Sunday, August 11, 2013

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : What to Give Your Kids for Breakfast

What's healthier--an egg a day or a bagel a day?  Considering that eggs are high in cholesterol and bagels are both fat free and cholesterol free, the answer to this question may surprise you.  One study randomized dieters to either an egg breakfast or a bagel breakfast consisting of equivalent calories over eight weeks.  Compared to bagel eaters, egg eaters experienced 65% greater weight loss, 16% greater reduction in their percent body fat and 34% greater reduction in their waistline.  Because decreased belly fat is correlated with improved cardiovascular health, I'll give the egg a point and the bagel a bagel.

Eggs are rich in folic acid and vitamins A, E, and B12.  Eggs are also a cost-effective and complete source of protein.  Despite being rich in nutrients, some recommendations continue to advise limiting egg consumption due to concerns over the cholesterol content in eggs.  However, in a previous post, ,
I pointed out that dietary cholesterol does not elevate blood cholesterol levels as much as once believed.  So let's eggs-amine the eggs-perimental evidence shall we?  

Using rigorous statistical methodology, a recent analysis including over 250,000 subjects found no association between egg consumption and risk of heart disease or stroke.  These results may be partly explained by findings from studies that show egg consumption increases the amount of cholesterol carried on good HDL particles.  Egg consumption also increases the size of bad LDL particles, shifting the cholesterol profile towards a healthier pattern.

A final explanation for why egg consumption has not been shown to increase heart disease or stroke is based on the original question of whether a daily egg or a daily bagel is healthier.  Findings from a large survey called the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported that people who ate at least 4 eggs per week actually had a significantly lower average cholesterol level than those who ate one or less eggs per week.  The question is, what do non-egg eaters eat instead of eggs, and how do those dietary habits adversely impact blood cholesterol levels?  I'll examine this and more in the next series of posts, entitled "Carbs Gone Bad".

Until then, check out this video featuring an easy recipe that you can use to prepare eggs for your kids.  In this video, I show you how to use eggs to incorporate vegetables into your child's diet and I debate the age old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg?

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Veggie Baked Eggs


  • 6 eggs
  • 6 grape tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • canola spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Spray wells of muffin pan with canola oil
  3. Whisk eggs with salt and pepper
  4. Fill wells of muffin pan half way with spinach, tomato, cheese, & basil
  5. Pour whisked eggs into wells of muffin pan
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then broil for another 5 minutes.  

Vander Wal JS et al.  Egg breakfast enhances weight loss.  Int J Obes 2008;32(10):1545-51.

McNamara DJ.  The impact of egg limitations on coronary heart disease risk: do the numbers add up?  J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19:540S-548S.

Hu FB et al.  A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women.  JAMA 1999;281:1387-1394.

Rong Y et al.  Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.  BMJ 2013:1-13.

Kanter MM et al.  Exploring the factors that affect blood cholesterol and heart disease risk: is dietary cholesterol as bad for you as history leads us to believe?  Adv Nutr 2012:711-717.

Song WO et al.  Nutritional contribution of eggs to american diets.  J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19(5):556S-562S.

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