The Egg Nutrition Center partnered with Kim Hoban, RDN, CDN, CPT to write this blog post.
The release of the 2020 Scientific Report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) brings anticipation of the final recommendations for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Beginning in 2015, the USDA developed three different healthy food patterns that are mentioned in the report: U.S. Style Pattern, Vegetarian Pattern and Mediterranean Style Pattern. Rather than focusing on the differences in these eating patterns, let’s consider that each shares core components, such as encouraging a variety of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. In addition, these patterns all emphasize protein and fats from nutrient-rich sources.
Nutrient-rich eggs are a good or excellent source of eight essential nutrients including high-quality protein, but they can also be a flavorful and fun vessel for other nutritious foods. If a goal is to eat more plant-based foods, eggs pair well with vegetables, grains, legumes and more. Plus, the fat-soluble vitamins in vegetables (vitamins A, D, E and K) are better absorbed with dietary fat from eggs.
Here are some simple strategies and recipe ideas to increase vegetable intake with eggs:
- Add your favorite vegetables to an omelet or vegetable frittata
- Stir sauteed leafy greens into scrambled eggs
- Crack eggs into shakshuka
- Prepare veggie-filled egg muffins for an on-the-go breakfast
- Top your favorite salad with hard boiled eggs to bump up the protein
- Mix chopped celery into an egg salad sandwich
- Put an egg on it: savory oatmeal, that is!
- Include veggies and eggs in a homemade fried rice
When it comes to heart health, the 2015 DGAC removed cholesterol from the list of nutrients of public health concern, and this conclusion remained unchanged in the 2020 DGAC Scientific Report. Plus in 2019, a nutrition committee with the American Heart Association published an advisory recognizing that despite containing cholesterol, eggs fit well into a heart-healthy eating pattern. This review contains even more information on the emerging science on eggs, cholesterol and heart health.
No matter what dietary pattern you choose to follow, eggs provide high-quality protein and essential nutrients, as well as a vehicle for including even more plant-based and health-promoting foods into your diet.