Is Eating Eggs Healthy?

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Not long ago eggs had a bad reputation. It was commonly agreed that they were high in saturated fat and caused elevated cholesterol levels. More recently, eggs have been celebrated as a great, low calorie source of protein. Read on to debunk the myths and learn how eggs can become a healthy part of your diet.

The Benefits

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, one large egg contains just 68 calories and about 6 g of protein. Eggs also deliver a healthy amount of selenium and B vitamins, making them a nutrient-rich, low-calorie food option.

The Risks

There are two health risks involved with eating eggs. The first is that they contain saturated fat. The second is that they’re high in cholesterol. While both of these statements are true, eggs can still be healthy part of your diet as long as they’re consumed in moderation.

Saturated Fat

Diets high in saturated fat can lead to Type II diabetes, high cholesterol and even heart disease. According to the Dietary Guideline for Americans 2005, the most recent guidelines set by the USDA, adults should not exceed 20 g of saturated fat per day. Fortunately, one egg only contains 2 g of saturated fat. The talk about eggs being high in saturated fat is mostly hype. Yes, they do contain saturated fat, but not in alarming amounts. As long as you’re not overdoing it with cheese, red meat, and other foods high in saturated fat, eggs can still be a healthy part of your diet.

Cholesterol

High cholesterol is the biggest challenge for egg lovers. The American Heart Association recommends people with normal blood cholesterol levels consume less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. One egg contains 230 mg of cholesterol–almost an entire day’s worth. If you cut out most other sources of saturated fat, you can still have one egg per day. A better and easier option would be to have eggs about two to three times per week instead.

Preparation

In general, eggs are good for you. In order to keep them that way, it’s important to prepare them with healthy ingredients. Avoid frying them in butter or creating an omelet with cheese and processed meat. Instead, opt for hard boiled eggs or prepare a vegetarian omelet with olive oil or a low calorie cooking spray instead of using butter.

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