Are scrambled eggs healthy?
Besides boiling, frying and poaching, scrambling is one of the most common ways in which eggs can be prepared. It involves beating eggs in a bowl with a fork or whisk, pouring the resulting mixture into a hot pan and then stirring over low heat until the eggs are cooked. But even a recipe as simple as this has many different variations in terms of ingredients used and cooking methods, as can be seen here.
Scrambled eggs are enjoyed the world over (especially for breakfast) because of their delicious taste and the minimal effort required to prepare them. But are scrambled eggs healthy? The short answer: yes.
Before we discuss the benefits of eating scrambled eggs, lets take a quick look at their nutritional information.
Scrambling 2 large eggs provides you with:
The health benefits of eating scrambled eggs
They are a rich source of high quality protein
The body uses amino acids to build proteins, which are then used for many different purposes. And whilst the body is able to produce some amino acids on its own, it must obtain 9 of them from the diet. These 9 are known as the essential amino acids. Foods that provide all 9 amino acids are known as complete protein sources.
Eggs are considered to be one the of the best complete protein sources because they provide these 9 amino acids in the correct ratios. In fact, because eggs are such an excellent protein source, many other foods are compared to them when determining protein quality.
Many studies have shown that eating adequate amounts of protein can be beneficial for weight management, increasing muscle mass, bone health and overall well-being.
They are very nutritious
Eggs are often thought of as being the perfect food, and after having a look at their nutrient profile it is easy to see why. They are a source of numerous vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, D, E & K, the B vitamins, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. For this reason, eggs are mentioned in our article on the healthiest foods that you can eat.
Even after eggs are scrambled, these nutrients are preserved. For example, 2 large scrambled eggs will provide you with 12% of your daily requirement of vitamin A, 10% vitamin D, 16% vitamin B12 (which many people are deficient in), 8% calcium, 8% iron and 40% selenium. Additionally, eggs are a source of the antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin, both of which are thought to be very beneficial for eye health.
This is very impressive given the fact that a serving of 2 large scrambled eggs has just a bit more than 200 calories.
What about the cholesterol they contain?
It is a well-known fact that eggs are high in cholesterol, with 2 large scrambled eggs providing you with 430 mg, which is more than 100% of the daily recommended intake. Cholesterol is often associated with heart attacks and medication, and because of this, the reputation of eggs has been tarnished over the years.
However, new research seems to suggest that for most people, eating eggs in reasonable quantities does not negatively affect their health.
The truth is that cholesterol is actually produced by the liver, because it plays an important role in the body. But when we eat cholesterol rich foods like scrambled eggs, the liver produces less of it.
Studies suggest that for most people, eating up to 3 whole eggs per day is fine and nothing to be concerned about. That said, if you are still worried about eating too much cholesterol, there is another option. Because all of the cholesterol in eggs is found in the yolk, you can simply prepare your scrambled eggs using the eggs whites only. A recipe such as this that makes use of egg whites is drastically lower in cholesterol than your traditional type of scrambled eggs that is prepared from whole eggs.
Because of the fat (most often butter) and optional milk used during their preparation, scrambled eggs are more energy dense than eggs that have been boiled or poached in water. The difference is by no means drastic, but it is something to consider if you are monitoring your daily calorie intake.
It is also important to keep in mind that the foods that you eat your scrambled eggs with can either be beneficial or harmful to your health.
Scrambled eggs spread on wholegrain toast, together with mashed avocado and stir fried spinach, tomatoes & mushrooms is a great option because all of these foods are bursting in nutrients and have many health benefits associated with them.
On the other hand, eating scrambled eggs with deep fried bacon and sausages on a regular basis is not the best idea, because these foods are high in trans fat and have been linked to an increased risk of cancer and other diseases.