Nutrition Unscrambled

Bite Into Breakfast and You May Also Take a Bite Out of Diabetes

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
April 30th, 2012

Today’s blog post is written by Allison Fischer, Dietetic Intern at Loyola University.


By now you have most certainly heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There are many benefits to eating breakfast – positive impacts on learning and memory, increased likelihood of meeting daily nutrient intake recommendations, lower BMI, and avoiding weight gain. Another study area is relationship between breakfast consumption and decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes (TD2).

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the relationship between eating patterns and T2D risk in men. Almost 30,000 health professionals were followed twenty years and provided information regarding their medical histories, lifestyles and health related behaviors. Their diets were assessed according to reported foods eaten and dietary patterns based on when and how often they ate daily. Diet quality was reflected as a prudent diet (increased fruit, vegetable, fish, poultry, and whole grain consumption) or a Western diet (increased red and processed meats, French fries, high-fat dairy, refined grains, sweets, and dessert consumption). This information was then synthesized to evaluate health habits and diabetes risks.

Out of all the men in the study, 83% consumed breakfast. These men generally had healthier lifestyle factors – slightly lower BMIs, smoked less, exercised more, better diet quality, consumed less alcohol and more cereal fiber, and drank less coffee. After adjusting for age, there was a 50% greater risk for T2D in men who did not eat breakfast versus the men who did. This was significant even after adjusting for other dietary and T2D risk factors. Even after adjusting for BMI (well known to correlate with T2D risk), skipping breakfast resulted in a 21% greater risk. The most significant increased risk came from skipping breakfast and having a Western dietary pattern, than for each factor separately.

While there is still work to be done to better understand the link between breakfast and diabetes, here is just one more reason to encourage getting the day off to a healthful start. Be sure to fill your plate with healthy foods, including a quality protein, fruits or vegetables, low or no fat dairy and complex carbohydrates. Fuel yourself for a healthy day and a healthy future!

Updates on Choline and Pregnancy

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
April 27th, 2012

Today’s blog post is written by Allison Fischer, Dietetic Intern at Loyola University. Allison is doing a rotation at ENC and completes her internship in May 2012.


Updates on Choline and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a nutritionally significant period of life and a healthful and balanced diet is required to support proper growth and development of the baby and mother. Choline is an essential, but not a widely known nutrient for which mothers have increased needs during pregnancy. An interview with Cornell researcher, Dr Marie Caudill, highlights the significance of choline and further research endeavors.

Choline is required for proper cell functioning, cognitive functioning, and stress modulation. Adequate maternal intake can have significant long term impact on the child such as improved memory and learning. It is also believed that reductions in stress hormones mediated by choline can improve the temperament of babies and reduce future anxiety and stress related diseases. While choline can be taken later in life, choline exposure in utero has a stronger effect over time.

For more information make sure to check out The Scientist: Prof. Caudill Researches the Effects of Choline on Fetal Development in the Cornell Daily Sun and be on the lookout for her published findings in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Experimental Biology 2012

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
April 27th, 2012

The ENC team just returned from Experimental Biology (EB) in San Diego. This was my first EB- if you have never been it is crazy starting with the giant book you receive at check-in. A fellow tweeter said “pace yourself” and this was a great piece of advice for this conference! Protein was a hot topic in the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) section. In addition, I loved seeing the variety of research posters presented (including those by researchers conducting ENC related research). Here was a press release from the event.
Fast forward to Friday after the conference, my brain is still full of new information and things to check out. More blog posts to come on research topics.

ENC Expands Personal Trainer Outreach

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
April 13th, 2012

The recent American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health & Fitness Summit offered a unique opportunity to engage with fitness professionals, a core target audience, and showcase ENC’s expertise and resources. This event had several touch points to the Personal Trainers including pre-conference marketing, which drove traffic to the booth. We also attended the workout sessions and sponsored an education session.

We highlighted the new Protein Trainer Toolkit with a continuing education credit opportunity at the booth and the workout sessions. ENC hosted an education session “Stronger, Healthier Boomers: The Role of Resistance Training and High Quality Protein” presented by Dr. Wayne Campbell, PhD and Nicole Nichols, Personal Trainer. This session was well received and participants were engaged. This was a great event to get to know this target audience better.

