Did you know that eating one egg a day does not affect your risk for heart disease? And, egg yolks provide essential nutrients such as choline, which helps with fetal brain development and brain functioning in adults. Eggs provide high-quality protein. Eating them at breakfast can help keep you full and focused until lunchtime.
There are several types of eggs on the market, which can be confusing.
Types of eggs and what that means –
• Eggs in their shell: The most common are white-and brown-shelled eggs. White-shelled eggs typically are from hens with white feathers, while brown-shelled eggs are typically from hens with brown feathers.
• Organic: In order to qualify for USDA organic certification, the hens are fed a special feed having ingredients that were grown without pesticides, and persistent chemical and commercial fertilizer.
• Vegetarian (no animal byproducts): Hens are fed a special feed containing ingredients of plant origin only.
• Omega-3-enhanced: These eggs are created by including 10-20% of flax in the hen's diet, which in turn results in these eggs being higher in omega-3 fatty acids than conventional eggs.
• Pasturized whole egg in shell: Safest Choice Eggs are pasteurized whole eggs in the shell. Helps eliminate the risk of salmonella.
• Vitamin-enhanced: These eggs contain slightly higher amounts of nutrients, as a result of being fed nutritionally enhanced diets (some of their nutrition may include vitamin E, folate, vitamin B-6 and B-12).
• Cage-free eggs: These eggs are from birds that are not raised in cages, but rather in an open barn. The hens have bedding material such as pine shavings on the floor, and are allowed perches and nest boxes to lay their eggs. Depending on the farm, they may still be close to many other hens, just not in cages.
• Enriched: These eggs are from hens raised in “enriched” or “colony” cage housing systems, which provide more space both on the floor and in height in order for the hens to be able to have more room to move. Enrichments include nesting boxes, perches, scratch pads and dust baths.
• Eggs not in their shell (processed): These are eggs which are broken, then pasteurized, before being packaged into liquid, frozen or dried form. They can be sold for commercial, home use and/or foodservice.
No matter which type of egg you choose, you will get budget-friendly protein that is versatile enough for any eating occasion. Try this for breakfast:
Pesto, mozzarella and egg breakfast sandwich
All you need:
1 whole-wheat English muffin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper
1 teaspoon prepared pesto
1 thin slice fresh mozzarella cheese
All you do:
1. Toast English muffin.
2. Combine egg and roasted red pepper in a small (about 8-ounce) microwave-safe ramekin or bowl. Cover and microwave until the egg is set, about 1 minute.
3. Spread pesto on 1 English muffin half, then top with cheese.
4. Place the egg on the cheese.
5. Top with the remaining English muffin half.
Nutrition per serving: 362 calories; 15 g fat ( 6 g sat ); 210 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrates; 5 g added sugars; 21 g protein; 5 g fiber; 782 mg sodium; 244 mg potassium. 40% Calcium, 23% , vitamin A, 18% zinc, 17% iron, 15% magnesium Source: www.eatingwell.com
Reference: "Types of Eggs." Egg Farmers of Alberta. Egg Farmers of Alberta, n.d. Web. 24 Feb 2014. <http://eggs.ab.ca/about-eggs/egg-types>.
Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at email@example.com.