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National Egg Day: An Egg-cellent Source of Nutrition

Nifa Author
Rachel Dotson, Public Affairs Specialist (Social Media)

With 6% of Vitamin A, 6.3 grams of protein and 75 calories in one egg, the egg is an important food for those who want to stay fit or lose weight.

On National Egg Day, we are sharing a few USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)-funded research projects conducted by Land-grant Universities that explore the health benefits associated with egg consumption. Check out the easy egg-based breakfast recipe below from the University of Kentucky to help you incorporate more protein in your diet.

With NIFA funding, Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station researchers explored the interpersonal differences in gut microbial metabolism of choline and cardiovascular disease. Choline is an essential nutrient abundant in protein-rich foods such as eggs, soybeans and red meat. It is required for several functions including neurotransmission, maintaining cell membrane structure and regulating epigenetics, which are chemical tags on DNA that can change the expression of genes. Long-term choline deficiencies can cause epigenetic changes associated with cancer, atherosclerosis, cognitive disabilities and more. Only 10% of the U.S. population meets the recommended daily intake of choline, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need increased amounts of choline. After ingestion, some choline is transformed into trimethylamine-N-oxide, which has been associated with heart disease. Researchers found that gut microbes that can metabolize choline compete with the body for the essential nutrient. This can cause increased fat storage and epigenetic changes that may increase an animal’s likelihood of developing metabolic disorders. Overall, these findings suggest that personalized diets that consider interactions between nutrients and gut microbes are needed to improve health. 

Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station researchers have found morning protein can help decrease obesity in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five children in the U.S. has obesity. Obesity has been linked to increased risk of developing type two diabetes and hypertension, among other complications. Unhealthy eating habits like missing breakfast have been associated with overeating, gaining weight, and obesity. The study found that both normal weight and overweight children who consumed a protein-based breakfast felt less hungry after breakfast than children who had a carbohydrate-based breakfast. Those who ate a protein-based meal also expended more energy, which means they burned more calories, in the hours after the test breakfast. 

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Food and Environment’s Baked Egg Cups are a simple, quick, and low-calorie recipe. Muffin tins lined with ham or turkey and filled with a cracked egg, sprinkled with diced peppers may make you crave this meal, and not just for breakfast. View the full recipe here.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Animal health and production and animal products;
Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health
U.S. States and Territories
Arkansas,
Kentucky,
Wisconsin
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