Eggs make me think of Easter and about the good ‘ole days Easter egg hunting in my grandmother’s backyard. Funny (and possibly a bit gross) story: I remember I was probably 13 and I somehow acquired a small Easter basket with some real eggs and others with candy in them. Well, I put that basket on top of my dresser and left it there for about 2 or 3 weeks. I noticed a stench everytime I went over to that dresser but could never find anything. Finally, it dawned on me that it was the eggs rotting. I am now more observant.
But getting back on subject, nowadays, as a dietitian, eggs make me think of a popular protein source. I like to eat eggs boiled or scrambled or fried over easy. I like them in salads and use them often in baking too. But I think eggs have gotten a bad rap and there is some confusion on whether or not they are healthy. The fact is that eggs are a good source of protein but if eaten in excess, they could contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and the yolk can contain 212 mg of cholesterol. Our daily cholesterol intake should not exceed 200 mg per day if we are to eat “heart healthy”. But not all of the cholesterol goes into your bloodstream so you should be able to safely eat one egg per day if you wanted to. If you’re opting for low cholesterol food throughout the day and avoiding high cholesterol foods such as seafood, liver and whole-fat dairy products then you should be able to fit eggs into your diet plan. So for my friends back home on the bayou, seafood is considered a food group. May I also point out that we have, in our area, one of the leading cardiovascular establishments in the world and I think it’s appropriately located. Just sayin’.
I think eating your favorite foods in moderation is the key to healthy eating habits. That’s how I feel about egg yolks. Alternatives to shelled eggs are Egg Beaters. They are fantastic for omelets and great for baking and cooking. Contrary to popular belief, Egg Beaters do come from real eggs and you get all of the protein with none of the cholesterol. Check out this quick egg breakfast.
Minute Microwave Eggs
Coat a 12 ounce coffee mug with cooking spray. Pour ½ cup Egg Beaters and 2 tablespoons of milk into the mug and mix. Microwave for 45 seconds, stir, and microwave for another 45 seconds. Top with low-fat cheese and a dash of pepper. Enjoy! (Nutrition information: 60 calories, 12 gm protein, 0 gm fat)
FYI: Someone once told me they ate vegetarian eggs and really thought they were vegetarian. When eggs are labeled vegetarian eggs this only means the chickens were fed a vegetarian diet.
Be healthy today!