March 31st, 2010 - Scott Shaffer
A new study says that it’s fine to have eggs and waffles for breakfast, but you might want to skip the cake and ice cream after dinner.
If you’re eating Special K and skim milk for breakfast, only to pig out on Häagen-Dazs at night, you might be fighting your body’s natural metabolism pattern. A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that we’re built to consume high-fat breakfasts and low-fat dinners.
Scientists fed two groups of mice the same amount of calories each day — but they gave one group a fatty breakfast and a lean dinner, and the other a lean breakfast and a fatty dinner. The mice who had fatty food for breakfast had normal metabolism, but the mice that started their days with low-fat meals and ended them with high-fat meals showed symptoms of metabolic syndrome. The study shows that timing is everything, and that when you eat the food can be as important as how much you eat.
Many Americans eat like the unhealthy mice. They starve themselves in the morning – eating a low-fat muffin, if anything — and end the day with rich, fatty food. But eating fatty food, like eggs and breakfast meat, early in the day and ending the day with veggies and carbohydrates can help fight metabolic syndrome, a health problem afflicting 50 million Americans. Metabolic syndrome, according to the American Heart Association, increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. So fry up some eggs tomorrow morning — for your heart!
Isn’t that liberating? I’ve always admired the traditional English Breakfast (hashbrowns, eggs, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, beans, and tomato — with black pudding for the bold) and now it might be the healthy thing to do, too! Well, maybe it’s still a little over-the-top, but for healthy, high-fat breakfast recipe ideas, think about making our organic scrambled eggs with truffle oil and avocado or organic butternut squash pancakes.
Read More:Morning is the Best Time for Fatty Foods
March 29th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Exercise physiologist Bob Greene, Oprah Winfrey’s personal trainer and author of The Best Life Diet Cookbook, is a firm believer in the concept of breakfast for dinner.
“Breakfast-style fare can provide a flavorful and filling family dinner, with only minutes spent in the kitchen,” he says.
To reduce your intake of calories, fat and cholesterol, Greene recommends substituting protein-packed egg whites for some of the whole eggs used in recipes. To simplify prep time, he uses AllWhites and Better’n Eggs (not organic), but you can purchase a brand like Organic Valley Pasteurized Egg Whites. About 3 tablespoons of these products equal one egg, and 1/4 cup has only 25 calories, 0 g fat and 0 mg cholesterol.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from buying a carton of organic eggs and separating the whites and yolks. If you can’t seem to cleanly crack or separate an egg to save your life, you can always invest in a foolproof egg separator.
Be sure to tune in Thursday for Greene’s Easter brunch-ready frittata recipe. In the meantime, check out our previously posted recipe for Sesame-Ginger Frittata with Broccoli and Shrimp, which also substitutes egg whites for some of the eggs.
Read More:Organic Egg Whites Cut Calories, Fat, Cholesterol
October 7th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Here’s a special message for the United Egg Producers: Get over yourselves.
The group is threatening consumers with a 25% hike in egg prices if cages are banned, while blaming animal-rights activists for snatching school breakfasts from the mouths of needy children.
The egg producers’ ultimate threat: importing eggs from overseas.
“I don’t think American consumers really want to play Russian Roulette with every carton of eggs they buy, which is essentially what would happen if we allow special interest groups to force a ban on the most modern, sanitary egg housing systems in the world,” said UEP President Gene Gregory in a hyperbolic press release. “Those systems are used to produce 95% of the eggs that American consumers buy every day.”
And therein lies the problem. California has already banned battery cages—a move that prompted Gregory to tell a U.K. audience that voters were “uninformed.”
I, for one, am willing to pay more for eggs that don’t require hens to be abused. As a child, I would accompany my mom to the local dairy farm in suburban New York, where we would buy our milk and eggs. Watching the chickens and cows roam free was the highlight of the trip. Somehow, the farm managed to get it right.
Am I willing to boycott egg producers who cage their hens? In a New York minute.
Want to get involved in the cause? Farm Sanctuary is pressing for national legislation to prevent animal cruelty.
Read More:Dear Egg Producers: Get Over Yourselves
September 21st, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Compassion Over Killing (COK), a Washington, DC-based nonprofit animal advocacy group, has exposed cruelty at an egg factory farm owned by Michael Foods, one of the nation’s largest egg producers and a major supplier to Dunkin’ Donuts. (Click here to view the video.)
While employed at the facility in August, an investigator with a hidden camera shot footage of farm conditions for more than 1 million birds in battery cages, including:
- Hens immobilized in the wires of their cages, unable to access food or water
- Decomposing and “mummified” corpses left in cages alongside live birds
- Severe feather loss
- Untreated injuries
- An employee decapitating a hen
“No responsible company should support this animal cruelty,” says Erica Meier, COK’s executive director. “Dunkin’ Donuts can—and should—make the right decision by removing eggs from its doughnuts and offering more humane vegan menu items.”
Earlier this year, COK asked the donut chain about how the hens in its supply chain were treated and whether the company could offer egg-free donuts.
