January is a popular time for people to be setting new and healthy eating habits for the new year. It is also National Egg Month, so what better time than now to make an effort to include more eggs into your diet!
3 Reasons Eggs are Excellent:
One large egg contains just 70 calories and 6.2 g of complete protein, which means it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids needed by the human body. Eggs are also is a good source of vitamin D, which supports strong bones. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the nutrients found in one large egg:
- 70 calories
- 5 g of fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 1.0 g polyunsaturated fat, 2.0 g monounsaturated fat)
- 185 mg cholesterol
- 70 mg sodium
- 70 mg potassium
- 6.2 g protein
- 6% Vitamin A
- 8% Vitamin B-12
- 4% Vitamin B-6
- 10% Vitamin D
- 2% Calcium
- 6% Folate
- 4% Iron
- 10% Phosphorus
- 10% Riboflavin
- 4% Zinc
As a broke college student, I can appreciate the fact that eating healthy can be very inexpensive. Eggs are a great way to get the protein in my diet that I need, without breaking my wallet. A dozen eggs can be found most grocery stores for around $2, which makes each egg cost around 17 cents each– not bad! Definitely cheaper than a bag of chips or a package of cookies.
Eggs can be scrambled, over-easy, poached, sunny-side up, or fried. You can put them in breakfast burritos, throw a sliced hard-boiled egg on a salad or sandwich, make a quiche, egg salad sandwich, or deviled egg appetizer. And who doesn’t love a good omelet or frittata? Make eggs your friend for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
5 Facts About Eggs:
1. Recommendations for Egg Storage:
- Eggs can be safely stored in the fridge for 2-4 weeks and in the freezer for up to 1 year.
- Raw yolks/whites can be stored in the fridge for 2-4 days and in the freezer (at 0 degrees F) for 1 year.
- Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the fridge for 1 week, but are not recommended to be frozen.
- Liquid eggs or egg substitutes can be stored in the fridge for 10 days if unopened, 3 days if opened, and stored in the freezer for up to 1 year if unopened.
2. Casseroles and dishes containing eggs should be cooked to an internal temperature fo 160 degrees F as measured by a food thermometer
3. Egg cartons with the USDA grade shield on them must supply the “pack date” which is the date the eggs were washed, graded, and packed in a carton. The date is a 3-digit number based on the Julian dates. This means that January 1st is denoated as 001 and December 31st is 365.
4. Eggs are not federally required to have an expiration or “sell-by” date on them, however some states require it. Eggs should be safe to use for 3-5 weeks after purchase, even if it passes the printed expiration date.
5. Recommendations regarding eggs. One egg contains 185 mg of cholesterol, and the recommendation for those with normal LDL cholesterol levels is to consume <300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day. People who have high LDL cholesterol levels or are taking cholesterol-lowering medications should aim for <200 mg of dietary cholesterol per day. It is not necessary to avoid eggs in order to eat heart-healthy. An egg a day can fit into the average person’s healthy diet, as long as they aren’t filling the rest of their diet with other cholesterol-laden foods such as pork, steak, shrimp, butter, and other animal products. If you don’t want to give up your egg-a-day routine for breakfast, make an effort to include plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains in your lunch and dinner. On the other hand, if you don’t want to give up your pork-chop-a-day routine for dinner, then maybe cutting back to just a few eggs a week might be a smart idea. It’s all about balance. Use your daily 300-mg of dietary cholesterol budget with care.
6. Egg substitutes are a great way to add some more volume to your omelets, without going overboard on your eggs. If you’re trying to eat heart-healthy, try using 1 whole egg and 2 servings of egg whites/egg substitutes in your omelet instead of 3 whole eggs. Liquid egg whites and Egg Beaters (made from egg whites, with added flavor and yellow color to resemble liquid whole eggs) can be found at any grocery store and have 25 calories per 3 tablespoons, 75 mg of sodium, 0 mg of cholesterol, and 5 g of protein.
Interested in more information? http://www.incredibleegg.org/ has dozens of recipes as well as fun facts about eggs. University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Extension has great information about how to cook your eggs thoroughly and safely so you can avoid the risk of salmonella (including everybody’s favorite, “no eating raw cookie dough made with eggs!”).