With Easter just around the corner, eggs will be center stage and possibly center of your plate! Eggs provide only 75 calories and pack a punch with valuable nutrients including 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of mostly unsaturated fat, and are considered a micronutrient powerhouse packed with so many vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, Lutein, and Xeanthin help with vision. Choline is important for brain function. Vitamin E and Selenium work together as antioxidants to protect the breakdown of body tissues. With all of these benefits packed into a single food, it’s easy to see why eggs can be part of a balanced healthy eating pattern.
Let’s talk about cholesterol. When your doctor orders a blood lipid panel, they are looking for levels of cholesterol, HDL, and LDL. All three of these are fats being transported through the bloodstream by protein carriers. All three of these levels are affected, in some part, by your diet. Cholesterol is found in the foods you eat as well as being made by the body. Research shows us that your blood cholesterol levels increase more from total fats and total saturated fats in your diet and not from foods rich in cholesterol. So while messaging in the 1980s was to reduce egg consumption to reduce your cholesterol levels, we have learned since then that we can safely consume an average of 1 egg every day! In fact, it is recommended for the older adult to consume 2 eggs daily if your blood fats are in check.
Eggs not only make a great breakfast, they also make great dinners. Quiche and SoufflÈ are protein packed and easy on the budget. Add a hard boiled egg to a salad or crack one into leftover brown rice to make a stir-fry. Recently one pan dishes such as skillet or sheet pans that included fried eggs have become popular on internet searches for egg recipes. Check out https://www.incredibleegg.org/recipes/collections/ for some great egg recipe inspiration. SNAPed NY website also is a great resource for budget friendly recipe ideas. Remember that when eggs are on sale, pick up an extra dozen. You can crack the eggs into freezer containers and use in baking and cooking at a later date!
We know the healthy choice is not always the easiest choice, but small changes can make a big difference. Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services Dietitian, Carey Skelton RDN is available for nutrition education through SNAP-ed programs. The SNAP-ed programs are free for those who receive or qualify for SNAP benefits. We want to help you save time, save money, and eat healthy! Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services Senior Nutrition Program also provides nutritious meals through Home Delivered Meals and the Dining Out Program throughout the county. We also sponsor several exercise programs. Please remember to contribute toward your OFAS nutrition services if you can. These programs are not sustainable without the support of participant and community contributions. Be aware that SNAP benefits can be used toward your contribution.
Call NY Connects at 716-453-4582 for more details and information about any of these Nutrition and Wellness programs provided by Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services.