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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

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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)
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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.

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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”