Eggs have been in the news a lot — again. It seems like every few years, questions arise about these meals in a shell. Are they good or bad for you? What about their protein and cholesterol?

Looking at the nutritional breakdown, one egg contains roughly 75 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 0 carbohydrates, 67 milligrams of potassium, 70 grams of sodium and 210 milligrams of cholesterol. Eggs are also a great source of vitamins A, D and B12, as well as choline, which is a nutrient that's essential in many steps of metabolism. Except for its cholesterol content, one egg is a healthy option for breakfast lunch or dinner.

Research shows that the cholesterol in eggs doesn't seem to negatively affect the

human body, compared to other sources of cholesterol. For example, eggs typically are eaten with other foods high in salt, saturated fat and cholesterol, such as bacon, cheese and butter. These foods are known to increase the risk of heart disease, and they should be eaten sparingly.

Most healthy people can eat up to seven eggs a week without affecting their heart health. Some choose to eat only the egg white and not the yolk, which provides some protein without the cholesterol.

Here's how eggs stack up nutritionally in dishes that feature eggs:

 2 scrambled egg whites: 34 calories; 0 grams fat; 7 grams protein; 110 mg sodium; and 0 mg cholesterol.

 2 fried eggs: 184 calories; 14 grams fat; 12 grams protein; 94 mg sodium; and 420 mg cholesterol.

 Denny's Western Omelet: 700 calories; 46 grams fat; 38 grams protein; 2,180 mg sodium; and 760 mg cholesterol.

 McDonald's Big Breakfast: 760 calories; 48 grams fat; 28 grams protein; 1,530 mg sodium; and 485 mg cholesterol.

Eggs can be a good addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet. Just watch out for those high-calorie, high-fat extras like cheese, bacon and butter.

Anne Harguth is a registered dietitian with Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca.

Recommended for you

Load comments