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Food & Dining

(BPT) - While 2016 is the Year of the Monkey on the Chinese calendar, in the world of food and nutrition, it's the Year of the Egg.

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The recently released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides key recommendations for healthy eating patterns for the consumption of a variety of protein foods in nutrient-dense forms, like eggs. For eggs to be considered a nutrient-dense protein, eating the yolk is a must because the yolk is where key nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids are found.

What's more, the new Dietary Guidelines no longer limit the consumption of dietary cholesterol which was a nutrient of concern in the past. Instead, the Guidelines recommend limiting the intake of saturated fats and trans fats.

"For years, many Americans were led to think that whole eggs should be limited or even cut out of their diets to avoid high cholesterol," says Registered Dietitian Lyssie Lakatos. "These new recommendations show that eggs truly are a great source of protein and are filled with important nutrients we need. I've always recommended Eggland's Best eggs since they are packed with three times more vitamin B12, five times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and double the omega-3 fatty acids, when compared to ordinary eggs, thanks to their proprietary hen feed."

Below, Lakatos gives tips on how to incorporate eggs into a healthy meal plan any time of day.

* Breakfast: There isn't a more classic breakfast food than the egg. Whether you like your eggs scrambled, poached or over-easy, they can be great all by themselves or paired with a bowl of fruit or whole grain toast. When pairing your eggs with other breakfast items, be mindful of foods high in saturated fat. Lakatos chooses Eggland's Best eggs which contain 25 percent less saturated fat than ordinary eggs.

* Snacks: Although eggs are a great breakfast food, we often forget they can also be the perfect snack. Lakatos keeps EB Hard Cooked Peeled Eggs in her refrigerator for a post-workout snack because they are rich in vitamins necessary for optimal muscle recovery such as B vitamins, vitamin D and vitamin E.

* Lunch and dinner: Whether it's meatless Monday or you're just looking to incorporate more eggs into your diet, there are plenty of ways to include eggs in your lunch and dinner. Lakatos loves mixing Eggland's Best eggs into a great stir fry for dinner and using leftovers for lunch the next day.

For more information and recipes using Eggland's Best eggs, such as a No-Fuss Stir Fry, visit www.egglandsbest.com.

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