Egg Resources for Health Professionals

ENC serves as a resource for health professionals in need of current nutrition information to share with their patients.

Below are various tools available for professional education and/or to be shared with consumers.

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Elevating Awareness and Intake of Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Public Health (article review)

By: Kasia Ciaston

Today we have another blog by our Dietetic Intern Kasia Ciaston.

Early research conducted on choline from the 1930’s established the link between low choline and liver/muscle damage. Since then, choline has been deemed as an essential nutrient and the latest evidence demonstrates the increased significance of choline throughout the lifecycle.  Data collectedby the 2005 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that 90% of the U.S. population was consuming less than adequate amounts of dietary choline.  Although choline is produced internally, there are sub-populations with increased requirements due to genetic variations. A recent article in Nutrition Today explains emerging research demonstrating the vitality of choline consumption at all stages of life.


Choline requirements during pregnancy and lactation are particularly high. Choline is present in high concentrations in amniotic fluid and breast milk which in turn increases maternal demand for the nutrient. A low of intake of choline in this population has been linked to preeclampsia, premature births, and very low birth weights. Emerging science shows that like folic acid, low choline intake doubles the risk of neural tube defects

In animal studies conducted with rats, low choline intake during pregnancy was linked to long-term cognitive impairment. Rats consuming adequate choline exhibited slower declines in memory and attention.


Studies suggest that choline-sensitivity continues after birth into infancy. Adequate choline during this stage may enhance brain development, memory, and learning abilities later on in life.


Increased amounts of homocysteine in the body have been linked to higher risks for cardiovascular disease, bone fractures, cancer, and cognitive impairment. Due to the essential role of choline in the breakdown of homocysteine among other metabolic markers – choline has been tagged as playing potential roles in reduced inflammation and cardiovascular risk

The implications of choline within the health care field are far and wide. The importance of choline throughout the lifecycle is becoming more prominent, but more research is still needed to substantiate its claims to fame.

The Fast Food and the Furious

By: Kasia Ciaston

Today’s blog post is from guest writer Kasia Ciaston.  Kasia is a Dietetic Intern at Loyola University and is ENC’s first intern!

Today is National Fast Food Day. Should we be celebrating or criticizing this day of readily prepared foods? The assortment of additives, preservatives and fat contents make these energy-dense foods controversial, but there’s no debating their popular reputation here in the United States. Whether you’re a supporter of the $110 billion fast food industry or a fan of foods with more pronounceable ingredients (monosodium gluta-what?) today is the day to observe and maybe even take part in a fast-food meal at your favorite hot spot.

For those of you frequent-fast-foodies out there who are always on-the-go or don’t have time to cook – there are ways to make healthier choices at the fast food establishments you enjoy. Share my top 10 savory fast food swaps and your clients will see a savings….in their waistlines!

  1. Instead of the jumbo double-decker cheeseburger (440 calories, 25 grams of protein), opt for grilled chicken (300 calories, 28 grams of protein) instead – lean protein may lead to a lean body!
  2. Drink water or unsweetened iced tea instead of sugar-sweetened sodas or juices for caloric savings in the hundreds. A large Coke contains about 310 calories and 86 grams of sugar – that’s almost half a cup of pure sugar!
  3. With salads or subs – choose an oil based vinaigrette dressing instead of anything with the word ‘creamy’ in the name. Using less dressing than you usually do adds to the caloric savings.
  4. Mayonnaise on the side please! – Approximately 2 tablespoons of mayo adds up to 200 added calories or more. Use ketchup or mustard, which have zero grams of fat.
  5. Instead of fries, onion rings, or tater tots – go for a side salad, baked potato, fruit parfait, or even pack your own healthy snack!
  6. Blended or iced coffee drinks are calorie and sugar bombs! Ask for no whipped cream, non-fat milk, or sugar-free syrup to ease the blow to your insulin levels.
  7. Watch out for higher fat toppings like processed cheese and bacon.
  8. When possible ask for extra vegetable toppings! The added fiber will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  9. Choose brown over white (whole wheat) bread that is. The USDA recommends making half of your grains whole grains. Don’t forget to stay active!
  10. Walking for only 20 minutes a day may add up to a pound of weight loss per month!

Egg Nutrition Center Request for Research Proposals 2012

ENC is soliciting research proposals for the 2012 grant year. A letter of intent is due Friday, January 13, 2012. See the research section of ENC’s website for more details.

