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Still The “Incredible, Edible” Egg

Enriched chicken feed may have resulted in eggs having less cholesterol and more Vitamin D than previously measured, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

A large egg today has about 185 milligrams of cholesterol, down 14 percent from 215 milligrams in 2002, according to new research from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, reports USA Today. Also, an egg today has 41 international units (IUs) of Vitamin D, up 64 percent from 25 IUs measured in 2002. (That’s still only about 7 percent of the 600 IUs recommended per day.)

The agency regularly does nutrient checks on popular foods, this time analyzing eggs taken from store shelves in 12 locations around the country. The American Egg Board said in a press release that hen feed is made up mostly of corn, soybean meal, vitamins and minerals. Nutrition researchers at Iowa State University are also looking into reasons why cholesterol in eggs is decreasing.

The government’s “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” recommend that most people eat less than 300 milligrams of total dietary cholesterol a day, and people at a high risk of cardiovascular disease should eat less than 200 milligrams a day. The average American man consumes about 337 milligrams of cholesterol a day and the average woman consumes 217 milligrams, reports the Los Angeles Times.

One egg a day fits within the average, healthy American’s diet, reports WebMD, citing research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by the American Egg Board — owners of the slogan “the incredible, edible egg.”

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

New Research On Eggs


A meeting this week called Experimental Biology had some really interesting new research presented on eggs. I have written about eggs in the past and tried to clear up some of the confusion around whether they are good or not. Check out my past blog called The Incredible Edible Egg for more background on nutritional plus’s and minus’s on eggs. I also wrote a fun post on eggs which included some food safety tips. I personally love eggs and my favorite way to eat them is a spinach and feta omelet! Mmmmmm……

Here are some of the findings presented at Experimental Biology 2009 this week:
Eggs for Breakfast Helps Manage Hunger and Calorie Consumption
A study led by Maria Luz Fernandez, Ph.D., professor in the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut, investigated the differences in post-meal hunger and daily caloric intake when eating a breakfast of either protein-rich eggs or carbohydrate-rich bagels. Although the two breakfast options contained an identical amount of calories, the researchers found that adult men who consumed eggs for breakfast:

  • consumed fewer calories following the egg breakfast compared to the bagel breakfast
  • consumed fewer total calories in the 24-hour period after the egg breakfast compared to the bagel breakfast
  • reported feeling less hungry and more satisfied three hours after the egg breakfast compared to the bagel breakfast

Protein for Breakfast Helps Teens Control Appetite
Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center assessed the impact of a protein-rich breakfast on appetite and overall calorie consumption among teens who traditionally skip breakfast. While each test breakfast contained 500 total calories, the researchers examined variables including the protein form (solid food or beverage) and the amount of protein versus carbohydrate in the breakfast.

  • Teens consumed fewer calories at lunch when they ate a protein-rich breakfast of solid foods compared with a protein-rich beverage breakfast
  • Post-meal hunger was significantly reduced when the teens ate a protein-rich breakfast of solid foods

Cracking Open Heart Health Myths
Florida State University researchers examined the relationship between cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors such as body mass index, serum lipids and levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (a marker for inflammation), and the degree to which these factors are influenced by dietary intake of fiber, fat and eggs. The study found:

  • No relationship between egg consumption and serum lipid profiles, especially serum total cholesterol, as well as no relationship between egg consumption and hs-CRP
  • A positive correlation (meaning the more the higher the risk) between dietary trans-fat intake and CVD risk factors, as well as a negative correlation (meaning lowered risk) between fiber and vitamin C intake and CVD risk factors

These studies support more than 30 years of research showing that healthy adults can consume eggs as part of a healthy diet. Eggs are all-natural and packed with a number of nutrients. One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals in varying amounts, high-quality protein and antioxidants, all for 70 calories. Eggs are also an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient vital for fetal and infant brain development but also good for everyone.

For more information, check out the Egg Nutrition Center

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