Eggs in a Plant-Based Diet with Whitney English, RDN
The following is a sponsored article written by the Egg Nutrition Center – the science and nutrition education division of the American Egg Board.
There is a shift towards consumers trying to follow a more plant-based eating pattern, but “plant-based” doesn’t have to mean only plants – eggs are the perfect complementary food to provide nutritional balance.
Nutrient-rich eggs can provide a number of benefits in a plant-based diet. Eggs are all-natural and packed with a number of nutrients. They offer 13 essential vitamins and minerals – several of which are often lacking in a traditional vegan diet, such as vitamin D and vitamin B12.
Large eggs contain 6 grams of high-quality protein. Pairing high-quality protein foods with plants can help support the maintenance of muscle tissue and is important for achieving optimal vitamin and mineral intake.
And eggs not only provide the carotenoid lutein, but research has found that consuming eggs increases absorption of carotenoids from other foods. Researchers found that carotenoid absorption was much higher when eggs were consumed along with a mixed-vegetable salad, versus when salads were served without eggs.
Shoppers with concerns about environmental impact will be happy to know that although egg production in the United States has increased, the total environmental footprint has decreased.
And budget-savvy customers will find that eggs are the most affordable source of high-quality protein, at about 15 cents per large egg.
The focus on eating more plant-based foods is key, versus eating only plant foods. A recent Nielson survey indicates that of the over one-third of people who adhere to a specific eating pattern, only 6% are strict vegetarians and 3% are vegans – indicating that most people are eating both plant and animal foods. So, fill your plate with a range of brightly colored fruits, veggies and whole grains complemented by nutrient-rich foods like eggs.