Dunkin’ took no action, so COK launched DunkinCruelty.com. You can protest the ongoing hen mistreatment by completing an email form.
Photo courtesy of DunkinCruelty.com
Read More:Caught on Tape: Hen Horrors
September 10th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
When you want to create a hearty meal, consider serving breakfast for dinner—a popular idea in my home.
These waffle sandwiches are a great back-to-school mealtime solution, made with fresh organic dairy products and pantry staples. They’re high in protein, and the waffles help meet your daily whole-grain requirements. (I like Nature’s Path Flax Plus organic waffles.)
All of the ingredients in today’s recipe should be readily available at your local natural and organic food store.
For another breakfast-for-dinner recipe, check out Southwestern Scramble.
Spicy Ham & Egg Waffle Sandwiches
Makes 2 servings
4 ounces sliced ham
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 slices cheddar cheese
1 cup picante sauce
- Warm ham slices in oven.
- Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat. Lower temperature to medium-low.
- Crack and scramble eggs in the skillet for about two minutes. Add shredded cheddar cheese to the eggs, and mix well.
- Toast waffles, according to package directions.
- To make the sandwich, top one waffle with half of the ham, egg and cheese mixture. Next, top with a slice of cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup picante sauce. Top with another waffle and serve.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients to make a second sandwich.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Pace Salsa
Read More:Spicy Ham & Egg Waffle Sandwiches
June 3rd, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
As university researchers study the best ways to house America’s egg-producing hens, numerous organizations have signed on as coalition stakeholders, including the American Humane Association, American Veterinary Medical Association and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.
One prominent stakeholder may surprise you: fast-food behemoth McDonald’s, which reaps a nice share of profits each morning from scrambled eggs, Egg McMuffins and egg-based biscuit sandwiches.
It sure sounds good on paper: The eggs produced in the study are expected to be used in McDonald’s U.S. restaurants, as researchers strive to determine whether cage-free and free-range chickens fare better than those cooped up in factory farms.
Dan Gorsky, McDonald’s senior VP for North America supply chain management, says his company wants to consider “all of the sustainability impacts when it comes to buying eggs—not just animal welfare, but environmental, food safety and economic factors. It is our intention for eggs produced as part of this study, including cage-free eggs, to partially supply McDonald’s USA by 2011.”
Some critics, however, believe McDonald’s is dragging its feet in purchasing sustainable eggs. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) notes that numerous national restaurant chains have already gone the cage-free route, including Burger King, Wendy’s, Quiznos, Denny’s, Hardees’s and Carl’s Jr.
“There is already an abundance of science demonstrating that battery-cage confinement of laying hens is detrimental to animal welfare, and McDonald’s shouldn’t use another long-term study as an excuse to delay implementing the same modest reforms so many of its competitors have already adopted,” says Paul Shapiro, senior director of HSUS’ factory farming campaign.
HSUS is encouraging mainstream and organic consumers to call (800) 244-6227 to urge McDonald’s to switch to cage-free eggs now.
Photo courtesy of McDonald’s
Read More:Chickening Out?
April 13th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
What would Easter be without eggs? For a festive brunch, try this easy-to-make frittata.
Health-conscious readers who shop for organic food may be concerned about eating egg yolks, which are high in cholesterol. But it’s saturated fat—not the cholesterol in food—that raises your blood cholesterol level. The American Heart Association suggests a limit of three or four eggs a week for healthy adults. If high-cholesterol foods are off-limits, use cholesterol-free liquid egg substitutes or the egg whites alone.
Instead of the ham or bacon often found in frittatas, this Asian version uses shrimp and other healthful ingredients. Broccoli, for example, contains sulforaphane—one of the many powerful phytochemicals that help protect us against cancer and other serious illnesses, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Scallions, red onion, garlic and ginger offer other phytochemicals.
This frittata recipe appears in the institute’s cookbook, The New American Plate Cookbook.
Sesame-Ginger Frittata with Broccoli and Shrimp
Makes 4 servings
2 cups broccoli florets (1/2-inch pieces)
2 or 3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
5 oz. peeled cooked shrimp, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
Canola oil spray
- In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, scallions, onion, bean sprouts, shrimp, sesame oil and pepper.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites and flour until the lumps are almost gone, about 2 minutes. Pour it over the vegetable mixture, mix well with a fork and set it aside. Preheat the broiler.
- In a cup, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon cold water. In a small pan, bring the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sugar and broth to a boil over medium heat. Stir cornstarch mixture to re-blend, add to the hot liquid and whisk until the sauce is thickened and translucent.
- Coat a large ovenproof skillet with canola oil spray and heat over medium-low heat. Stir the egg/vegetable mixture and transfer to the skillet, smoothing the mixture into an even layer. Cook about 4 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the bottom is browned. Place the skillet under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until the top is browned and the center is almost dry. Loosen the frittata from the skillet with a spatula and slide it onto a serving dish.
- Cut the frittata into quarters and serve with the warm sauce spooned over the wedges.
Read More:Easter Brunch: Sesame-Ginger Frittata with Broccoli and Shrimp