Nutrition Unscrambled

The Egg is Incredible

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

What makes them incredible? Eggs are one of nature’s most nourishing creations and an Egg A Day is OK for everyone! Eggs are an affordable, convenient source of high quality protein with varying amounts of the 13 essential vitamins and minerals. To top it off they are only 70 calories, so it is considered a nutrient dense food meaning a high amount of nutrition compared to their calorie content. In addition, scientists often use egg protein as the standard against which they judge all other proteins. Based on the essential amino acids it provides, egg protein is second only to mother’s milk for human nutrition. All this great nutrition for only 15 cents an egg!

Where are the nutrients in an egg-the white or an egg yolk? Here are some highlights: 60 % of the protein is found in the white and 40 % of the protein is in the yolk. However, many of the other key vitamins and minerals are found primarily in the yolk-choline, vitamin D, selenium, riboflavin, phosphorus, B12 and more. Cholesterol is also found in the yolk, but more than 40 years of research has shown that healthy adults can eat eggs without significantly affecting their risk for heart disease. You can see this side by side comparison of the egg and egg white at

Happy Friday and check out the Facebook post from Incredible Edible Egg for a review of the lower cholesterol information as well as a recipe for mini breakfast pizzas.

Vitamin D and the Sunny Side of Eggs

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
November 8th, 2011

While USA Today discussed how important Vitamin D is and that many people are deficient, they forgot to mention that eggs are a natural and good source of Vitamin D. For those who aren’t aware, the USDA recently reviewed the egg nutrient data and results show that one Grade A, large egg contains 41 IU of vitamin D, 65 percent higher than the amount reported in the last nutrient analysis.

Egg Nutrition Center recently released a press release on the Sunny Side of Eggs. We as health professionals are aware of the many implications Vitamin D deficiency may have on health-one particular role is Vitamin D and Calcium in bone health and preventing osteoporosis. It will be interesting to see how the research emerges on the Vitamin D issue, but for now adding more natural vitamin D, along with high-quality protein and 12 other essential vitamins and minerals is simple with eggs (and remember it is the company an egg shares-think of MyPlate, not foods high in calories and saturated fat).

Crab & Asparagus Frittata

By Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD
May 19th, 2011

This week as the weather on the east coast gets warmer and school lets out, it’s time for coming out from our shelters and reuniting with the people who you share either a street address, an end of the year school celebration or just catching up with friends. I plan to join some neighbors this weekend at their open house/barbeque and have been asked to bring something to share.

 Usually I bring some vegetable dish because they are generally in short supply when the focus at the barbeque is the much loved hot dog/hamburger. However, this year I’m thinking it may be more appreciated if I brought some alternative to the high fat meats. Although we always think of eggs as a breakfast food too often accompanied by high fat sausage or bacon, I think an attractive frittata Crab & Asparagus Frittata  that can be cut into wedges makes the perfect food to compliment the usual potato salads and beans that are ubiquitous at outdoor barbeques.

 This is a great time of year to capitalize on the availability of asparagus, loaded with fiber and vitamin C to balance the 13 other vitamins and minerals in the eggs.

 My favorite recipe is a crab and asparagus frittata which makes an attractive dish, incorporates a Maryland favorite- crab which is a low calorie, low fat, tasty source of protein. This recipe adds a vegetable such as red pepper and green onions, rich in vitamin A and C, for a delicious and nutrient dense alternative to the plain old hot dog/hamburger fare that others will be eating.  At 224 calories per serving, I’m happy to offer this to my neighbors as a healthier change of pace to the usual barbeque fare.

D.C. Area Dietetic Association Meeting

By Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD
May 13th, 2011

Just when you feel you’ve been to enough meetings one last meeting makes it all worthwhile. Last weekend I attended the DCMADA (DC Metro Area Dietetic Association) 2011 annual meeting held in Bethesda, Maryland. The obvious benefit of networking with colleagues and visiting sponsor’s table top presentations needs no further discussion. However, the opportunities for learning from an impressive lineup of speakers may not be so obvious.

Despite the fact that I am not currently employed in a clinical setting I found the presentation from Leigh-Anne Wooten about her experiences getting order writing privileges for dietitians at Georgetown University Hospital gave me a picture of how the appreciation for RD professionalism has increased and how strong willed characters can move mountains when they believe in their cause.

On a very different note, Dr. Patsy Brannon from Cornell University who served on the IOM committee to determine a DRI for vitamin D gave a riveting discussion about the research that was considered in making the new vitamin recommendations that were released this past fall. Dr. Brannon explained the obstacles for establishing appropriate level of intake for vitamin D which are unique to this hormone because it is endogenously produced, yet conditionally dependent on varying levels of sun exposure. She presented a slide which got my attention when she pointed out that an egg is one of the few natural sources of vitamin D.

Unfortunately, she did not have the most recent nutrient data for eggs which found a large egg provides 41IU of vitamin D making a good source. I did speak with her after her presentation and promised to share this USDA data with her.

