The Incredible Edible Egg
Eggs are an inexpensive superfood that can be eaten at anytime of the day. For the first time, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans include recommendations for birth to 24 months old and specifically recommend eggs as an important first food for infants and toddlers, as well as for pregnant women and lactating moms.
According to Emily Metz, president and CEO of the American Egg Board, “the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans confirm what the science has shown: eggs provide critical nutritional support for brain health, and they play a crucial role in infant development and prenatal health”. Eggs help make every bite count because 90 percent of brain growth happens before kindergarten, especially during the time that babies are just being introduced to solid foods.
- The Guidelines also suggest that eggs can contribute to the health and well-being of Americans of all ages in several ways, including:
• Important nutrients for teenagers: The Guidelines encourage eggs for pre-teens and adolescents, especially girls, because of the protein and choline they provide.
• Muscle repair and bone health: The high-quality protein in eggs helps maintain and repair muscle while supporting bone health.
• B12 for older adults: Older adults are at nutritional risk for not getting enough protein and vitamin B12, which eggs provide as a good source.
• Natural source of vitamin D: Americans do not get enough vitamin D, for which eggs, as one of the few natural food sources, provide 6 percent of the daily recommendation.
• Great source of Choline: Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient that many Americans do not get enough of, so the Guidelines recommend eggs as a great source of choline to support brain health and development during pregnancy.
• Vitamin A for eye health: Vitamin A deficiency is one of the leading causes of blindness. The yolks of eggs contain antioxidants that can decrease some forms of eye disease.
Check out these facts:
• Size: Did you know that the size of the egg is based on the weigh and not diameter of the egg?
Size or Weight Class Minimum net weight per dozen
- Jumbo = 30 ounces
- Extra Large = 27 ounces
- Large = 24 ounces
- Medium = 21 ounces
- Small = 18 ounces
- Peewee = 15 ounces
• Grade: The USDA checks the inside and outside of eggs for quality to decide their grade.
- Grade AA – eggs have whites that are thick and firm; yolks that are high, round, and practically free from defects; and clean, unbroken shells.
- Grade A – eggs have characteristics of Grade AA eggs except that the whites are “reasonably” firm.
- Grade B – eggs have whites that may be thinner and yolks that may be wider and flatter than eggs of higher grades. The shells must be unbroken but may show slight stains. This grade is usually used to make liquid, frozen, and dried egg products.
• Color : Eggs come in a variety of colors, but they all contain similar nutritional values. Eggshell color is determined by the breed of the chicken from which it came.
• Nutritional value of the egg will change based upon the chicken’s diet. For example a hen, regardless of color, that has a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids will produce eggs that have higher levels of this fatty acid than chickens, of the same color, that do not get the supplemental omega-3 fatty acids. The eggs of chickens with supplemented diets tend to cost more than those on a regular diet.
- When purchased from the grocery store, eggs should be stored in the refrigerator at 45-degrees farenheit.
- Eggs should not be left out form more than two hours.
- Do not store eggs in the door of your refrigerator because they temperature may fluctuate greatly when the door is opened for long periods of time. Store your eggs in the original container, on an inside shelf in your fridge.