Beating the Myths on Eggs | FNRI-DOST Recommends: Increase Egg Consumption | Beef Up - Feast on Meat and Eggs | A Review of Scientific Research and Recommendations Regarding Eggs | Egg News Bites | Eggs and your heart | Eggs: Dietary Friend or Foe?

Beating the Myths on Eggs

Reference: Celeste C. Tanchoco, Chief SRS and Scientist III, FNRI-DOST

    HIGHLIGHTS

  • Current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines suggest that most people can enjoy an egg a day - as long as they watch their overall cholesterol intake.
Myth: Everyone should avoid eggs because of their cholesterol content. Fact: The latest nutrient analysis shows that egg yolks contain 214 to 220 milligrams of cholesterol.

Current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines suggest that most people can enjoy an egg a day - as long as they watch their overall cholesterol intake. The AHA still recommends that people consume no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day.

If you have elevated blood cholesterol levels, eating less saturated fat may be even more important than cutting back on cholesterol from food. The average egg contains only 1.5 grams of saturated fat. A diet high in saturated fat increases the amount of fat in our blood, including the amount of low density lipoprotein (LDL) - the fat and protein particles that carry cholesterol into blood vessels

Myth:White shelled eggs are more nutritious than the brown ones Fact: The nutritive value of an egg is not related to the color of the shell. Color is determined by the breed of the hen.
Myth:Cooked eggs are more digestible than raw eggs. Fact: Eggs are easily digested, whether raw or cooked by almost everyone . However, if properly cooked, eggs are slightly more digestible. It is the raw egg white that is less completely digested.
Myth:An egg with greenish-black color around the yolk is not safe to eat. Fact: The color is caused by a chemical reaction between the iron in the yolk and the sulfur in the egg white. As the egg is heated, iron and sulfur combine to form ferrous sulfide which is no way harmful.
Myth: Due to Salmonella, it is impossible to keep eggs safe to eat.

Fact: To prevent egg-related illnesses, consumers must buy, store, handle, and cook fresh eggs safely.

To reduce your risk of foodborne illness caused by Salmonella: keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook thoroughly foods containing eggs

Myth: Eggs are not healthy choice for most people.

Fact: Calorie for calorie, eggs are a nutrient-dense food. They are good source of complete protein and contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

A single egg supplies about 10% of the protein you need for a day - along with healthy doses of vitamins A, B12, D, K, and riboflavin. As a protein source, eggs are relatively inexpensive. They are versatile and quick-to-fix, easy-to-chew and digest, and enjoyed by the people of all ages.

The forgotten positives of eggs are: it is a good source of high quality protein, essential vitamins-minerals, carotenoids and choline. It provides satiety, low glycemic index, affordable and convenient. Glycemix index is a way of ranking carbohydrate foods based on the postprandial (after a meal) blood glucose response compared with a reference food. It ranks food from 0-100, depending on how much the blood sugar increases in two to three hours after digestion. Foods that breakdown quickly during digestion and cause a sudden rise in blood sugar level have high G.I's, while those that breakdown slowly or release sugar in the bloodstream gradually, have low G.I.'s.

Two large eggs contain 155 calories which can supply 6% food energy, 20% protein, 53% essential amino acids, 30% riboflavin, 12% vitamin A, 16% vitamin B12, 12% folate, 12% vitamin D, 16% phosphorus, 8% vitamin B6, 34% selenium, 8% iron, 8% zinc, and 6% vitamin E.

Lutein from dark green leafy vegetables and eggs may help prevent early atherosclerosis. Plasma lutein is affected by dietary lutein. Dietary intake of lutein rich foods has a protective effect on the progression of early artherosclerosis.

Potential role of eggs in a weight loss diet is due to effects on glycemic index and satiety.


FNRI-DOST Recommends: Increase Egg Consumption

Czarina Martinez, NCS-RUMD

    HIGHLIGHTS

  • One (1) egg per day is unlikely to have substantial increase in blood lipid levels.
  • Eggs are also a good source of minerals such as iron and phosphorous.

