Dieters and health-conscious cooks have had an ongoing love/hate relationship with the humble egg for decades. And as we prepare to break out the eggs for decorating or to make into brunch frittatas, it’s high time to clear up the confusion.
Eggs do have a fair amount of cholesterol, which the American Heart Association recommends limiting to 300 mg per day, but newer research has found that eating an egg daily won’t increase your risk for heart disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, chicken eggs have a minimal effect on blood cholesterol when compared with the effects of trans fats and saturated fats. Most healthy people can safely eat 7 eggs each week with no health problems and as an added bonus, eggs may offer protection against some types of stroke.
Did you know?
- Egg yolks contain: calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, B12 and vitamins A, D and E
- Yolk also contains omega-3 fatty acids which are heart healthy
- One large egg contains 186 milligrams of cholesterol – found only in the yolk
- The choline in yolks reduces inflammation and may lower the risk for heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that protect the eyes against damaging light waves, reducing the risk for macular degeneration
An average egg contains about 91 calories and the yolk has about 6 grams of fat and 54 calories. And while eggs themselves may not cause weight-gain or raise blood cholesterol, it’s important to take care about how eggs are cooked. Using saturated fats to fry eggs (or hash browns), or adding high sodium bacon, sausage or ham as a side dish can quickly turn a health breakfast into something quite the opposite. Try poaching or boiling eggs and serving them over wilted greens or with fruit and whole grain toast.
Because eggs contain fats and about 6 grams of protein, they help you stay full longer and are a good choice for people who want to lose weight, provided they are cooked without extra fats and served with healthy side dishes such as vegetables or fruit. Eggs are also a relatively inexpensive way for people on a tight budget to get more protein in their diet.
For more healthy ways to serve eggs, visit the Cooking Light website by following this link.