Eggs by Design

IMAGE Scientists, farmers, and food manufacturers have found ways to change the nutrient composition of eggs. Are these new-fangled eggs better for you than regular eggs? A quick glance at the egg section of most large supermarkets gives consumers several choices. In addition to the standard white and brown eggs, you can buy eggs that are cage-free or organic. Plus, you can choose ones that have increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids. You can also choose from a variety of egg-substitute products, most of which are refrigerated or frozen and packaged for easy use.

Eating Eggs Again

Consumers are buying eggs in record numbers—a far cry from egg consumption during the 1980s when consumers were taught to avoid eggs and, in particular, egg yolks. There are three reasons for this recent surge in popularity. The first is current research indicating that moderate egg consumption can be part of a healthful, low-fat eating plan. The second reason is that we are eating more processed foods that require eggs. And third is the popularity of both high-protein and vegetarian-based diets.

Understanding Nature's Design

The standard egg is an economical source of nutrition. Eggs contain many essential vitamins and minerals needed by humans, including zinc, iron, folate, vitamins A, E, and B complex—all this for only 70 calories! Egg protein is of such high quality that it is the standard reference for comparing the protein content of other foods. Current nutrient analyses suggest that the cholesterol content of an average egg is about 185 mg, rather than the previously estimated 274 mg. All of this cholesterol is contained in the yolk part of the egg. The American Heart Association (AHA) continues to recommend that people limit their cholesterol intake to 300 mg per dayNature delivers eggs in two colors—white and brown. Contrary to popular thinking, brown eggs are neither organic nor different in nutrition from white eggs. The breed of the hen determines the shell color. Breeds with white feathers and ear lobes lay white eggs. Hens with red feathers and ear lobes lay brown eggs.

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