The health benefits of eggs are huge! Although, sadly, these benefits don't count if the eggs are chocolate Easter eggs. They are a great source of protein and amino acids. They are actually one of the only food groups that contain naturally occurring vitamin D and because of their high sulphur count and being full of vitamins and minerals, they are said to give you healthy hair and nails. They are also fairly low in calories, with one medium egg having about 68 calories in it.
The reason I praise eggs so much, is because of how much they help aid weight loss. Eating eggs for breakfast (rather than toast or cereal) will help you lose weigh as you will stay fuller for longer and that means less snacking throughout the day. Even if the eggs you have for breakfast are the same calories as the cereal or toast you would have, the eggs are still going to help you lose weight. Remember, it's not all about calorie content. Of course, there are many other benefits of eggs. Including helping improve your eyesight. And they say carrots make you see in the dark!
Most of the negativity around eggs was their cholesterol levels. Although eggs do contain cholesterol, it really isn't a significant amount. Obviously, if you have massively high cholesterol levels, you should not be eating 30 eggs a week, but 5 or 6 a week is not going to do you any damage, as long as you are not frying them that is!
It is the same with everything. Everything in moderation.
These same researchers have also said that foods high in cholesterol are not responsible for raising blood cholesterol. What is said to have a much greater effect on your blood cholesterol levels, is saturated fat. That is what we should all be cutting back on. It is true that high cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease, but only a third of the cholesterol in our body comes from our diet. It's things like being over-weight and smoking that increase cholesterol levels. So, instead of avoiding eggs, avoid cakes and embrace an omelette!
It is also really important to be aware that the quality of the egg is important too. The health of the chicken responsible for the egg will have an effect on the egg you are eating. You should always try and spend a couple of pence extra to get free-range and organic eggs. Think of those happier chickens and think of your body.
So, what should you do with the eggs? Well, pretty much anything you like. As long as you are not preparing them in an unhealthy way. If you are going to fry them, use fry-lite. You can have poached eggs on whole-wheat toast for breakfast, make a fritatta, or my personal favourite - make an omelette. The great thing about an omelette is there are so many different, and healthy, fillings you can put in them, that it will never get boring. Just try and limit, or eliminate completely, the cheese. It goes without saying that will make it less healthy. If you do use cheese, go for extra light cream cheese - it melts really nicely too. Some of my favourite things to put in an omelette include: mushrooms, leeks, onions, prawns, flaked salmon and tomato's. Not necessarily all at the same time though. I presume most of you reading this will know how to make an omlette, but you would be surprised how many people don't. So, I have included a recipe and some pictures to motivate you!
- 2 eggs
- Splash of milk
- Mushrooms (or what ever filling you want to include)
- Teaspoon of extra light cream cheese
1) First, take the eggs out of the fridge. You shouldn't cook with really cold eggs
2) If your filling needs to be cooked first, like the mushrooms do, cook them.
3) Next, heat some fry-lite in a frying pan. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add the milk and some pepper and whisk again. Poor this mixture into the pan
4) Leave to cook for a few minutes. If there is lots of excess liquid on the top, lift the omlette up at the corners and let the liquid underneath to cook. Once the egg is cooked, spread the cream cheese onto one half and top with mushrooms.
5) Fold the other half on top of the topping and cook for a couple of minutes. Then serve with a big pile of vegetables.