Eggs are ‘Egg’cellent!

eggsSpring time and eggs go together like peanut butter & jelly!

Eggs were once commonly known as a springtime food due to cool climates and optimal weather. These days with modern growing conditions, eggs are a year round staple. But are they healthy?

News reports suggests that eggs land on the ‘most nutritious foods on the planet’ list, among other foods: salmon, garlic, kale, liver, and sardines.

Eggs are nutritious and may not increase cholesterol levels as previously thought. Eggs are also known to be one of the most versatile foods to prepare.

What makes these oval wonders so beneficial? Loaded with vitamins and minerals, eggs can be a healthy addition to a well balanced diet. This protein packed food contains quality nutrients to help with weight balance, the feeling of fullness (satiety), eye health, muscle support and recovery. Also, traditionally raised eggs are ringing in at .15 -.20 cents per egg, this low cost vessel of vitamins supports growth at multiple lifecycle stages, from young to elderly.

Eggs are sold in brown or white which is determined by the breed of the hens, and graded such as AA, A, and B based on properties of the exterior part of the egg, i.e. cleanliness and interior quality. However, the grades and color do not alter their nutritional value. There are specialty eggs in markets today that have a higher price point due to the specific enriched diet of the hens producing the eggs.

Traditional eggs are nutritional power packed gems with ~75 Calories, 5 grams total fat (only 1.5 grams from saturated fat), 6 grams of protein, 215mg of cholesterol, and 65mg sodium for one large egg.

Optimal storage of eggs should be held at 45º Fahrenheit or below. Another benefit of eggs is a reasonable shelf life. Unopened eggs can last up to 4 weeks in the fridge and are best kept in their original packaging to help retain freshness and decrease microbial growth.

Eggs contain sources of:

Zinc, selenium, phosphorus, iodine, iron and copper

Vitamins A, D,E, K, and Lutein & Zeaxanthin carotenoids that support eye health, tissue growth

B Vitamins in the white (Albumen): Water soluble vitamins-Riboflavin(B2): B Complex; Helps the body convert carbohydrates into fuel, and aids other usable forms of B vitamins

B5, B12, Biotin, and Folate: Avoid raw egg whites, which can decrease the absorption of biotin in the intestine.

Leucine: The entire egg contains ~600mg which is an amino acid for stimulating protein synthesis

Choline in the yolk: Supports nerve and muscle function

Anemia and Eggs: Eggs (particularly egg yolks), tea, coffee, and dairy can decrease the absorption of iron. If you have issues with iron absorption or take medication/supplements to increase iron, eat eggs and other iron blocking foods listed above, several hours apart from high iron foods and supplements for best results. Did you know that citric acid, vitamin C can assist with the absorption of iron.

Dietitian Favorite Tips for Preparing/Eating Eggs

  1. Keep it fresh: A fresh egg will sink in water while an older egg will float. As an egg ages, the size of the air cell inside increases, causing it to float. Eggs should be stored in the center of the fridge and not in the door to aid temp control.
  2. Smelly Eggs: When eggs are cooked or over cooked they may have an odor or green ring around the yellow hard yolk. This is known as a sulphur ring.
  3. Boil and Fresh: I try to buy two packages of 24 count eggs at the beginning of the month, one dozen for cooking breakfast, egg sandwiches and baking, while the other dozen is hard boiled for salads and snacks. I wait a week or longer before attempting to boil eggs, this makes it easier to peel.
  4. Egg in a Basket: I grew up on an ‘Egg-in-a-Basket’ for breakfast or a quick meal. (aka: Toad-in-a-Hole, or a Hen-in-Nest.) This is a slice of toasted bread with a cooked egg inside. My son and husband love these! Follow the link for instructions –
    How to: Egg in a Basket

TTU Campus Tips:

Salad bars: crumbled, whole or sliced eggs.

Omelet bars: Union Bistro (SUB), The Commons (Upstairs), All-You-Care-To-Eat (Hulen/Clement) and The Fresh Plate (Bledsoe/Gordon)

Breakfast: Grab a Thinwich at Einstein Bros© Bagels (The Commons & RCoBA) or visit Sam’s Place (SUB) and order an egg bowl, burrito or eggs à la carte.

Websites to Check Out:

Egg Nutrition Center: Eggs 101

History-of-the-egg

Egg Overview American Egg Board

Egg Infographic

Egg Storage and Safety

Hospitality Dietitian | Mindy Diller, MS, RDN, LD |  mindy.diller@ttu.edu 

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