By: Mickey Rubin, PhD, Executive Director of American Egg Board’s Egg Nutrition Center
July 15, 2020
Today is an important day for the American diet and for eggs. In an historic first, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee today issued recommendations for birth to 24 months old and specifically recommended eggs as an important first food for infants and toddlers, as well as for pregnant and lactating women.
Today’s Scientific Report also highlighted the importance of a nutrient plentiful in eggs – choline – while recommending eggs as a first food for babies to reduce risk for an egg allergy. The Advisory Committee additionally encouraged eggs for pre-teens and adolescents.
Eggs are one of the best sources of choline, an essential nutrient critical for fetal brain development. The Advisory Committee classified choline as an important nutrient that is under-consumed by all Americans. Importantly, 92% of pregnant women fail to meet the daily Adequate Intake (AI) recommendations for choline.
The Advisory Committee also specifically recommended eggs as an important first food. The latest research on food allergy prevention recommends introducing eggs when your baby is 4-6 months old and developmentally ready to help reduce the chances of developing an egg allergy. Eggs are an important first food as they provide eight essential nutrients that help build a healthy foundation for life.
Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse that contribute to health and wellbeing at every age and life stage, providing critical nutrients including protein, choline, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12, biotin (B7), pantothenic acid (B5), iodine and selenium, which are valuable for supporting muscle and bone health, brain development and more. The Advisory Committee also noted eggs are a source of vitamin D, a nutrient of public health concern because it is under-consumed by all Americans.
Additionally, the Advisory Committee reinforced the strong body of evidence that dietary cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern. The science on eggs and cholesterol has been steadfast. The vast majority of scientific evidence shows egg consumption is not associated with cardiovascular disease. In fact, a recent Harvard University study that evaluated more than 30 years of data reaffirmed that eating eggs is not associated with cardiovascular disease. Leading health organizations such as the American Heart Association also state that eggs can be part of heart-healthy diet patterns.
As Americans are building healthier diets, you can count on eggs. For more information on building a healthy diet with eggs, please visit EggNutritionCenter.org.