Archive | March 26, 2013

It’s an Egg–citing Time for Eggs

By Donna Quirk, MBA, RD, LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

easter eggs_2
Spring has started and Easter is upon us. Eggs are given as gifts to celebrate this special time of year. The Easter Egg for Christians is a reminder that those who believe will have eternal life. Eggs in other cultures and religions symbolize fertility and the start of new life.

But is it OK to eat eggs? It appears the answer is YES!

If, like me, you have heard the message that eggs are high in cholesterol and therefore detrimental to your health then its time for a change.

So what are the facts about eggs?
• Eggs are a good source of protein. One egg has 6 gm of Protein – about ½ in the yolk and 1/2 in egg white.
• Eggs are a very good source of the B vitamin – Riboflavin. Riboflavin helps the body metabolize food into glucose for energy. It also acts as an antioxidant and helps prevent chronic diseases like heart disease.
• Egg yolks are an excellent source of Choline. Choline is important for brain development of a fetus during pregnancy and the normal functioning of all body cells.
• Egg yolks are a rare food source of Vitamin D which supports bone health and the immune system.
• There are 14 additional vitamins and minerals in eggs – primarily in the yolk.
• Eggs are affordable. Eggs, on average, costs less than 15 cents a piece.

eggs and bowl
But what about the Cholesterol? It is well-known that egg yolks contain cholesterol. However, advances in poultry production techniques have, on average, lowered the amount of cholesterol in an egg. Eggs now contain approximately 5 gm of fat (1.5 gm saturated) and 185 mg of cholesterol.

It is recommended that we all eat 300 mg or less of Cholesterol per day, so one egg per day can fit into a healthy diet as long as you include other lower cholesterol foods in your day.

Here’s a great recipe from the Egg Nutrition Center

Muffin Frittatas
Makes: 12 mini-Frittatas, 6 servings

6 Eggs ¾ cup chopped zucchini
½ cup milk ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ tsp. salt 2 tbsp. chopped red onion
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar Cheese (preferably reduced fat)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until blended. Add cheese, zucchini, bell pepper and onion; mix well. Spoon evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, about ¼ cup each.
2. Bake in oven until just set, 20 – 22 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 mins. Remove from cups; serve warm.

Pair with a whole wheat English muffin and a glass of fat-free milk for a well-balanced meal.

Nutrition Information per serving (2 frittatas): 164 calories; 11 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 207 mg cholesterol; 12 g protein. This recipe is an excellent source of protein, choline and a good source of vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium.