Egg contribution towards the diet of pregnant Latinas.
ABSTRACT Proper nutrition during gestation is important to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes. Eggs contain many important nutrients necessary for fetal development and human survival. Three focus groups were conducted with Latina women living in Connecticut to identify cultural beliefs toward egg consumption during pregnancy, traditional egg dishes, and methods of preparation. A cross-sectional study was then carried out with a sample of predominately Puerto Rican pregnant Latinas (N = 241) to identify the frequency of consumption of eggs and egg-containing dishes as well as methods of preparation using a tailored food frequency questionnaire modified for this population. Paired sample t-tests were used to examine if there were differences in weekly mean egg intake patterns between the year prior to the pregnancy and during pregnancy based on a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Women were categorized into eggs consumers and non-consumers if they consumed or did not consume eggs during the previous day based on 24-hour recall data. Independent-sample t-test and chi-square cross-tabulation analyses were conducted to examine the association between egg consumption and nutrient intake categories. Results showed that eggs and egg-containing traditional dishes are consumed by Latinas before and during pregnancy. Egg consumers had higher intakes of protein, fat, vitamin K, vitamin E, selenium, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, cholesterol, total polyunsaturated fatty acids, and docosahexaenoic acid. Eggs contribute significantly to the diet of pregnant Latinas.