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Eggs & Aging: Formulating for Baby Boomers

Aging baby boomers know no boundaries as they pursue the Fountain of Youth. Diet, exercise, meditation, surgery, pills, you name it; they will try it.


Baby boomers, who are the generation of consumers born between 1946 and 1964, represent the largest demographic in the market today. And, in general, this group has the highest disposable income of all population segments. As a result, food and beverage manufacturers are attempting to formulate products that meet this group’s needs and wants, as baby boomers are ready and willing to spend what it takes to slow down the aging process.

Consuming foods rich in nutrients associated with preventing or retarding many of the chronic health conditions aging baby boomers face is an easy dietary solution. And guess what? Many of such “functional” nutrients are found in eggs and egg products. For example, choline, a lipid‐like compound found in egg yolks, has been shown to be essential for developing memory centers and neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system. Studies also suggest that eating choline‐rich foods helps reduce chances of memory loss as one ages.

Lutein has been shown to prevent age‐related macular degeneration, the leading cause of irreversible blindness among seniors. Lutein is absorbed by the body and is concentrated in eye tissues where it protects the eye from harmful ultraviolet light. Studies show that diets rich in lutein may cut the risk of cataracts, the leading cause of blindness, by up to 50% and agerelated macular degeneration by more than 60%. One large egg yolk provides about 200 mg of
lutein.
 
The Egg Nutrition Center, Park Ridge, IL, publishes two newsletters (Nutrition Close‐Up and Nutrition Realities) geared towards health care providers, who many aging baby boomers rely on for age‐defying dietary suggestions.
Through these publications the word is getting out to aging baby boomers that foods containing egg products can be, and should be, an important part their diet. Visit www.EggNutritionCenter.org  for more information.

2010-11-22 17:23:14
 

Eggs ≠ Trans fats

Consumers should reduce their intake of trans fats as much as possible, because intake of trans fats is directly associated with an increase in total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) and a decrease in high-density lipoprotein (HDL, good cholesterol), and therefore increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that eggs are free of trans fats.  What eggs are loaded with are important nutrients including protein, choline, iron and B vitamins. The yolks contain cholesterol and a small amount of saturated fat, which is contrary to most other foods that contain dietary cholesterol. They are usually high in saturated fats. This is not the case with eggs. Egg whites don’t even contain fat or cholesterol.

 According to the American Heart Association (AHA), most scientists think trans fats and saturated fats have a greater impact than dietary cholesterol in raising blood cholesterol levels. This is especially true for LDL cholesterol. With that said, AHA no longer recommends a maximum weekly egg yolk intake as a way to limit average daily cholesterol consumption.

So what are trans fats? Trans fats are defined as fatty acids that are the trans isomer of unsaturated fatty acids, which are those fatty acids that contain a double bond between two carbon atoms (see diagram). Most naturally occurring unsaturated fatty acids are in the cis isomer form. Trans and cis refer to the positioning of the hydrogen atoms around the double bond. When hydrogen atoms are on the same side of the double bond, they are in the cis position and appear bent. When atoms are on opposite sides, they are in the trans position and the fatty acid appears straight, resembling a saturated fatty acid. Thus, trans fatty acids, although unsaturated, behave somewhat like saturated fatty acids.

Trans fats appear in foods for two reasons. Either they are naturally occurring, as in the case of some fats derived from ruminant animals, or they are added through the inclusion of hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenation is a process performed on oils that increases their stability by adding hydrogens to the unsaturated carbon atoms and in the process also reconfigures some of the double bonds on unsaturated fatty acids from the cis to the trans position.

Some time this year the food industry expects FDA to finalize a rule making the labeling of the trans fat content of all foods mandatory. Some manufacturers who know their foods currently score high in trans fat content are trying to eliminate or reduce trans fats from formulations.

Because eggs are trans fat free, they can and should stay in manufactured foods because they contribute nutritionally and functionally. In fact, similar to some fats and oils, eggs impart a rich texture, mouthfeel, flavor and color to prepared foods. Eggs also can provide structure and emulsification, depending on the application. Eggs might just be the secret component to an ingredient system designed to rid food formulations of trans fats.

“The simplicity of stating that a product contains eggs rather than unpronounceable gelling and binding agents, lecithin and lysolecithin, hydrogenated soybean oil, etc. is appealing to the consumer because they readily know what eggs are,” says the Egg Nutrition Center in Park Ridge, IL. Trans fat reduction in food formulations should not focus exclusively upon the fat ingredient and how it can be changed. Formulators must take a systems approach. Eggs can be part of that system.

2010-11-15 07:06:16
 

Egg Products and Satiety

Seeing the term satiety appear in mainstream press has become quite common these days, as the medical and nutrition communities are aggressively educating consumers about making the right food choices. Understanding satiety, which is the state of being full or gratified to the point of satisfaction, and knowing the foods that provide freedom from hunger, assists with weight loss and weight management programs.
 
A variety of ingredients—ranging from specialty fats, fibers, proteins and starches—can contribute to satiety. Scientific studies indicate that satiety is dependent on not only how much food you eat, but what type of food you eat as well.
 
Satiety involves a process that occurs in the small intestine called the “ileal brake mechanism,” which is an important regulator of gastrointestinal function. Unabsorbed nutrients in the ileum, which is the final section of the small intestine, inhibit gastric emptying and trigger a “full” message to the brain. That full message is the result of the secretion of cholecystokinin (CCK), a peptide hormone of the gastrointestinal system responsible for stimulating the digestion of fat and protein. It is secreted by the duodenum, the first segment of the small intestine, and causes the release of digestive enzymes and bile from the pancreas and gall bladder, respectively.
 
The concept of controlling appetite goes back to diet pills. Here, caffeine and other stimulants are used to agitate the nervous system, diverting the body’s attention from digesting food, thus slowing gastric emptying. Many fad diets have occurred between the introduction of Dexatrim® and the post‐Atkins craze; however, what Dr. Atkins’ low-carb phenomenon did was introduce consumers to the concept that dieting doesn’t mean starvation. By lowering carbohydrate consumption and increasing protein intake, consumers were able to lose weight without feeling hungry because the protein is metabolized much slower than carbohydrates, helping to maintain more consistent blood sugar levels. A research review of studies concluded that increasing intake of high‐quality protein and decreasing intake of carbohydrates is an effective way to preserve lean muscle and increase fat loss during weight loss, while helping to stabilize blood glucose levels.
 
A randomized control study presented at Experimental Biology 2007, reported that eating eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced‐calorie diet helped overweight women lose more weight and feel more energetic than those who ate a bagel breakfast. This study confirms previous findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, that when people ate eggs for breakfast they felt more satisfied and consumed fewer calories throughout the day as compared to when they had a bagel‐based breakfast of the same mass and calorie content.
 
Indeed, eggs, and thus egg products, have an impressive macronutrient composition to contribute to their satiety impact. Egg products include whole eggs, whites, yolks and various blends with or without non‐egg ingredients included to provide greater functionality. These further‐processed eggs come in liquid, frozen and dried forms for convenience, ease in handling and storage.
 
Most importantly, egg products are a natural, functional ingredient that has great taste and helps promote satiety. Egg products formulated into processed and prepared foods help fill consumers up.

The good news is that nutrient‐ and protein‐dense egg products are readily formulated foods. And these foods can help promote that feeling of satiety to help consumers control their eating habits. For more on the story of egg proteins, independent scientific studies and highlights of the egg’s amazing functional properties, visit www.aeb.org .

2010-11-01 01:58:18