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) completed the study on "The Effect of Egg Consumption on Lipid Profile Among Selected 30-60 Year-old Filipino Adults". Based on the results, Mrs. Celeste C. Tanchoco, Scientist III suggests that consumption of up to one (1) egg per day is unlikely to have substantial increase in blood lipid levels.

Fresh eggs contain practically all vitamins except ascorbic acid. It is also a good source of minerals such as iron and phosphorous. It is an important source of protein. The egg white is considered a source of superior quality protein, hence, researchers in nutrition use egg white protein as the standard for measuring protein quality of food.

The egg yolk, on the other hand, is an excellent source of iron, riboflavin and vitamin A. Moreover, it contains cholesterol. The analysis on cholesterol content of egg yolk done by the FNRI-DOST revealed that it contains 731.6 mg cholesterol per 100 grams. This value is quite high, thus, we have been warned in the past to limit egg consumption to 2-3 pieces of eggs per week .

Published foreign scientific studies revealed that egg consumption increases blood cholesterol levels. Other studies however, indicate that regular egg consumption does not alter blood cholesterol levels of most individuals.

The FNRI-DOST study was conducted to determine how the blood cholesterol levels of Filipinos will respond if egg consumption is increased to one (1) egg per day. A total of 115 participants, 58 males and 57 females, ages 30-60 years old were included in the study. The participants were divided into two groups. One group started with the egg-eating phase while the second group, with eggless diet. The participants were told to live a normal life. However, participants in the egg-eating phase were requested to eat an egg a day for three months. Eggs were served daily at snacks or lunchtime during this period. After three months, they were given two weeks break period. At the end of two weeks, the participants were then requested to refrain from eating eggs or any food that may contain eggs. The second group of participants followed the same treatment schedule but stated with no egg and ended with egg-eating phase. A medical technologist was assigned to take fasting blood samples after a 12-hour fast after each phase.

The results of the study suggest that consumption of one (1) egg per day is unlikely to have substantial increase in blood lipid levels, controlling for the effect of age, gender, body weight, and dietary factors such as total energy, total fat, dietary cholesterol and fiber.

For further information on food and nutrition and other recent research studies conducted by FNRI-DOST, you may write of call Dr. Corazon VC. Barba, Director, FNRI-DOST, DOST Compound, Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan,Taguig, Metro Manila; Telefax No. (02) 837-2934 or visit FNRI-DOST website at http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph.
FNRI Media Service
FNRI-DOST Media Release for 2004


Beef Up - Feast on Meat and Eggs

Czarina Martinez, NCS-RUMD

    HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos formulated by FNRI values meat, fish, poultry, and eggs as excellent sources of high quality protein since they contain all the essential amino acids for building body proteins. Hence, these foods are very important for growth and develpment of children and the maintenance of body tissues for adults.

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) and the National Nutrition Council, Department of Agriculture (NNC-DA) conducted a research on meat and egg consumption to gather information needed for a campaign to promote meat, eggs and related products.

Meat generally refers to the part of animals that are used as food, which includes pork, beef, chevon (goat's meat), carabeef, and poultry such as chicken and duck meat.

The eggs on the other hand, are usually those from chicken, duck and quail. These are important protein foods comparable to meat, fish, and poultry.

Although there was an increase of per capita consumption of meat and egg during the last decade, the local trend is still considerably low by international standard. The study led by Dr. Zenaida N. Narciso, Supervising Science Research Specialist of FNRI-DOST, was an in-depth investigation on the current availability and promotion of meat and eggs and on insights, perceptions, attitude, and practices of consumers on these products.

It was conducted in different urban and rural areas of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, covering public elementary school children, mothers, frontline workers, and sellers as respondents.

The research generated qualitative information for the development of communication strategies and creative packaging of message and materials most appropriate for the intended audience of a campaign for the product.

