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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The Rise of Vegganism: A New Plant-Based Diet with Eggs

Planted Based Diet with eggs

According to a recent Yahoo! News article, a new plant-based diet, “Vegganism,” is gaining popularity. Veggans are essentially vegans (or individuals that avoid all animal and dairy products) who eat eggs.

Nutrient-rich eggs are a great compliment to a vegan diet and can provide a number of benefits:

  • Essential Nutrients: Eggs, which are all-natural and packed with a number of nutrients, offer varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals – several of which can be lacking in a traditional vegan diet such as iron, vitamin D and vitamin B12.
  • High-Quality Protein: Eggs also contain 6 grams of high-quality protein. High-quality protein foods, like eggs, dairy products, chicken, beef, fish and pork, contain all nine essential amino acids.

In recent years, overall eating patterns have become a focus of dietary recommendations, and there has been a spotlight on plant-based diets. Research shows that following a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancers such as colon and breast. But “plant-based” doesn’t mean only plants. In fact, at each meal, pairing plants with 20-30 grams of high-quality protein from sources such as eggs, fish, chicken, lean meat, and low-fat dairy can help meet daily protein needs to support healthy muscles and strong bones and satisfy the appetite.

Adding eggs to a vegan diet can help veggans to boost the nutritional quality of their diets while reaping the benefits of a plant-based eating pattern.

Feeding struggles, moderation, and eggs

Featured article in the Winter 2016 Nutrition Close-Up; written by Richard Kahn, PhD, RD

Feeding struggles between children and parents are common. There are two common causes. One is labeling foods as either “good” or “bad” and then striving to give a child the good food in recommended portions. Eggs have been the victim of the “good/bad” struggle over the past 50 years. For example, many people still think that eggs fall into the “bad” category. Health care professionals, like me, are still telling people that one egg a day is safe. Another cause is lack of detailed knowledge about individual foods. Eggs, some parents need to know, provide important micronutrients such as lutein, a carotenoid antioxidant usually linked to kale, a vegetable. Alerting worried parents to this simple fact may decrease the urge to push vegetables on their vegetable-resistant child. Many a child may dislike vegetables. Those same children may like foods that have eggs as an ingredient. Such foods include whole grain muffins, French toast, and pancakes. Antioxidants and other nutrients survive cooking.

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New Research: Eating Eggs at Breakfast May Help With Appetite and Caloric Intake Control in Kids

creative scrambled egg breakfast face shapeAs highlighted in a recent blog, higher protein breakfasts may reduce hunger in kids. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently confirmed these results in a study that compared the satiating properties of egg- versus two cereal grain-based breakfasts in children.

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