminars for the public, workplaces, families and schools. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows offering her professional advice on nutrition. She is also a regular contributor in many magazines and newspapers.