National Egg Month
MAY 22, 2017
Looking for an easy way to eat healthier? Add eggs to your diet. May is National Egg Month. That means it is an egg-cellent time to get the facts on this versatile superfood and take a crack at some new recipes.
“Eggs used to have a controversial reputation because of their high cholesterol content,” says Caroline Loveland, BS, Nutrition Services at BIDMC. “But as it turns out, cholesterol from your food doesn’t significantly affect cholesterol levels in your blood. In 2000, the American Heart Association revised its guidelines on eggs after studies showed that saturated and trans fats are the bad guys to be worried about. So if you’re concerned about high cholesterol, rest assured that eggs contain minimal saturated fat and absolutely no trans fat.”
Egg-cited yet? There’s more good news. “Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense,” Loveland says. “In fact, just one egg will give you six grams of protein, only 70 calories and some heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Plus eggs are a great source of high-quality protein, and they’ve been proven to help maintain muscle mass, control weight and blood sugar, and improve energy levels throughout the day.”
Here’s what to look for when buying and cooking with eggs.
The difference between white and brown eggs: White eggs come from white-feathered hens, while brown eggs come from red-feathered hens — simple as that. Some chickens, like Araucanas, even lay blue eggs.
“You may have heard the myth that brown eggs are healthier than white eggs,” says Loveland. “But in truth, the only real difference is the color of the shell. Nutritionally, they are exactly the same.”
No need to go organic: Buying organic is all the craze now, and it can be hard to know whether or not you’re truly getting your money’s worth. While the methods of raising laying hens vary drastically, the nutrient content of organic versus conventional eggs doesn’t differ by much, according to the Egg Nutrition Center.
“It is important to note that hens fed a diet high in certain nutrients tend to lay eggs that are higher in those nutrients,” says Loveland. “So take a moment to compare labels to check the differences in things like cholesterol, omega-3s and vitamin E.”
Cooking with eggs: Is there a “right” way? Scrambled, fried or sunny-side up… “Eggs are delicious and nutritious any way you choose to cook them,” says Loveland. “Just keep in mind that the ingredients you add will affect the nutrient profile — such as by frying in butter or adding cheese.”
For a heart-healthy approach, this spinach and feta quiche is full of flavor without the extra fat. Bored with traditional egg recipes? Incorporate them into modern, healthy dishes, such as this egg and tomato open-faced sandwich or to top off a kale-quinoa bowl for a nutrition boost and some extra flavor.