London: An egg today is better than a hen tomorrow!
Going to work on an egg is healthier than before as a study has found that it`s nutritional benefits have increased over past 30 years.
According to a study funded by Britain`s department of Health, eggs not only are lower in fat, cholesterol and calories, they also contain more vitamin D than previously thought.
The study found that the average medium-sized egg now has nearly 25 percent less saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease, than one sold in the 1980s.
They contain 1.3 grams, rather than 1.7 grams. No more than 20 grams of saturated fat a day is prescribed by nutritionists, the `Daily Mail` reported.
Researchers also found eggs contain 177 micro-grams of cholesterol, the substance which clogs arteries, just over 10 per cent less than the 202 micro-grams previously recorded.
They have fewer calories than experts originally thought, too ? there are 66 in a medium egg, not 78.
Scientists said eggs contain nearly twice the amount of vitamin D than was noted in the 1980s.
The vitamin is essential for protecting the bones and preventing rickets, a condition which causes bone deformities in young children.
A medium egg contains 1.6 micro-grams of vitamin D compared with the 0.9 micro-grams that was recorded in the 1980s. This is two-thirds of recommended daily amount.
"This is a very welcome finding at a time when there is rapidly accumulating evidence that a lack of vitamin D could be a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases," said nutritionist Cath MacDonald.
Scientists from the Institute of Food Research believe eggs are healthier largely because the food given to hens has changed.
Since the 1980s they have been fed a mixture of wheat, corn, vegetable oil and high-protein formulated feed, rather than meat and bone-meal.
This means their eggs have less cholesterol and saturated fat. The new feed also helps them to absorb more vitamin D and other nutrients.