Nutrition Corner: Enjoy eggs with the guilt, according to new dietary guidelines

Nutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret

The new dietary guidelines are out. One difference is, for a healthy adult, there is no recommendation for cholesterol.

The review of the literature indicated that it’s the saturated fats that we need to limit. However, some foods high in cholesterol are also high in saturated fats. It is important to read the food label, where one is available.

Eggs are reasonably priced, nutritious, and an excellent source of protein. One large egg contains 6 grams of protein. Most of the protein is found in the egg white (3.6) and a considerable amount (2.7) is in the yolk.

In the past, folks refrained from eating eggs because the yolks were high in cholesterol.

The total calories in a large egg are 75 with 5 grams of fat. Good news — 1.6 grams or a little less than half of the total fat comes from saturated fat, 2.0 comes from monounsaturated and the remaining from polyunsaturated fats. Although eggs do have cholesterol, they do not have large amounts of saturated fats.

The majority of saturated fats come from animal sources. Examples are ground beef or fatty beef, pork, poultry with skin, lard, and cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced fat (2 percent milk). Foods with palm and palm kernel oil as well as coconut oil contain primarily saturated fats, but do not contain cholesterol. Read the food label to check out the saturated fat in the foods that you eat.

Eggs have a long shelf life in the refrigerator if handled safely. First, eggs should only be purchased from a refrigerated case in the grocery store. Just like any other perishable food, they need to be refrigerated as soon as possible once returning home.

Next keep eggs in their original containers. It’s possible that the outside of the shells may be contaminated with salmonella. Always wash your hands when touching raw eggs and before touching something else.

If these steps are followed, raw eggs in the shell have a shelf life of up to 3 to 5 weeks.

Here are the directions to boil eggs from the Egg Board:

Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Then heat over high heat just to boil. Remove from burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 12 minutes for large eggs (9 minutes for medium eggs; 15 minutes for extra large). Drain immediately and serve warm. Or, cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, then refrigerate. If you plan to use the original container to drain colored eggs, wash egg cartons with hot soapy water to remove any possible bacteria.

Enjoy eggs for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Handle them safely. They are a good source of low-cost protein. Each year I like to share these ways of dying eggs with nature’s natural colors.

Natural dyes for Easter eggs

Red cabbage leaves – Robin egg blue

Walnut shells – Dark red-brown

Orange peels – Light yellow

Yellow onion skins – Dark yellow or orange

Spinach – Light gold-green

Red beets – Light pink

Strong brewed coffee – Light brown

Grape juice – Light purple

Take a small amount of food material and place it in a pan, filled with 2 cups of cold water. Bring the water rapidly to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and cover for 30 minutes.

Remove food material and place dye into containers and refrigerate.

When cold, place hard-cooked eggs into dye. Leaving the eggs in the dye overnight in the refrigerator will give the deepest colors. Remove the eggs from the dyes and dry on a metal cake rack.

Nutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret Corner Mary R. Ehret

Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford Counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at

Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford Counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at

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