According to the study, the usual animal sources of meat are swine, chicken, and cattle. These were reportedly available in the localities but affordable only to those who have money to buy or who raise their own animals for meat.

Dr. Narciso reported a very interesting dichotomy of symbolism attached to meat. Meat was associated with affluence, health, and good taste. On the other hand, it was also believed to be associated with sickness and short life.

Chicken egg was the usual type of egg available and was said to be affordable by the ordinary citizen. It was said to be valued because of the nutritional and heath benefits derived from it. Egg was perceived as an ordinary food usually eaten during breakfast.

The study revealed existing production, marketing, and promotion programs for meat and egg in the country. However, the programs were beset by problems like high cost of production, unfavorable environmental conditions not conducive to high production output, lack of logistical support such as poor farm to market roads, and the compounding competition from imported eggs and meats.

Dr. Narciso suggested strategies that may beef up local meat and egg consumption. Among the strategies mentioned were: ensuring meat and egg supply in the market, enabling people to buy meat and egg, correcting beliefs and misconception on meat and eggs, increasing consumer confidence on the products, improving product appeal and uniformity, and ensuring continuity of the campaigns.

She likewise, recommended promotional venues like organized special events and week long celebrations, the use of traditional communication channels in the community such as community organization meetings, barangay meetings, mother's class, day care class, demo farm class, and the powerful mass media.

The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos formulated by FNRI values meat, fish, poultry, and eggs as excellent sources of high quality protein since they contain all the essential amino acids for building body proteins. Hence, these foods are very important for growth and develpment of children and the maintenance of body tissues for adults.

For further information on food and nutrition and other recent research studies conducted by FNRI-DOST, you may write of call Dr. Corazon VC. Barba, Director, FNRI-DOST, DOST Compound, Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan,Taguig, Metro Manila; Telefax No. (02) 837-2934 or visit FNRI-DOST website at http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph.
FNRI Media Service
FNRI-DOST Media Release for 2004


A Review of Scientific Research and Recommendations Regarding Eggs

(Stephen B. Kritchevsky, PhD, Journal of the American College of Nutition (Dec 2004), Presented in part at the First International Symposium on Eggs and Human Health, Washington, D.C., September 23, 2003.)

    HIGHLIGHTS

  • Japan has some of the lowest rates of coronary heart disease in the developed world. As Japan has become more affluent the rates of coronary disease have continued to fall. The Japanese diet frequently incorporates eggs, but in the context of a diet relatively low total fat and saturated fat.

For much of the past 40 years, the public has been warned away from eggs because of a concern over coronary heart disease risk. This concern is based on three observations: 1. eggs are a rich source of dietary cholesterol; 2. when fed experimentally, dietary cholesterol increases serum cholesterol and; 3. high serum cholesterol predicts the onset of coronary heart disease. However, data from free-living populations show that egg consumption is not associated with higher cholesterol levels. Furthermore, as a whole, the epidemiologic literature does not support the idea that egg consumption is a risk factor for coronary disease. Within the nutritional community there is a growing appreciation that health derives from an overall pattern of diet rather than from the avoidance of particular foods, and there has been a shift in the tone in recent dietary recommendations away from “avoidance” messages to ones that promote healthy eating patterns. The most recent American Heart Association guidelines no longer include a recommendation to limit egg consumption, but recommend the adoption of eating practices associated with good health. Based on the epidemiologic evidence, there is no reason to think that such a healthy eating pattern could not include eggs.

