Eggs pack a lot of nutrition, are low in calories, and don’t have as much cholesterol as previously thought. Let’s take a fresh look at the egg.Who doesn’t love eggs? Whether scrambled, hard-boiled, poached, or folded into an omelet, eggs are versatile and tasty. Even better, eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition in a healthy diet and a great low-calorie addition to a weight-loss diet. With only 15 calories each, hard-boiled egg whites, for instance, can help you stick to your diet — the protein in them helps you feel full and being low in calories make them a great snack.
The Egg: Diet Facts
It’s time to get reacquainted with the egg, a great food whether you’re on a diet or just looking to manage your weight.
- The egg is a low-calorie powerhouse. “The egg is a great source of nutrition and especially brain food,” says Susan B. Roberts, PhD, author of The Instinct Diet and professor of nutrition at the USDA Nutrition Center at Tufts University in Boston. “With only 80 calories per large egg and a useful 6 grams of protein, it can be scrambled or even fried with just a dab of butter and still come in at under 100 calories.”
- Eggs have vitamins and other nutrients. Besides providing protein (making you feel full longer), an egg supplies many essential nutrients including vitamin A, the B vitamins B-12, riboflavin, and folacin, and the minerals iron, phosphorus, and zinc, along with choline and DHA, essential nutrients for brain health.
- The egg has less cholesterol than we thought. It turns out early tests measured falsely high for the amount of cholesterol in an egg, unfairly giving it a bad rap. According to recent research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one large egg has 213 milligrams of cholesterol. Testing is also under way in the egg industry to see if that amount can be further reduced.
- Egg whites can be part of your daily menu. It’s best to eat no more than three or four whole eggs per week, but egg whites have only 15 calories per egg, no cholesterol, and no saturated fat, so dieters can eat as many as they want. Not only that, egg whites taste better than store-bought egg substitutes.
- Eggs make a great weekend breakfast. “One great role eggs can play is in making weekend food seem special without overdosing on calories,” says Dr. Roberts. “For example, scrambled eggs and whole-wheat toast or a fried egg and Canadian bacon on Sunday morning can become a special weekend breakfast without adding anything to calories beyond a regular weekday cereal meal.”
- Eggs are an inexpensive protein source. Eggs are economical, especially when compared to steak or even a hamburger.
- Eggs aren’t only for breakfast. “Think like the French and don’t dismiss eggs as a great dinner food,” says Roberts. “It takes a mere couple of minutes to whip up an omelet, so you can keep eggs in the fridge for quick dinners when you get home and are too tired to cook or go out. A two-egg omelet with a slice of whole-wheat toast and an apple or orange is a great weight control meal.”
Now that the egg has been cleared of any wrongdoing, think of it next time for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a quick healthy snack.