Nutritious Dietary Patterns

Dietary patterns (also called eating patterns) are the combinations and quantities of food and beverages consumed over time. Consistent evidence indicates that, in general, a plant-based dietary pattern is more health-promoting than the current average U.S. diet. However, a “plant-based” eating patterns doesn’t mean only plants; pairing high-quality protein foods, like eggs, with plants is essential for the synthesis and maintenance of muscle tissue, and for achieving optimal vitamin and mineral intakes.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three healthy eating patterns, all of which include eggs. But what are the sample eating patterns, and what are the key differences between them?

To learn more about healthy eating patterns, including those recommended in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, and how eggs fit within those patterns, explore the following PowerPoint, and feel free to share it with friends!

Healthy Eating Patterns: How do Eggs Fit?

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Summer Picnic Picks

By Kim Hoban, RDN, CDN, CPT

The Egg Nutrition Center partnered with Kim Hoban, RDN, CDN, CPT to write this blog post.

With summer in full swing, calendars are filling up with outdoor concert series, beach days and picnics in the park. Eggs and egg dishes might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think picnic food, but they’re actually a great option for the busy summer season, as they pack a protein punch and are super portable. We all know egg salad is delicious, especially when you switch it up with fun flavors like sriracha, dill or curry, but this summer, why not try some picnic picks that feature eggs in a totally new way? Whether you’re spending the whole day out and about or just enjoying a midday lunch date, read on for fun ways to egg-spand your picnic palate.

If you’re headed out for a long day at the beach or water park, prep some of these Spicy Black Bean Breakfast Burritos or Bacon, Egg and Mushroom Burritos in advance to fuel your adventures. Bring a burrito along for breakfast en route or to enjoy as you set up your spot in the sand.

Be the hero of a potluck picnic with friends by bringing these super simple and nutrient dense Veggie Egg Pops to snack on. Or, add some crunch to your lunch with this Cobb Salad Wrap that makes handheld eating easy and delicious. And of course, traditional deviled eggs can’t be beat when it comes to picnic fare! If you’re worried about transporting the little devils, try placing each egg into its own cupcake liner. You can also pack the empty egg white halves in one container and the deviled egg filling in a food storage bag, then fill just before serving.

Finally, don’t forget dessert! Fruit salad is a simple and seasonal way to serve up something sweet, or try these Cherry Cheesecake Bars.

No matter how you choose to enjoy eggs during the summer picnic season, remember to keep cold foods cold (below 40°F) to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy. Pack food in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or ice packs. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun with family and friends, but be careful not to let food sit out more than two hours and if the temperature rises higher than 90°F, stick to an hour or less. Bring a timer or set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you when it’s time to put food away.

Animal-Sourced Foods: How Much Do We Need?

Healthy dietary patterns recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans can include a variety of plant-sourced and animal-sourced foods to meet nutrient needs.  Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy foods, protein foods, and oils are key to healthy dietary patterns.  Although some animal-sourced foods (such as eggs) are placed in the “Protein Food Group,” these foods are more than just protein and have unique nutrient profiles important for health, as discussed at a recent conference at the University of California, Davis.

Animal-sourced foods provide high quality protein1, meaning these foods have all the essential amino acids the body needs.  In the U.S., appropriately planned vegetarian and vegan diets can also provide sufficient protein to maintain health2.  However, both plant-sourced foods and animal-sourced foods provide more than protein.  Foods from different food groups provide a good or excellent source of various essential nutrients:

  • Brussels sprouts: vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate (B9)
  • Oranges: fiber, vitamin C, and thiamin (B1)
  • Beans: protein, fiber, iron, thiamin, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium
  • Eggs: protein, riboflavin (B2), vitamin B12, biotin (B7), pantothenic acid (B5), iodine, selenium, and choline

Continue reading “Animal-Sourced Foods: How Much Do We Need?”

American Society for Nutrition 2019: Highlights for Eggs

American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting was held in Baltimore earlier this month.  Top scientific researchers, practitioners, global and public health professionals, policy leaders, industry, and media gathered to advance nutrition science.  Below are a few highlights from presentations of eggs and eggs’ nutrients.

Young Child Nutrition, Eggs and Poultry Production: What’s New? (Satellite session)

Recent research has demonstrated that egg consumption early in the complementary feeding period positively impacts child growth, and the nutrients in eggs may also enhance cognitive development.  However, many questions remain regarding how eggs can help improve nutrition in populations with different staple foods and stunting rates.  Topics of this satellite session discussion included follow-up data on the Lulun Project, results from a trial of eggs among young children in Malawi, poultry production systems and their link to nutrition and health security, and interventions to increase egg consumption in low- and middle-income countries.  For more information on these topics, please visit our website and the Maternal & Child Nutrition Supplement highlighting eggs as part of a global solution.

A Free, Egg-based ‘Breakfast in the Classroom’ Program Improves School Breakfast Participation, Eating Habits, and Cognitive Performance in Middle-school Adolescents (OR13-02-19)
Continue reading “American Society for Nutrition 2019: Highlights for Eggs”

Soft-Boiled Deviled-ish Eggs

By Cami Glosz

The Egg Nutrition Center partnered with Cami Glosz, MS, RD to write this blog post.

Deviled eggs make a simple and delicious brunch dish or appetizer for a party or family gathering. While some people love the mayonnaise-egg yolk combo in traditional deviled eggs, many may prefer a lighter approach. That’s why I created these soft-boiled, deviled-ish eggs that have just a dollop of the deviled goodness. The jammy yolk provides a creamy center, while a variety of crunchy toppings, like quick-pickled shallots and green onions, round out the textures and flavor profile.

Continue reading “Soft-Boiled Deviled-ish 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”