Charles - About.com User
Looking Beyond ProteinEggs are nutrient-dense (lots of vitamins, protein and fats), and they're also energy dense, at about 80 calories per egg. That makes sense when you think about how a fertilized egg has to feed a baby chick until it hatches. The eggs you eat are not fertilized, but all of the nutrients are still present.
Since the recommendation for cholesterol consumption is about 300 mg per day, the large amount of cholesterol in eggs may prevent many people from eating them. The cholesterol in eggs really shouldn't scare you away from eggs completely. Most of the cholesterol in your body is made by your liver and the amount of cholesterol in your diet may not have as big an impact on your blood cholesterol as people once thought. You can eat one egg every day without harming your cholesterol and other blood-fats.
That's really good news for dieters because the combination of fats and protein means eggs are very satisfying. Eating one egg as part of a healthy breakfast may help you lose weight by keeping you from getting hungry later in the morning.
Eggs contain several important nutrients:
- Choline is necessary for healthy cell membranes in all of your body, and it's also good for your mental function and memory.
- Selenium is a mineral that your body needs for a strong immune system and it is a powerful antioxidant.
- B vitamins folate and riboflavin are necessary for your body to convert the foods you eat into energy. Folate is also important for prevention of birth defects.
- Vitamin A is important for good night vision, general cell growth and for healthy skin.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that works well with vitamin C and selenium to prevent damage to your body from free radicals.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin are related to vitamin A and are found in the yellow pigment of the egg yolk. They're concentrated in the retina of your eye and will help prevent macular degeneration.
Eggs in a Healthy Diet
Eating one egg each day is good, but eating three or four eggs every day may add too much fat. You can reduce fat by using one whole egg and extra egg whites if one egg just isn't enough. You should also poach, hard boil or scramble your eggs, don't fry them in butter or margarine. If you want your eggs sunny side up or over-easy, use a non-stick skillet without the extra fat.
Here are some healthy egg recipes:
Chickens that are fed healthier feeds with seeds containing omega-3 fatty acids actually lay eggs with healthier fats in the yolks. In fact, eating these omega eggs may improve your cholesterol and blood lipids.
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