Are hard boiled eggs good for you?

The great thing about eggs is that they are not only inexpensive but there are also many different ways to cook them. They can be fried, scrambled, poached or boiled, to name a few.

Boiled eggs can either be soft, medium or hard, the main difference being how well the yolk is cooked:

  • Soft – the white part of the egg is thoroughly cooked but the yolk is still liquid and runny
  • Medium – the yolk is partially cooked and in a semi solid, semi liquid state
  • Hard – the yolk is thoroughly cooked, solid and light yellow in colour

Boiling eggs is one of the easiest and healthiest ways of cooking them. All you need is water and eggs; no oil or butter is used which makes them low in calories (78 calories per 1 large boiled egg) and high in nutrition.

They are also very versatile; they can eaten on their own, sliced up and sprinkled over some fresh salad or added to pasta.

Eggs in general are great

Eggs are considered to be one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, which is why they are enjoyed by so many people for breakfast, for a healthy start to the day. They bring with them a whole host of benefits:

They are a fantastic source of protein

A large (50 g) boiled egg contains 6 g of protein, which is why it is included in our list of 70 protein rich foods. Protein is not only used to build and repair muscle tissue, it is also used for many different bodily functions such as wound healing, recovery from traumatic injury, managing your weight and lowering blood pressure.

Essential amino acids are the amino acids that your body is not able to create on its own and so they need to be obtained via the diet. A food that contains all 9 essential amino acids is known as a complete protein source and eggs are one of them.

They are full of nutrients

One large boiled egg contains:

  • 15% DV riboflavin – also known as vitamin B2, it assists in energy production, promotes the formation of red blood cells and keeps your immune system healthy.
  • 9% DV vitamin B12 – vegetarians tend to suffer vitamin B12 deficiencies because foods such as fruits and vegetables do not contain it. However eggs are a great source of B12, and vegetarians are able to eat them. B12 helps with energy production, keeps your bones healthy and protects your brain.
  • 22% DV selenium – fish and meat are the best sources of selenium but if you ate 3 large eggs, you would get 66% of your daily requirement. Selenium acts as an antioxidant, helps fight off cancer and regulates your thyroid function.
  • 9% DV phosphorus – in our list of 69 phosphorus rich foods, eggs come in at number 32 when compared per 100 g to other foods. Phosphorus is important for brain health and works with calcium to help form strong bones.
  • 6% DV vitamin A – you probably know of carrots as being one of the best sources of vitamin A but there are many other foods that also contain vitamin A. It helps maintain healthy vision and could be effective at reducing the risk of cancer. Eggs yolks also contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, antioxidants that maintain eye health.

It should not come as a surprise that eggs contain so many vitamins and minerals. After all, they need to provide all the nutrients to turn a single cell into a baby chicken!

What about cholesterol?

eggs_and_cholesterol

If you know anything about nutrition, you will also know that eggs are very high in cholesterol. In fact if you use our healthy food finder tool, you will discover that eggs contain the most amount of cholesterol (372 mg per 100 g) when compared with other foods. The recommended daily intake of cholesterol is 300 mg.

The way dietary cholesterol affects your blood cholesterol levels is a controversial subject. Some studies claim that cholesterol consumption has only a slight effect on LDL cholesterol (bad) and total cholesterol levels, whereas other studies show that it has a larger effect.

There is some excellent yet controversial research done into the subject by Authority Nutrition, Harvard University, Mayo Clinic and Medline Plus. What we would conclude from this research is that as long as you don’t have pre-existing cholesterol problems, don’t suffer from heart disease or diabetes and have a generally healthy diet, you can safely have 1 – 3 eggs per day.

If you have any concerns, always speak to your doctor. He or she will be better able to advise you on your diet, depending on your current state of health. If they are concerned about how dietary cholesterol could negatively affect you, they may advise you to limit your egg yolk consumption and to eat more egg whites instead.

How to make the perfect hard boiled egg

If you have ever boiled eggs before, you may know that the end result might not have been exactly what you had in mind – a pan full of hot water that has a cracked egg in the middle of it with white frothy strains floating around.

Contrary to what you may have thought, you don’t want to use super fresh eggs when boiling because they are harder to peel. Instead, leave them in the fridge for a few days before using.

The egg white and egg yolk change structure at different temperatures, so there is a specific way of cooking them in order to get a nice hard boiled egg. First you want to place the egg in boiling water for roughly half a minute so that the egg white cooks. After this, you should lower the heat so the water is slightly simmering. Total cook time should be 10 – 12 minutes.

There are a number of factors that affect your end product, including the size of your egg, so you will want to experiment with this until you get a hard boiled egg that is just perfect for you. Once done cooking, place it in ice cold water to stop the cooking completely.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that eggs are a very nutritious food and boiling them is one of the healthiest ways to cook them. If you are a healthy individual, you can have 1 – 3 eggs per day without any problems. That being said, if you are concerned about cholesterol, you should speak to your doctor who may advise you to limit the number of eggs or egg yolks you have per week.