Rec·i·pe: a medical prescription

Featured article in the Fall 2016 Issue of Nutrition Close-Up; written by ENC’s Rachel Bassler, RDN, CSSD, LDN

According to Google, the archaic definition for the word “recipe” is “a medical prescription.” As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I think this definition couldn’t be more appropriate for how recipes should be thought of – a prescription to add nutritious and delicious food into one’s dietary pattern.

There is huge consumer demand for recipes. The social media platform Pinterest is (almost) entirely dedicated to them. And recipes are a great vehicle to entice Americans to eat healthier, more nutritious foods.

Therefore, the Egg Nutrition Center has decided to launch a new recipe page, with recipe categories like Protein Powerhouse, Put an Egg on It, Mediterranean, Fueling Fitness, and more!

In order to be responsible and committed to overall health, we have been working to create nutrition criteria for the recipes that will be included and promoted on our website. Often times when health-oriented food brands and commodity organizations develop new recipes, they take into account the recommendations set forth by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans or health organizations, like the American Heart Association. In the past, these recommendations included very specific guidance on foods and nutrients, such as specific levels of nutrients to avoid. As such, sometimes nutrientrich foods like unsaturated oils or eggs were difficult to include, since they would cause the recipe to exceed the threshold for total fat or cholesterol in recipe guidelines.

However, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, along with most health organizations, have shifted from food- and nutrient-focused dietary guidance to an emphasis on overall eating patterns. They note the importance of including a variety of healthy foods in the diet and offer other advice such as focus on fat quality versus quantity and not on a specific cholesterol limit, since recent studies show that it does not increase risk for heart disease.

ENC’s recipe nutrition criteria will follow suit. Instead of focusing on specific levels of fat, cholesterol and other nutrients, we will ensure that each recipe includes nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean protein and oils, at appropriate amounts to help individuals eat a well-rounded meal or snack in moderation.

So stay tuned for tasty and nutritious recipes at And if you’re ever interested in contributing a recipe or having one featured, please let us know!

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