Sunday, 31 January 2010

Scrambling back to eggs

The humble egg could be about to make a comeback in our diets thanks to Margaret Thatcher. It turns out that the Iron Lady was apt to guzzle 28 of them in a single week prior to her election victory in 1978.

The release of her private papers has unearthed a copy of the Mayo Clinic Diet, a popular regime of the time and a precursor to the Atkins diet. In an effort to slim down and make it through the door of No 10 without touching the sides, Mrs T stuck to her Mayo Diet and managed to shed 20lbs in fairly short order, largely thanks to eating eggs.

And Maggie wasn’t the only one to go to work on an egg and shed pounds at the same time. Mrs T’s former advertising guru, Charles Saatchi, the modern art collector and husband of St Nigella of Lawson, existed on a diet of nine eggs a day and shifted 60lbs of blubber as a result.

So, it seems eggs are good for us after all. Remember all those scare stories from scientists (this was before global warming scare stories were popular) when we were told even three eggs a week would clog up our arteries with cholesterol and we’d be dead in no time at all? It turns out that it was all rubbish. The cholesterol found in eggs doesn’t directly impact on blood cholesterol levels. Yet again, the scientists got it wrong.

However, not only are eggs not bad for you, they’re positively good for you. An egg contains a third of the daily dose of vitamin D we need. Normally humans get the majority of their vitamin D from sunshine, but as we haven’t seen any proper sun since last September, eggs ought to be a very important part of our diet. They’re even a good source of iron and vitamin B12. And if you’re at all worried about salmonella poisoning, apparently British eggs are 99% free of salmonella, so you can probably enjoy them raw or lightly cooked if that’s your wish.

I’m off to toast some soldiers and dip them in a nice big runny egg. I suggest you do them same.


  1. Yummo ! Egg and soldiers !!!

    Keep up the great posts :)

  2. YAY! I was right not to give up eating eggs!!!

    I wonder what other lies our leaders could be telling us?

  3. My extremely healthy and skinny 16-year old son loves his eggs. After a home workout with his chin-up bar and punching bag, he'll do 'eggy bread' (French toast I think?), an omelette or scrambled eggs (if he mucks up the omelette so this is the default option). Usually accompanied by orange juice and onions/ham/tomatoes depending on the dish.

    Better not tell him that Maggie used to have a dram or two as well in the evening...


  4. Two things:

    1. The diet in question has no connection with the Mayo Clinic. The diet regime the Mayo does now sponsor is pretty conventional in present-day terms, being a combined "balanced" diet and exercise protocol. &

    2. The Diet Delusion by Gary Taubes is a very readable analysis of the whole of the diet question:

  5. So are you saying the Diet is not based on The Mayo Diet of the late 1970s? Perhaps we have a scoop. I shall rename this The Thatcher Diet.

  6. I'm most definitely an eggie eater! When I was growing up, my Mum was worried sick that I would eat too many and have a health problem. However, the doctors were ready to say that eggs were great for the growing body.

    And now, I'm 36 and I'm eating about a dozen a fortnight - sometimes more - and I'm happier and healthier than most of the people in my family. I enjoy eggs in my stir fry, enjoy them fried, scrambled, hot or cold, in my drinks and in my quiches... so eggs have always been on my shopping list and I've been buying the cage-free ones for the last year and been feeling great for it too!