By Gina O’Toole, RD, MPH, CLEC, CHOC Children’s Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services
Eggs take the spotlight this month as Easter approaches, but the question remains: Should we consume them at all?
The answer is a resounding yes! Though previously shunned, eggs now have the green light for eating. Though the cholesterol content of eggs was previously thought to increase the risk of heart disease, we now know that eating a diet high in saturated fats and trans-fats (hydrogenated oils) increases the risk of heart disease more so than eating cholesterol itself.
The most recent recommendation in 2010 from the American Heart Association allows 300mg per day of cholesterol. One large egg contains 213mg, about 2/3 of the recommended daily value.
The facts about eggs:
- Eggs are an excellent source of protein, providing 7 grams of high quality protein.
- Eggs contain just 75 calories each.
- Eggs have 5 grams of fat (1.6 grams saturated fat).
- They are a great source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both important carotenoids that reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
- Choline is a key nutrient in eggs that is important for brain development and memory.
So-called “designer eggs” may contain omega-3 fats. To make these eggs, chickens are fed omega-3 fatty acids which the chickens then further covert into DHA. DHA is a fatty acid important for brain and eye development in babies and children. Moms who eat DHA transfer that DHA to the baby through their breast milk. DHA also plays an important role to help prevent cardiovascular disease.
So go ahead and enjoy eggs this Easter and beyond. Try using your hard-boiled eggs with these delicious recipes:
Herbed Deviled Eggs
8 large hard-boiled eggs
½ non-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped of each: fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh thyme, fresh chives
Peel eggs and halve lengthwise. Reserve four of the egg-white halves for another use. Pass yolks through sieve using the back of a spoon. Stir in yogurt, mustard and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. Sir in herbs.
Either spoon or put yolk mixture in pastry bag to pipe into egg white halves. Garnish with additional herbs
Curried Egg Salad Sandwich (Serves 4)
6 hard-boiled eggs, using four of the six yolks and dice
¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 medium celery stalk, diced
1 teaspoon Dijion mustard
¼ teaspoon curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix previous seven ingredients. Spread on whole-grain bread. Top with radicchio and arugula