So Many Ways to Cook an Egg

My parents lived through The Great Depression. Eggs were a staple in their diet. Inexpensive, versatile, easy to prepare. I was fortunate in my life to have a wonderful relationship with my parents, who, despite eating eggs, both lived 90 years.

Eggs from our backyard hens.

Eggs from our backyard hens.

A favorite lunch growing up was  something my mother called “onions and eggs”. This was simply sautéed green onions from the garden (it was a seasonal, springtime dish), scrambled with eggs. My favorite way to eat it was on fresh toasted bread, as a sandwich. It was delicious.

Nutritionist Marion Nestle recently wrote an article about cholesterol and eggs. She wrote this as part of a series she’s doing about “industry-funded nutrition research”. Her point seems to be that all industry funded research should simply be thrown out the window (and she doesn’t always include as much research in her review  that isn’t industry-funded).

I’m so tired of all of these blogs that bash certain foods or use fear-mongering tactics to get you to avoid food that is perfectly safe to eat.

There are so many cultural and demographical reasons people eat what they choose to eat, and there are even more ways that diets should be individualized when it comes to health and disease prevention or treatment.

Nestle includes in her article a graphic developed for an anti-egg campaign by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (a Washington DC based non-profit, i.e. activist group, advocating for vegan diets). In the article, she highlights a PCRM campaign that is using billboards that claim “Cholesterol Kills”, with a photograph of an egg on them.

TRUE: Eggs are high in cholesterol (each yolk contains about 185 milligrams)

FALSE: Cholesterol kills

FACT: Egg whites on the other hand are fat-free and cholesterol-free and offers about 6 grams of protein, and only 25 calories, per large egg white.

FACT: Eggs also provide about 6 grams of protein.

Even with an increase in egg prices at the grocery store (due to occasional Avian Flu outbreaks), eggs are a cost-effective source of protein, providing 12 grams of protein (per two egg whites) at only about 45 cents.

Eggs are an easy meal option for many busy moms. We often will have an egg scramble or omelet for dinner on busy weeknights. Frittata, egg burritos, and omelets are great vehicles for getting more veggies into your diet too! Have leftover spinach, mushrooms, peppers – or any veggies? Sauté them up and add 3-4 beaten eggs. Voila! Add some sliced fruit, and dinner is served.

The Perfect Hard Cooked Egg

Here’s the easiest route to perfect hard-cooked eggs:

  • Place 4-6 eggs in a small 2-quart saucepan (or up to 12 in a larger 4-quart saucepan)
  • Pour water into pot over eggs
  • Place pot onto burner, cook on medium high until water comes to roaring boil
  • Once boiling, turn off heat, cover, and set timer for 12 minutes.
  • After 12 minutes, drain, and rinse with cold water (no green ring!)

Don’t let these food politics folks burst your good nutrition bubble.

There is more than one path to a healthy diet. You can cook, eat and enjoy a wide variety of foods. Always strive to:

  • Eat more vegetables
  • Choose fresh fruit daily as a snack
  • Reduce your portions of meats (4-8 ounces total daily) and limit processed meats to occasional choices
  • Drink adequate water
  • Limit caffeinated, alcoholic, and sugary beverages
  • Eat together as a family

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