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Eggs and Food Safety
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Eggs are highest quality protein and are often used as a standard to measure protein in other foods. They also contain Vitamins A, D, E, K and the B-complex and are rich in minerals, particularly iron. Plus, eggs contain the ideal balance of the essential amino acids the body can't manufacture. Because eggs are very easy to digest, they are frequently included in therapeutic diets.
The yolk makes up just over one third of an egg, provides three fourths of the calories, all of the fat and Vitamins A, D and E, most of the choline, phosphorus, iron and calcium, and almost half of the protein and riboflavin. The white (albumen) has more than half of the total protein and riboflavin.
Eggs & Cholesterol—Cholesterol is part of every cell and is essential to the body. In fact, the body manufactures 800 to 1,500 mg of cholesterol per day.
There are varying opinions as to the relationship of blood cholesterol and diet. Many respected scientists recommend that normal, healthy individuals should eat a varied diet control weight and exercise regularly. In their opinions, if this is done, it is not necessary to restrict dietary cholesterol or any individual food. Other reputable scientists believe it is prudent to restrict dietary cholesterol. Those concerned about their blood cholesterol levels should consult with and follow the advice of their physician.
The most important contributing factor to high blood cholesterol level has been shown to be excess saturated fat in the diet. Eggs have always been low in saturated fat. Overall, eggs contain a moderate amount of fat, composed mainly of heart healthy unsaturated fatty acids.
Also quite significant, the latest data indicates that eggs contain less dietary cholesterol than previously thought. A large egg averages only 213 mg cholesterol rather than 274 mg as listed in most references. This represents a 22% reduction in cholesterol content.
Protein is essential for building tissue. The word "protein" was coined from a Greek verb meaning "to take first place." It is the most abundant of the organic compounds of the body and is the substance composing most of the soft tissues. At those times in life when growth occurs in the fetus, the infant or the child, the protein requirement for building tissue is necessarily large. Protein is composed of amino acids, different in type, in arrangement and in quantitative relationships. There are 23 amino acids known to be physiologically important but only nine are indispensable i.e., cannot be made in the body. Eggs contain all nine essential amino acids and are known therefore as complete proteins.
The pattern of amino acids in eggs is almost perfect for our bodies to use. Because of this, egg protein quality is so high that scientists frequently use eggs as a standard for measuring the protein quality of other foods. In addition, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations list whole eggs as having a biological value of 93.7%. Biological value is a measurement of protein quality expressing the rate of efficiency with which protein is used for growth. This rating places eggs above milk (84.5%), fish (76%), or beef (74.3%).
The average large egg contains 6 grams of protein. This represents 15% of the minimum daily requirement.
Scientific studies continue to show that total fat, especially saturated fat intake, is far more important in determining blood cholesterol levels than the intake of dietary cholesterol. of the more 5 grams of fat in an egg yolk, only 1.5 grams or 31% are saturated. Monounsaturated fats total 1.9 grams or 38% and polyunsaturated fat .68 grams or 14%. The ratio of the eggs fat content comes close to meeting dietary proportions currently recommended—1/3 saturated, 1/3 monounsaturated and 1/3 polyunsaturated.
If you wish, you can use only egg whites which are free of fat and cholesterol. They contain high quality protein and only 15 calories. Two egg whites can be used in place of 1 egg in many recipes to reduce fat and cholesterol. 2 large egg whites contain 6.5 grams protein.
Provided by American Egg Board
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Crumble and brown sausage in skillet. Drain grease
Reduce heat to medium, add potatoes, onion, green pepper, tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce. Cook uncovered 3-4 minutes.
Coat 10" skillet with butter or non-stick cooking spray and heat.
Beat eggs and pour into skillet. Cook until skillet side is just set.
Spread sausage mixture over eggs and fold in half or in thirds.
Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Provided by The Fremont Company
Yield: 24 Servings
In mixing bowl or blender, thoroughly blend yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, celery seed and white pepper; cover and refrigerate.
In large bowl, combine eggs, broccoli, grapes, onion and sunflower seeds.
Blend in dressing. Cover and refrigerate salad until serving.
* If using peeled, hard-cooked egg product
Per Portion: Calories—161, Protein—10 g, Fat—8 g, Carbohydrate—13 g.
Percent U.S. RDA Met Per Portion: 22% Protein, 10% Calcium, 15% Phosphorus, 17% Vitamin A, 20% Riboflavin, 45% Vitamin C.
Provided by American Egg Board
This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.
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This page modified January 2007
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