Whether scrambled, tough, too easy or even fried, eggs contain a lot of nutrients. They provide many health benefits as they are a good source of protein and can help things like inflammation, bone health, brain health and even pregnancy. Eat them for breakfastafter a workout, or even just as a snack during the day.
We can’t deny that eating eggs is healthy. However, you have to be careful what you put in them and what you eat them with. Just because the eggs themselves are good for you doesn’t mean you can throw a bunch of unhealthy ingredients into them.
“Eggs are a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition,” says Lauren ManagerMS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPTauthor of First Time Mom Pregnancy Cookbook, The 7 Ingredient Healthy Pregnancy Cookbookand Fueling Male Fertility. “From the high-quality protein they provide to the multitude of B vitamins they contain, there’s no denying that eating eggs can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. But, when eggs are accompanied by ‘a food containing sodium, the unhealthiness of other ingredients can overshadow the healthiness of eggs.
Why eating eggs with processed foods is unhealthy
Manaker shares that if you were to order eggs from a restaurant, many of them would serve them with other sides. This includes cured meats like baconand sausageas well as salted potatoes (like hash browns). Eggs themselves are a great addition to a healthy diet. However, overall the dish can be very high in saturated fat, sodium, and other unsavory nutrients.
Eating breakfast meats like bacon and sausages can be high in fat and sodium. According to 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the daily value for sodium is 2,300 milligrams. A slice of bacon is 115 milligrams, adding up to 5% of your Daily Value. Although it seems small at first glance, restaurants give two to three slices of bacon (maybe even more). This can add up to a lot of sodium in just one meal. A link of sausage is equivalent to approximately 790 milligrams of sodiumwhich is 34% of your daily value.
When it comes to the amount of fat consumed, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limit saturated fat calories to 10% of your daily intake or the equivalent of 20 grams for a 2,000 calorie diet. A slice of bacon contains about 12.6 grams of saturated fat, more than half of the daily requirement.
How to Be Sure to Reap the Benefits of Eggs
The thing is, as long as you watch what else you put on the plate, you will reap the benefits that eggs provide in full. If you add foods that you know offer little or no benefit, the plate can counteract.
The good news is that you don’t have to eat the eggs alone. If you want a full plate, just be sure to add other foods that provide nutrients.
“When enjoying your eggs, be sure to eat them with other good-for-you, nutrient-dense foods like avocado, whole-grain toast, and vegetables,” Manaker says.
Kayla Garritano is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That! She graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and earned a double minor in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more