Later in the day, there was a very interesting presentation from Ellen Karlin, a registered dietitian who counsels patients with allergies in her practice at the Comprehensive Asthma and Allergy Center in Owings Mills, MD. She offered insights into how difficult it is for patients who cannot control or get accurate information about the ingredients in foods in their environments. She did discuss the latest recommendations about allergies, which suggests that no food should be avoided after weaning at 4-6 months unless there is documented evidence of allergic reaction. This contradicts the old wisdom which in the case of eggs were not generally considered safe to include in an infant’s diet until 1-2yrs.

I also learned a lot from speakers who participated in panel discussions about Nutrition and Food Policy as well as communication differences between generations in the workplace. I’m very glad I took the opportunity to spend my Saturday learning from others in my profession who practice so differently than where I’m currently employed.

Give Eggs the Company they Deserve

By Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD
March 7th, 2011

When observing focus groups around the country which included physicians, nurses, dietitians and personal trainers it was interesting to see how these health professionals viewed eggs and dietary cholesterol.  Most health professionals felt eggs were a healthy food choice especially compared to available alternatives. In fact, it was often heard that eggs got a bad rap and they did not feel that the food deserved to be the icon of indulgence. What we heard is that eggs offered many valuable nutrients lacking in their patient’s diets and suggested an egg is a better choice than sweetened cereals, breakfast bars or donuts. What concerned most health professionals were what other foods people choose to eat with eggs. They generally agreed that eggs need to choose new friends and could be considered healthy if they weren’t accompanied by the saturated fat and sodium found in other breakfast foods. This striking misperception is often exemplified in restaurant menus that list egg white omelets accompanied by high fat and high sodium bacon or sausage with white toast as the healthy choice, giving the impression that egg yolks are the unhealthy element.

 In fact, scientific research has shown that the egg yolk supplies about 40% of the high quality protein in an egg important for muscle building and retaining muscle especially when aging or losing weight. The yolk is also known as a naturally good source of vitamin D, lutein and choline, all nutrients that are needed for health. What makes eggs especially healthy is that they can be a great vehicle for eating vegetables and whole grains that supply many other important nutrients making an egg breakfast done right a great way to start the day. To me, the recent research that showed eating eggs at breakfast did indeed keep one satisfied for longer than an isocaloric bagel breakfast confirmed that eggs at breakfast is the healthiest choice to make.

~ Marcia

Incredible Launch of Lower Cholesterol and Vitamin D News

By Mitch Kanter, Ph.D.
February 11th, 2011


Just returned from a great couple of days in New York City, where AEB/ENC hosted a luncheon event for editors of many of the major health magazines located in NY, as well as a promotional event at Grand Central Station in Manhattan. The primary reason for hosting these activities was to announce the new USDA results indicating that eggs have 14% less cholesterol than previously reported. But, as often happens at these sorts of gatherings, we discussed a number of other topical issues as well with the editors and with consumers at the Grand Central Station event.

The Editors Luncheon consisted of presentations by Dr. David Katz from Yale Griffin Hospital and me. Dr. Katz discussed issues pertaining to diet, cholesterol intake and cardiovascular health. His presentation helped to dispel many of the myths surrounding dietary cholesterol intake and CHD. My presentation focused more on protein needs, and some of the newer literature linking protein intake to satiety and food intake. I also discussed our emerging understanding of macronutrient intake in general, and how former recommendations for carbohydrate intake vs. protein and fat needs were being challenged a bit by newer data indicating a greater need for protein throughout the day, and particularly at the breakfast meal.

At the Grand Central Station event, commuters on their way to and from work stopped by to eat a free egg meal, to participate in a program in which egg farmers donated eggs to the needy, and to meet with egg farmers and nutrition specialists from The Egg Nutrition Center. A lot of insightful questions were posed by the attendees about chicken feed, humane treatment of animals, and dietary needs in relation to health conditions.

All-in-all, a rewarding and fun couple of days. A great way to share new news about diet and health.         

 - Mitch

New USDA Analysis: Egg are 14% Lower in Cholesterol

By Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD
February 8th, 2011

There are many who think our food supply is unhealthy and getting more so. But, according to new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition data, many of our naturally produced foods are actually healthier than during our parent’s childhood. Beef and pork cuts are leaner, lower fat choices of milk and cheese are widely available and now the egg, already low in saturated fat, has been found to be lower in dietary cholesterol and qualifies as a good source of vitamin D. The USDA recently reviewed the nutrient composition of standard large eggs, and results show the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg, 14 percent lower than previously recorded.   The analysis also revealed that large eggs now contain 41 IU of Vitamin D, an increase of 64 percent.

This is wonderful news, since for a long time public health organizations have been continuing to advise people to restrict their dietary cholesterol based on old, less sophisticated research techniques than those used by scientists today. Unlike most countries around the globe who have looked at the science and decided that the evidence is lacking to continue to confuse people with guidance which restricts dietary cholesterol , the US continues to include a 300mg dietary cholesterol restriction in its dietary guidelines. The good news is that it is so much easier to include the many beneficial nutrients that an egg supplies in your diet daily without having to consider your dietary cholesterol intake. Unless of course, you often consume foods containing a great deal of solid fats and added sugar which unlike eggs and seafood that are naturally low in unhealthful fats and added sugars, can complicate your heart disease risk.  One look at the nutrition facts panel, and it’s easy to see why eating an egg daily is a healthy practice that our grandparents understood and valued.



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.

Upcoming ENC Activities


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.