Eggs Are For Easter

Danna F. Gillett  |  3/19/2013 10:13:58 PM

Eggs are an excellent source of protein!

Deviled eggs are possibly one of the most popular foods served at Easter dinner. They can also be one of the most nutrient dense items on the menu. Eggs are an excellent source of protein with one egg serving as an ounce equivalent of the daily protein recommendation. Studies show that consumption of one egg per day is fine for most healthy people and does not increase their risk for heart disease.

A large egg provides 13 vitamins and minerals, 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 185 milligrams of cholesterol. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we consume fewer than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day. An egg can fit into a healthy meal plan that includes other foods low in saturated fat. Although most of the calories and fat are found in the yolk, it also contains many nutrients that make the egg the protein powerhouse that it is.

According to the Egg Nutrition Board, eggs aid in the following:

  • Weight management: High-quality protein helps you to feel fuller longer.
  • Muscle strength and muscle-loss prevention: Research indicates that high-quality protein may help active adults build muscle strength and help prevent muscle loss in middle-aged and aging adults.
  • Healthy pregnancy: Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects.
  • Brain function: Choline also aids the brain function of adults and helps relay messages from the brain through nerves to the muscles.
  • Eye health: Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness.

For family members who need to limit cholesterol, they may eat the white portion only or use an egg substitute that contains no yolk. Egg substitutes are typically produced from the protein-rich white and are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Color is added for visual appeal.

To prepare a healthier version of deviled eggs for Easter dinner, use lower fat mayonnaise and use less salt. Preparing deviled eggs without using the yolk will reduce saturated fat and cholesterol. Follow these steps:

  • Simply hard boil eggs, cool slightly, peel and halve eggs. Discard the yolks.
  • In a medium skillet, cook egg substitute as directed. Cooking to a softer consistency may aid in preparing filling.
  • Remove from heat, cool slightly and stir in other ingredients.
  • For a smoother consistency, puree filling ingredients in a blender or food processor before filling egg white halves.
  • If desired, chill before serving. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.

For more information about this and other nutrition topics, visit www.lsuagcenter.com or www.eatright.org

Danna Gillett is the LSU AgCenter Area Nutrition Agent in Richland Parish.

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