The Big “C” in Food

eggs

People everywhere are looking for easy and affordable ways to add healthy protein to their diet. It seems that eggs appear to be the perfect little protein package. But since the advice from health professionals seems to change often about eggs, consumers are becoming increasingly confused. Healthy consumers really shouldn’t worry about this but, individuals who at-risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) or who have CVD, may want to be aware of this.

What seems to be more important than the food itself is the total cholesterol intake from food. Regardless of where the cholesterol comes from, like eggs or other animal products, consumers who are more susceptible to CVD should keep account of the cholesterol and saturated fat that they are consuming from these food sources.

Remember that eggs are contained in many foods, including bread, cakes, ice cream, muffins and even such entrees as breaded fish, meat dishes and meatloaf. Each of those might add just a fraction of an egg per serving, but together they can increase your cholesterol intake, especially since many of those items contain other ingredients that can be high in cholesterol and saturated fat, such as butter or cream.

Consumers should be careful about not confusing dietary cholesterol with blood cholesterol (LDL, HDL, and triglycerides). The major contributing factor of blood LDL cholesterol is saturated fat. There is a recommendation to limit dietary sources of saturated fat, largely found in dairy and animal protein. Although the saturated fat in eggs is relatively low compared with that in many other animal-based protein sources (one large egg has less than 2g of saturated fat), many of the foods that often accompany eggs (such as bacon, butter, cheese and sausage) are high in saturated fat as well. The combination of foods high in cholesterol, like these, can really add up.

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, cholesterol intake by men averages about 350 mg per day, which exceeds the recommended level of less than 300 mg per day. Average cholesterol intake by women is 240mg per day. Independent of other dietary factors, evidence suggests that one egg (including egg yolk) per day does not result in increased blood cholesterol levels, nor does it increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy people. Consuming less than 300mg per day of cholesterol can help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. Consuming less than 200mg per day can further help individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

On the plus side, eggs have many nutritional benefits. They’re a good source of high-quality protein, with relatively few calories (6.3 grams of protein for only 72 calories in a large egg). Eggs also contain vitamins B12 and D, and several essential micronutrients, including choline (important for brain health) and lutein (for eye health).

NHANES satd fat

cholesThe Washington Post

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Renaming the Cuts of Meat…

After 40 years, the names for cuts of meat are being revamped to make it easier for consumers to understand what they’re buying and how to cook it. The labels are shorter and less anatomically based than the names used today for cuts of meats. Pork cuts are now more in sync with the beef cuts consumers are familiar with. The new names and labels should start appearing this summer, just in time for grilling season.

Loin (Pork):

Old

New

Pork Loin Top Loin Chop

Porterhouse Chop

Top Loin Pork Chops

New York Chops

A Pork Loin Rib Chop

Ribeye Chop

Bone-In Pork Loin Chop

T-Bone Chop

Chuck (Beef):

Old

New

Beef Chuck Eye Edge

Pot Roast, Boneless

Denver Roast

Beef Shoulder Top Blade Steak

Boneless Flat Iron

Flat Iron Steak

Sirloin (Beef):

Old

New

Beef Loin Top Sirloin Steak,

Boneless, Cap Off

Top Sirloin Steak

Beef Loin Top Sirloin Cubes

For Kabobs

Kabobs

 

With the new names come new labels for meat. They’ll now identify the species (at this point just beef or pork), whether it’s from the chuck, rib, loin or round, the retail cut name and provide cooking instructions.

The purpose of the naming system is help customers identify cuts with familiar cooking methods. When customers see the word “Porterhouse”, they might think- hey I could put this on the grill…

Most names consumers know and love won’t be changing, but after two years of research it became apparent that Americans needed more clarity when they inspected the meat case, said the director of market intelligence for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Denver.

The new pork names go with a shift in how pork is cooked, compared to the terms used in the 1970’s when these names were first implemented. Because trichinosis is no longer a problem in U.S. hogs, in 2011 the Department of Agriculture changed the recommended cooking temperature for pork from 160 degrees F to 145 degrees F. Once pork could be pink, a pork chop could be cooked just like a steak.

Although the pork producers “love their friends in the beef world” they want to remind grillers that while beef prices are at an all-time high because of the drought and resulting spikes in feed costs, pork is now inexpensive “and will be through summer.”

Chop, Chop! article

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