Guidelines Revisited
The most recent guidelines from the AHA represent a departure from the past. There is a recognition that simply avoiding certain foods or certain nutrients will not lead to better health if the diet as a whole is inadequate. The revised recommendations are centered the selection of healthy foods. They recommend limiting foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol, but do not specifically recommend either avoiding or limiting eggs to a certain number. The advisory group recommended that individuals limit their cholesterol intake to under 300 mg/day, but acknowledge that “[t]his target can be readily achieved, even with periodic consumption of eggs and shellfish.” The shift in focus towards healthy eating patterns is part of broader trend in dietary research looking at dietary patterns rather than specific foods or nutrients. This is due, in part, to the recognition that diets based on certain cultural patterns of eating (e.g., the Mediterranean pattern) may lead to lower coronary risk than those based on minimizing saturated fat and cholesterol intake. In this context, it should be noted that there are dietary patterns associated with good cardiovascular health in which eggs play a prominent role. Japan has some of the lowest rates of coronary heart disease in the developed world. As Japan has become more affluent the rates of coronary disease have continued to fall. The Japanese diet frequently incorporates eggs, but in the context of a diet relatively low total fat and saturated fat. Interestingly, over the period of declining heart disease rates in Japan, per capita egg consumption increased. Thus, the Japanese experience suggests that egg consumption is consistent with low coronary risk in the context of an otherwise heart healthy diet.

Egg News Bites


    HIGHLIGHTS

  • No association between weekly egg consumption and coronary heart disease or stroke.
  • Around 4 small eggs per week is great

Eggs and heart disease - Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health who followed a large group of nurses (about 80,000) for 14 years found that there was no association between weekly egg consumption and coronary heart disease or stroke. These same investigtaors also examined this egg/cardiovascular disease relationship in more than 37,000 male health professionals followed for 8 years. Again there was not association between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease. Japan and France have low rates of death from heart disease compared with most other developed countries and both populations are high consumers of eggs. (Reference: Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB et al. JAMA 1999; 281: 1387-1394); by Professor Wahlqvist & Dr Kouris-Blazos (www.healthyeatingclub.org)

Do eggs affect blood cholesterol levels? Cholesterol from an egg can affect blood cholesterol levels in two ways. First, there are individual differences in the way people respond to certain foods. People who have high cholesterol levels are more likely to show a greater increase for the same amount of cholesterol in food than those whose blood cholesterol levels are initially lower. Secondly, different food habits or patterns can also influence the effect of egg consumption on blood cholesterol levels. Individuals who eat eggs and have a diet that is high in saturated fat (mainly from animal foods) are more likely to elevate their cholesterol levels than people who eat eggs and have a diet that's low in saturated fat. For example, bacon and egg on toast spread with butter is going to have a greater impact on blood cholesterol levels than an omelette consumed with salad. In other words, the saturated fat content of our diet has a greater impact on our cholesterol levels than the cholesterol content of our diet. This is because the absolute quantity of fat consumed in an average diet is much greater than the amount of cholesterol consumed and because saturated fat can be converted to cholesterol in the body.

So, if one has a high intake of saturated fats, derived mainly from animal fats (e.g butter, meat, dairy) as well as processed/commercial foods containing vegetable shortening/fat (e.g certain cakes, biscuits, sandwich spreads, fast food) their cholesterol levels may rise. In contrast, if one has an egg daily and a high intake of plant foods, but a low intake of animal fats and vegetable shortening (made by the super-hydrogenation of vegetable oil till it becomes more saturated

and hard like butter) their cholesterol levels will most likely be within the acceptable range. by Professor Wahlqvist & Dr Kouris-Blazos (www.healthyeatingclub.org)

How many eggs a week? Around 4 small eggs per week is great. For example, try to have at least one egg meal a week such as omelette or spinach/ricotta/egg parcels or vegetarian lasagna containing boiled eggs. If you have a cholesterol level less than 5mmol/l and if you have a low intake of animal fats you can have 1-2 eggs daily if you wish. If your cholesterol level is >7mmol/l or if you have diabetes or other heart disease risk factors (like hypertension or smoking) it is advisable to limit intake to 1-2 a week. Also, remember that eggs are a 'meat alternative' - this means that when you have an egg meal it counts as a 'serving of red meat' - which is great news for vegetarians.

