Friday, January 8, 2016

Sunny Side Up or Scrambled?

Two scrambled eggs with black pepper, sea salt, and goat cheese, avocado & cilantro rose salsa, with cilantro & lime chicken sausage. Delicious, filling, and pretty darn healthy;)

The nutrition world is all abuzz with the release of the most recent federal dietary guidelines. You likely won't be surprised by many of the recommendations - eat whole fruits, colorful vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and seafood, and whole grains, but one of the recommendations about eggs may catch you by surprise. So what is the new guideline - that you can eat them! For years, people have avoided eggs and opted for their reduced fat and cholesterol counterparts like egg whites and egg beaters. Eggs first received a bad rap in the 1960s after an American Heart Association report linked diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats to poor heart health. Egg consumption in the US significantly declined following this. The egg industry has since worked vigorously to get back in the good graces of former egg lovers (remember the Incredible Edible egg commercials?!), and this recommendation could be a step in the right direction.

On a personal note, this is one of the reasons I was drawn to my field - health communication with an emphasis on diet and nutrition. Nutrition science is constantly evolving. As more research is conducted, new information comes out, and that information gets shared with the public. Some people may then make modifications to their diet based on these "hot" new research studies. I find it fascinating, but it's also a bit worrisome. Basing your diet on one or a couple of new research studies isn't a great idea. Now that's not the case here - this was an official report released by the American Heart Association which was based on years of scientific research, but I'm using this as a detour to make a point. When it comes to your diet, stick to tried and true recommendations like the ones above (e.g. colorful fruits and veggies, lean meats, & whole grains), and let the rest of your diet be varied. It's all about moderation and variety. Eat some eggs, have some tuna, or enjoy some full fat milk (*gasps*). What you want to avoid is having your diet consist primarily of one or a few types of foods. Think of it this way, your body is a complex organism with millions of various functions that it has to perform on a daily basis. In order to perform all of these different functions, it needs different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The way to get them is by eating a wide variety of foods.

So go ahead and order that omelet at Sunday brunch! And politely tell the server you don't need to substitute them for egg whites:)

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