Articles

Fuel Your Brain with Nutrient-Rich Eggs

By Jessica Ivey, RDN, LDN

The Egg Nutrition Center partnered with Jessica Ivey, RDN, LDN to write this blog post.

 

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to consider the importance of brain health. With increased concern about brain diseases, researchers in the growing field of neuronutrition are examining how foods affect the health of our brains and scientists working on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are evaluating how nutrition impacts neurocognitive health throughout the lifespan. Eggs are a key part of this research because they contain choline and lutein, two nutrients that are important for brain development, memory and learning.

Choline plays a critical role in brain development and health during fetal development and throughout the lifespan. In utero, choline helps the baby’s brain and spinal cord develop properly. Choline is an essential nutrient, meaning that our bodies can’t produce it in sufficient amounts so we have to get it in our diets. Continue reading “Fuel Your Brain with Nutrient-Rich Eggs”

Egg Farming in America

By Guest Blogger Roger Deffner

Member of the Board of Directors of the American Egg Board

 

As an egg farmer of a 3rd generation family farm in the Northwest, it is always inspiring to see the good work that is being done beyond our farm. At Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium in Scottsdale, AZ, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of Registered Dietitians that are members of the Egg Nutrition Center’s Egg Enthusiast program. Our approximately 4.5 million hens along with our dedicated farm staff work very hard to produce high-quality eggs, so meeting dietitians who are educating consumers about the benefits of eating eggs really validates the work we do.

The Egg Enthusiasts I spoke to were surprised to hear that there are 336 million egg-laying hens in the U.S. that lay 257 million eggs each day. As of February 2019, the per capita consumption was 287 eggs according to The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report produced by the United States Department of Agriculture. Overall, it’s a growing industry with the total annual economic activity estimated to be about $29-$30 billion, however, like all farming, it’s not without its challenges. With changing consumer demand around farming practices, the landscape is evolving rapidly. Continue reading “Egg Farming in America”

Whole Eggs Uniquely Support Muscle Health

Featured article in the Spring 2019 Issue of Nutrition Close-Up; written by Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD

Healthy strong muscles are important throughout the lifespan. Resistance training and sufficient dietary protein help support muscle maintenance and strength. Research has shown the importance of both the total amount of protein consumed each day as well as the amount of protein per meal. However, emerging research is showing other factors within food, besides protein, influence the synthesis of new proteins in muscle.

Over the past several years, scientists have examined how amino acids and isolated sources of protein impact muscle protein synthesis. This research serves as a foundation to better examine aspects beyond protein. Leucine, an essential amino acid, turns on the machinery driving the synthesis of new proteins in muscle. While leucine is the switch turning this process on, all essential amino acids are necessary to provide the building blocks for muscle protein synthesis to be running optimally. Quality sources of protein including whey, egg, soy and beef contain all essential amino acids in appreciable quantities to support this process. Yet studies comparing protein-rich drinks and whole foods have led to results that cannot be explained by differences in leucine or the amount of high quality protein consumed. Continue reading “Whole Eggs Uniquely Support Muscle Health”

Incorporating Eggs into a Plant-Based Diet

Featured article in the Spring 2019 Issue of Nutrition Close-Up; written by Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

If you ask two different people to define “plant-based eating,” you will likely get two different responses. Because this term isn’t defined by any governing body, it’s up for interpretation. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) says that plant-based diets include vegetarian and vegan diets1, while U.S. News & World Report describes plant-based diets “as an approach that emphasizes minimally processed foods from plants, with modest amounts of fish, lean meat and low-fat dairy, and red meat only sparingly”2. Regardless of the definition, the common denominator among all descriptions of a plant-based diet is, well, plants!

The rise in popularity of plant-based diets is accompanied by many health benefits. Research suggests that eating mostly plants can prevent obesity3, decrease the risk of developing diabetes4, and lower mortality rates5. Plant-based diets are also associated with lower rates of heart disease6 and cancer7. The majority of these studies observed vegetarian diet patterns, which include plenty of fruits, vegetables and meatless proteins, like eggs, dairy, whole grains, nuts, seeds and soy. In other words, plants were paired with protein sources, like eggs, to make a nutritious and well rounded meal. Eggs can and should be part of a plant-based diet, and these five suggestions showcase how easy it is to incorporate the incredible egg into your plant-forward dishes. Continue reading “Incorporating Eggs into a Plant-Based Diet”

Research News: Choline, Lutein, and Cognition

Featured article in the Spring 2019 Issue of Nutrition Close-Up; written by Maggie Moon, MS, RD

Health is not just the absence of disease, but the presence of optimal wellness. Though nutritional guidance historically focused on preventing deficiency and toxicity from nutrients, today there is a growing interest in leveraging nutrients to improve the “healthspan,” or years of life in good health.

Time is of the essence to apply this to neuronutrition. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia is expected to more than double by 2050 from today’s 5.7 million to nearly 14 million.1 Worldwide, today’s 50 million people with dementia will more than triple by 2050, according to the World Health Organization.2
Lutein and choline are among the most underconsumed and underappreciated nutrients emerging into the spotlight for brain health and cognition. Recent research highlights their potential
for preventing and improving cognitive decline. Continue reading “Research News: Choline, Lutein, and Cognition”