From a social aspect, eggs have a wide cultural acceptance, being used in cooking worldwide. They are convenient and a benchmark indicator of whether one has the ability to cook. Additionally they are consumed by every generation from childhood to later life and given their nutrient density are especially valuable for the elderly, as energy expenditure and intake decline. Yet it is older people who have, in developed countries, been reluctant to eat eggs because of concerns about heart disease. In their own way, eggs are an affordable functional food, serving a purpose for everyone and every culture. by Professor Wahlqvist & Dr Kouris-Blazos (www.healthyeatingclub.org)

The Updated Egg: Less Cholesterol, But Is It a 'Healthy' Food? - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Tuesday that in its routine reevaluations of the nutritional content of foods, it discovered that domestic chicken eggs — which hadn't been looked at since 2002 — has had something of a nutritional makeover. Compared with the egg of 2002, the current-day egg has 14% less cholesterol and 64% more vitamin D. A large egg now has 185 mg of cholesterol and 41 IU of Vitamin D, down from 212 mg of cholesterol and up from 18 IU of Vitamin D. It also still contains 70 calories and 6 g of protein.

That eggs have less cholesterol than before is good news, but does it mean you can eat more of them? According to the USDA's recently updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the average adult should get no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day, so one egg still contains more than half the recommended daily amount. And honestly, who eats just one egg? Eggs may be healthier than we thought, but they're still a food to enjoy in moderation.


Eggs and your heart

(UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, March 2008)

    HIGHLIGHTS

  • Eggs do not raise blood cholesterol in most people—and they may even be good for your heart in some ways.
  • A pivotal study from Harvard in 1999, of nearly 120,000 men and women, found no association between eggs—up to one a day—and heart disease

Eggs have a bad reputation because of their high cholesterol content: 210 milligrams in the yolk of a large egg. But, in fact, they do not raise blood cholesterol in most people—and they may even be good for your heart in some ways. Here’s the latest on eggs.

You may be surprised to learn that dietary cholesterol, found in animal foods, raises blood cholesterol in only about one-third of people. And, as shown in some egg studies, dietary cholesterol causes the body to produce HDL ("good") cholesterol along with LDL ("bad") cholesterol in these "hyper-responders," thus helping offset potential adverse effects. Moreover, the LDL particles that form are larger in size—and larger LDL particles are thought to be less dangerous than small ones. In studies at the University of Connecticut, for example, eating three eggs a day for 30 days increased cholesterol in susceptible people, but their LDL particles were larger, and there was no change in the ratio between LDL and HDL, which suggests no major change in coronary risk.

More significantly, eggs do not appear to contribute to heart disease in most people. A pivotal study from Harvard in 1999, of nearly 120,000 men and women, found no association between eggs—up to one a day—and heart disease, except in people with diabetes. Nor did it find a link between eggs and strokes. Studies since then have similarly vindicated eggs, including a Japanese study of more than 90,000 middle-aged people in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2006,

and a study in 2007 from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which both found no link between frequent egg consumption and heart disease. In light of these findings, recommendations about eggs have changed over the years, and cholesterol guidelines, in general, are being rethought.

The unsaturated fats and other nutrients, including B vitamins, in eggs may even be beneficial to heart health. It’s the saturated-fat-rich foods that typically accompany eggs (bacon, sausage, cheese, and biscuits) and how eggs are often prepared (fried in lots of butter) that can raise blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. A large egg has only 1.5 grams of saturated fat and about 70 calories. A Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit from McDonald’s, on the other hand, has 11 grams of saturated fat and 1,360 milligrams of sodium (more than half the daily limit for these nutrients) and 450 calories.

Good for your eyes . . . and maybe your waist

• Egg yolks are a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin, relatives of beta carotene that may help keep eyes healthy and have been linked to a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration. Not only are these carotenoids well-absorbed and better used by the body than those from spinach or supplements, but a study in the Journal of Nutrition in 2006 also found that women eating six eggs a week for 12 weeks had increased macular pigment, which is thought to protect the retina of the eye from the damaging effects of light.

• There’s some evidence that eggs promote satiety, due in part to their protein. In a study of overweight women, reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2005, those who had two eggs for breakfast felt fuller afterwards and ate significantly fewer calories at lunch than women who had a bagel-based breakfast with the same number of calories.