Below are ENC 2012 Research Priorities:
1. Nutrition in health and disease:
• Obesity: particular emphasis on childhood obesity.
• Heart disease: effect of eggs on lipoprotein or cholesterol metabolism.
2. Nutrition for a healthy lifestyle:
• Nutrient density: contribution of eggs to a healthy diet. Approaches may include diet modeling, evaluation of bioavailability, and synergistic effects of eggs with other foods.
• Protein: use of eggs at breakfast related to satiety, glycemic control, body composition, or inflammation.
3. Nutrition for special populations:
• Diabetes: relationship of eggs to onset or progression of type 2 diabetes.
• Nutrition for healthy aging: contributions of protein/eggs related to aging and nutrition.
4. Nutritional value of eggs or egg components:
• An interest in pilot studies to evaluate the potential to use components of eggs as value-added food

Vitamin D and the Sunny Side of Eggs

While USA Today discussed how important Vitamin D is and that many people are deficient, they forgot to mention that eggs are a natural and good source of Vitamin D. For those who aren’t aware, the USDA recently reviewed the egg nutrient data and results show that one Grade A, large egg contains 41 IU of vitamin D, 65 percent higher than the amount reported in the last nutrient analysis.

Egg Nutrition Center recently released a press release on the Sunny Side of Eggs. We as health professionals are aware of the many implications Vitamin D deficiency may have on health-one particular role is Vitamin D and Calcium in bone health and preventing osteoporosis. It will be interesting to see how the research emerges on the Vitamin D issue, but for now adding more natural vitamin D, along with high-quality protein and 12 other essential vitamins and minerals is simple with eggs (and remember it is the company an egg shares-think of MyPlate, not foods high in calories and saturated fat).

Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian Healthy Eating


There are several modalities of vegetarianism, from strict vegetarians to lacto-ovo-vegetarians. Usually, lacto-ovo-vegetarians will eat dairy foods and eggs, but not meat, fish, or poultry. Certainly, a diet rich in plant foods has the potential to offer health benefits and positive outcomes in prevention and treatment of conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer. Nutrient intake and nutrient bioavailability are essential to prevent deficiencies. Calories, macro and micronutrients distributions are important to provide adequate nutrition within an energy allowance that maintains a healthy weight. Macronutrients provide calories and are the protein, fat, and carbohydrates, while minerals and vitamins are micronutrients and do not provide energy. Water is essential to life but does not provide energy.

Here are some recommendations in how to plan a nutritionally-adequate lacto-ovo-vegetarian meal plan.

Protein: It is a vital structural and working substance in all cells and commonly associated with meat consumption. Nevertheless, lacto-ovo-vegetarians can meet recommendations easily from low-fat dairy, beans, peas, nuts, and eggs. Protein in plants may not be completely digested. Eggs provide one of the highest quality protein available in any food while containing 13 additional vitamins and minerals in different amounts with only 70 calories per one large egg.

Carbohydrates: Whole wheat grains pasta, cereals, quinoa, amaranth, oatmeal, brown rice, fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, and winter squash will provide the body ample carbohydrates for immediate energy.

Fats: Good source of healthy fats are nuts, seed, avocados, olive oil, and olives.

Vitamins and Minerals: Common concerns among vegetarians may include lack of vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, riboflavin, zinc and calcium.

Vitamin B12: Is only found in animal products and is important in human nutrition because it is involved in new cell synthesis; helps to maintain nerve cells, and is required to convert folate into its active form. Significant sources for lacto-ovo-vegetarians are milk, cheese and eggs. Soy products, including soy milk, when fortified with this vitamin are a good source of B12.

Vitamin D: Is found in animal products and is synthesized from exposure to the sun. Milk is usually fortified with vitamin D. Eggs do not need fortification since they are one of few foods that naturally provide vitamin D.

Iron: Is vital to many of the cells’ activities, and absorption depends on its source. Heme iron is well absorbed and is found in animal products. Non-heme iron, which is not well absorbed, comes from plant foods. Eating iron rich vegetables with vitamin C rich foods, such citrus fruits and juices; broccoli, peppers and tomatoes will enhance iron absorption. Legumes, eggs, whole-grain fortified and enriched breads and cereals as well as dark green and leafy vegetables, tofu, edamame, and nuts are good sources of iron.

Calcium: The relationship between calcium and osteoporosis is well documented. Osteoporosis develops early in life and becomes apparent during the later years. Good sources of calcium are milk and milk-based products, kale, collard green, mustard greens, almonds, tofu, legumes, texture vegetable protein, and calcium fortified orange juice. Although spinach is rich in calcium, it is poorly absorbed due to presence of oxalates.

Zinc: It is a very versatile mineral, participates in immune reactions, taste perception, and wound healing, among others. Good zinc sources include legumes, hard cheeses, whole grain products, nuts, tofu and miso. The absorption of zinc from plant foods such whole grains is hindered by phytic acids.

Riboflavin: Most notorious role in the body is the release of energy from nutrients in all body cells. Foods that contribute the most riboflavin include milk and milk products. Other sources are whole-grain or enriched bread and cereals, dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, turnip green, asparagus, spinach and eggs. Nutritional yeast also provides good amounts of this vitamin.

For wellness and health, being a vegetarian or omnivorous involves a healthful meal plan. It is also recommended integrating the holistic concept of balance among the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the individual.