Like many of you, members of my family are often confused by the overwhelming amount of nutrition information out there. They wonder what they should and shouldn't be eating. Is this food item on the Do or Don't list? My reply: like the scientific information it is based on, nutrition is a field that is constantly changing and evolving. As new scientific evidence becomes available, nutritional recommendations may change.
So, as my husband has asked me periodically over the years, "Are we eating eggs this week or not?"
The short answer is that eggs can fit easily into a balanced diet, are a cheaper source of protein than meat or fish, and appeal to all age groups. We now know that although eggs are a source of cholesterol in the diet, individuals with high blood cholesterol can enjoy eggs in moderation as part of a balanced diet. In fact, the American Heart Association guidelines approve eating one egg a day, telling us that blood cholesterol is less likely to be affected by dietary cholesterol than by saturated fat.
If you decide to include eggs in your healthy eating plan, there are some food safety rules you should remember. Eggs can harbor salmonella, a micro-organism which can cause illness, and consequently eggs must be handled safely during all phases of food preparation and storage.
- Eggs should be refrigerated until prepared.
- Egg yolks should be cooked until yolks are firm.
- Foods containing eggs should be thoroughly cooked.
- Foods prepared with eggs should be kept at safe temperatures until eating.
- To prepare a recipe that calls for raw eggs, purchase pasteurized egg products.
The conclusion: In moderation all foods can fit into a balanced diet. This week we are definitely eating eggs!