An apple a day is associated with preventive measures for better health. New studies continue to build eggs’ reputation as a recommended, better-for-you food choice. A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition
(JACN)1 suggests daily egg intake does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and may actually contribute to decreased stroke risk. Researchers examined studies that were published from 1982 to 2015 and that involved close to 300,000 participants, to draw their conclusions. They found that consuming one egg per day reduced the risk of stroke by 12 percent. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.2 Also, the study concluded there was no association between eating an egg and coronary heart disease.
Principal study investigator Dominik Alexander, Ph.D., Ann Arbor, MI, is quoted as saying “Eggs do have many positive nutritional attributes, including antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.”
“They are also an excellent source of protein, which has been related to lower blood pressure,” he continued.
One large egg contains six grams of high-quality protein and antioxidants, found within the egg yolk, as well as 13 other vitamins and minerals in varying quantities, including vitamins E, D and A.3
Dr. Alexander’s research corroborates changes in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans4, which eliminated dietary cholesterol limits and includes eggs among lean protein choices recommended for consumption. The guidelines noted eggs are an affordable, accessible, nutrient-rich source of high-quality protein.
Egg ingredients also are affordable and accessible for food manufacturers. Eggs and egg ingredients of all types are in abundant supply.
Further, studies like the recent JACN article help confirm the role that eggs can play in a healthy diet. As consumers read and absorb new scientifically based information about the health benefits associated with eggs, this poses clean label implications.
Many baked goods for example, rely upon eggs for product form, structure, appearance, shelf life and taste. Bakerpedia, in its explanation of clean label states “Clean label products aim to market to consumers focusing on a healthy lifestyle and consuming only wholesome, nutritious food to provide energy while removing any unnatural elements of food from consumption.”5
This focus on a healthy lifestyle is a major factor in the development of the clean label movement. Consumers seek clean labels in products across categories however, not just in the bakery. And one survey revealed that consumers value clean label above brand. Seventy-seven percent of respondents agreed that the ingredient list of food and drink products is important while only 53% felt the manufacturer or brand was very or quite important.6
As mounting scientific evidence reflects the health benefits of eggs, this means egg ingredients can lend a “healthy halo” to food products, which is good news for the consumer and manufacturer alike.
1Alexander DD, Miller PE, Vargas AJ, Weed DL, Cohen SS. Meta-analysis of egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Oct 6:1-13.