Words to the wise: Eggs are good food. Most people can eat one or two a day. Just don’t mess them up by preparing them with fatty, salty ingredients or serving them with unhealthy side dishes.

Keep in mind that even if it’s okay for most people to consume more cholesterol than previously advised, this does not change recommendations to limit saturated and trans fats (from partially hydrogenated oils), as these fats affect blood cholesterol levels more than the cholesterol you eat does. Only a few foods—notably eggs, shrimp, and squid—are very high in cholesterol anyway—and they are low in saturated fat. The biggest problem with meat and dairy foods is not their cholesterol, but their high saturated fat content, which is why you should choose lean cuts and low-fat varieties.


Eggs: Dietary Friend or Foe?
Nutritionists are taking a fresh look at the health benefits of eggs.

By Star Lawrence, WebMD Feature (www.medicinenet.com)

    HIGHLIGHTS

  • According to the Journal of the American College of Nutritionfound that eggs tended to satisfy obese and overweight subjects more than a bagel breakfast with an equal calorie count. Eggs might even be a good diet food!
  • People who eat eggs have been shown to have better diets, perhaps -- scientists speculate -- because they tend to eat breakfast, especially eggy ones. "Eggs have both fat and protein," a Nutritionist from Colorado State University in Fort Collins adds. "These increase a sense of fullness."

How could anyone hate an egg?
Yet, 20 years ago, the dietary naysayers decided that the cholesterol in eggs was translating to artery-clogging cholesterol in the blood -- and eggs splattered onto the no-no list.

Finally, some scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health looked at a population of 117,000 nurses who had been followed for eight to 14 years and found no difference in heart disease risk between those who ate one egg a week and those who ate more than one egg a day.

Another study reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutritionfound that eggs tended to satisfy obese and overweight subjects more than a bagel breakfast with an equal calorie count. Eggs might even be a good diet food!

Nutritionists Weigh In

"I am very happy with eggs," Ruth Kava, PhD, RD, director of nutrition for the American Council on Science and Health, tells WebMD. "Eggs have a high nutritional value, an excellent quality of protein, are only 70 to 80 calories each, and are not high in fat."

Patricia Kendall, PhD, RD, professor and food and nutrition specialist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, tells WebMD she agrees that the cholesterol in eggs should not put them on the roster of the forbidden.

On the Food Guide Pyramid put out by the government, eggs are part of the protein-rich food group of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. Two to three servings from this group are recommended each day. One egg would be equal to one-third to one-half of a serving from this group.

The American Heart Association says that one egg a day is acceptable, but to keep in mind the cholesterol in that egg along with the other foods that you eat in the day. Those with heart disease, diabetes, or a high level of LDL 'bad' cholesterol should probably choose a small or medium egg vs. larger ones which have more cholesterol. Remember that egg whites have no cholesterol.

A large egg represents less than 4% of the daily calorie intake of a person eating 2,000 calories a day; it provides 10% of a person's daily recommended protein, and valuable iron, B vitamins, and minerals, including the folate recommended for pregnant women.

Egg Safety

People who eat eggs have been shown to have better diets, perhaps -- scientists speculate -- because they tend to eat breakfast, especially eggy ones. "Eggs have both fat and protein," Kendall adds. "These increase a sense of fullness."

Of course, questions have also been raised about food-borne illnesses involving eggs. One out of 20,000 eggs may be contaminated withsalmonella, bacteria that can cause extreme intestinal distress. The secret to avoiding this is to cook eggs thoroughly, Kendall says. Eggs should also be stored appropriately in the refrigerator and promptly eaten after cooking.

"It's better not to have the yolk runny," Kava agrees. "The extreme elderly and immunosuppressed should be extra careful or not eat eggs." Kendall says you can even get eggs that are pasteurized to kill bacteria inside the shells. To avoid hard cooking, the heat levels are kept low, but are still effective.