UK and International experts met in Edinburgh in September at the International Egg Nutrition Consortium (IENC) Symposium to discuss new advances in egg nutrition, at a conference entitled; ‘Eggs in Human Nutrition: Current Research and Future Directions’.
Described as “the most natural food around” by Dr Mitch Kanter, the first speaker at the meeting, eggs were highlighted as a unique food which combines a modest amount of calories per portion, while delivering a rich source of key vitamins and minerals. The sustainability record of eggs also compares favourable against other animal protein sources.
Dr Tia Rains from the US described the importance of protein, highlighting that experimental diets which swap carbohydrates for protein-rich foods, such as eggs, have a beneficial impact on metabolic factors such as blood pressure and so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.
Dr Rains outlined emerging research which suggests that eating high protein foods at frequent intervals throughout the day is more effective for building and sustaining muscle than eating one or two large protein meals daily. This suggests that protein-rich snacks and opportunities to include protein at breakfast and lunch – meals traditionally low in protein – would be effective for groups looking to enhance muscle content, such as athletes and the elderly. Muscle wasting in older people is common and can lead to falls and poor health.
A range of speakers touched on various subjects, and the conference established an important role for eggs in providing high quality protein, nutrients and a means to support weight loss.