Eggs essential to top 3 healthy diets

23059222_originalThey’re considered by many to be among nature’s most perfect foods, and nutritionists are increasingly touting their health benefits.

That’s convenient for the rest of us, since eggs are also among the world’s most versatile treats. Think tasty Eggs Benedict, warm hash brown frittata, refreshing egg salad, savory egg-fried rice or sweet and creamy egg custard.

Not only can the compact and creamy protein be incorporated into a huge range of main dishes, side dishes and desserts, but it also works perfectly with many of today’s popular eating patterns. In fact, eggs are recommended in all three eating plans promoted by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture in their dietary report released last year: The Healthy U.S.-Style Pattern, the Healthy Mediterranean-Style Pattern and the Healthy Vegetarian Pattern. The Mediterranean diet, for example, focuses on nutrient-dense foods and recommends that breakfasts feature a quality protein like eggs along with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Of course, eggs are also gluten-free.

“Eggs are a nutrient power-house and one of the most wholesome ways to start your day,” says registered dietitian, Lyssie Lakatos. “Not only are they low in calories and an excellent source of protein that can keep you satiated for hours, but their endless versatility makes it easy to prepare them ahead of time for a healthy grab-and-go snack.”

Not all eggs are created equal

23059222_originalConsumers should know, however, that not all eggs are created equal, and the diets of the hens that lay them plays a significant part. Eggland’s Best eggs offer the benefit of five times the Vitamin D and 25 percent less saturated fat than ordinary eggs. EB eggs are also packed with other important nutrients including three times the Vitamin B12, more than twice the omega-3s, 10 times the Vitamin E and 38 percent more lutein than regular eggs.

Eggland’s Best’s superior nutritional profile is due to EB’s proprietary, all-vegetarian diet of healthy grains, canola oil and a supplement of rice brain, alfalfa, sea kelp and Vitamin E. In addition, the hens’ feed contains no added hormones, antibiotics, steroids, animal by-products, or recycled or processed foods. The resulting eggs are produced locally throughout the U.S. so they are delivered farm fresh to your local supermarket.  In fact, a recent independent study showed that Eggland’s Best eggs stay fresher longer than ordinary eggs.

“I always look to provide my family and clients with the best, and Eggland’s Best eggs are just that,” said Lakatos. “I tell my clients to include foods that are the biggest nutritional bang for your calorie buck, and Eggland’s Best eggs offer more for your calories since they are much higher in essential nutrients – and all for only 60 calories!”

See a recipe below by Eggland’s Best that is perfect for those following the Mediterranean diet:

Mediterranean Baked Eggs

Ingredients

4 Eggland’s Best Eggs (large)

2 cups frozen  hash brown potatoes

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium (3/4 cup) onion, chopped

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 (6-ounce) bag fresh spinach leaves

6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 small (1/2 cup) tomato, chopped

4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves

Preparation

Heat oven to 400°F. Butter 4 (each 8-ounces & 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch deep) individual glass or ceramic baking dishes.Spoon 1/2 cup potatoes evenly onto bottom of each baking dish.Bake 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are very lightly browned.Melt butter in 12-inch skillet until sizzling; add onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until vegetables are softened.Add spinach leaves; continue cooking, turning spinach often, 4-5 minutes or until spinach is wilted.Add whipping cream, garlic, salt and pepper; continue cooking 1 minute.Add tomato, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and basil.Spread mixture over partially cooked potatoes; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.Using a spoon, make an indentation in center of mixture in each baking dish.Crack 1 egg into each indentation. Bake 18-20 minutes or until yolks are set or yolk temperature reaches 160°F.

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