Energy balance and its components

By Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD
April 5th, 2012

Recently, and without much public notice, a consensus statement was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which I think is monumental in understanding why losing and maintaining body weight is so difficult. This 6 page analysis of what is currently known in scientific circles about energy balance discounts the dogma that nearly all diet programs are founded upon; the notion that a pound of body weight is equal to 3500 kilocalories. Hence, most if not all weight loss programs have erroneously been built around the unproven but widely accepted “fact” that reducing dietary intake by 3500 kilocalories per week will lead to a loss of a pound a week.

The American Society for Nutrition and the International Life Sciences Institute formed a taskforce in May of 2011 charged with the goal of clarifying what is known about energy balance and their findings should be enlightening:

• Energy balance is a complex system involving many individualized factors including components of intake, output and storage which interact with each other. Those who “gain weight at the sight of food” will be comforted at the recognition that resting energy expenditure (REE) varies between and within individuals and cannot be explained by body composition. The study also remarks that there is a hierarchy of macronutrient effects on the magnitude of the thermal effect of food (TEF), which means isocaloric amounts of protein has a greater effect on TEF than carbohydrate or fat. So a calorie is not always a calorie, regardless of the source.

• Another interesting conclusion is that short term weight loss is really a reflection of a temporary energy imbalance. What the panel felt was a key point was that energy balance as a concept depends on the time over which it is considered. We generally compensate for energy imbalances over the short term but over the long term our intake and our expenditure don’t vary greatly. Since dietary carbohydrate intake has an impact on renal sodium excretion, which results in changes in extracellular fluid, short term changes in macronutrient composition despite calories being held constant, are not reflective of changes in body weight. As an example, every 10 calorie reduction in energy/day will lead to an eventual loss of 1 pound when the body weight reaches a new steady state. It will take nearly a year to achieve 50% and about 3 years to achieve 95% of this weight loss.

• A caution that this paper suggests is that people tend to compensate for increased exercise with elevating food intake and reductions in physical activity at other times of the day. When people who are attempting to lose weight reach a plateau, the authors state that it is not due to metabolic slowing but to failure to comply with their diet. Often this is due to biological and psychological drives to eat which are hard to control.

These experts conclude that since it is expected to take a relatively long time for human body weight and composition changes to occur, it is important not to have unreasonable expectations about the impact of dietary or exercise changes on body weight. More research needs to be done especially to identify the mechanism(s) responsible for how and why we compensate for differences in energy intake.

Eggs are Great for Any Tradition, but Keep Them Safe

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
April 3rd, 2012

Easter and Passover are both approaching fast and traditionally eggs are a big part of both holidays. Many Passover recipes use eggs as a key ingredient. From casseroles to deviled eggs, there are many ways to celebrate this time. If you always make the regular deviled eggs, try them with a twist put new ingredients in them. Decorating eggs is another fun activity that happens this time of year! You can even use natural dyes from foods such as beets, blueberries, coffee grounds and more.

Remember to keep your eggs safe during these festive times and year round!
We don’t usually focus on egg safety, but with the holidays I thought it might be a nice to review
General Egg Safety.

It is easy to keep eggs safe if you remember to Cook, Clean, Chill and Separate
• Cook
• Eggs should be cooked until the whites and yolks are firm or, for dishes containing eggs, until an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit is reached because Salmonella is destroyed by the heat of cooking.
• Do not eat raw eggs.
• Clean
• Clean your hands, as well as the surfaces and utensils that come into contact with raw eggs – an important step for avoiding cross-contamination.
• Cool
• Keep eggs in the main section of the refrigerator at a temperature between 33 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit – eggs accidentally left at room temperature should be discarded after two hours, or one hour in warm weather.
• Separate
• Separate eggs from other foods in your grocery cart, grocery bags and in the refrigerator to prevent cross-contamination.

For Coloring Eggs
See the for great coloring and safety tips.

With all the festivities and fun, don’t forget to make Egg salad for Egg Salad Week starting April 9th!


Nutrition Unscrambled  is written by nutrition experts with the Egg Nutrition Center, which is funded by the American Egg Board. It is monitored and maintained by the public relations agency of record. The mission of the Egg Nutrition Center is to be a credible source of nutrition and health science information and the acknowledged leader in research and education related to eggs. For more information, click here.

About the Bloggers

Mitch Kanter, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about
Mitch, click here.
Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD is the Senior Director, Nutrition Education at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Marcia, click here.
Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN is the Program Manager, Nutrition Research and Communications at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Anna, click here.

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All information provided within this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and it is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. Please consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or before making changes to your diet or health behaviors.