If you are like many Americans, you have probably heard a lot about cholesterol and eggs during your lifetime. Often times, the messages regarding the health effects of eggs might seem confusing and contradictory, leading to much frustration on the part of health-conscious consumers. We here at Natural Knowledge 24/7 understand your predicament, and would like to shed some light on this egg-tremely important topic.
First, let’s start with some undisputed facts regarding eggs and your cholesterol. Chicken eggs are relatively high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can increase the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream. This relationship, however, varies from person to person. In other words, person “A” might have notice a much stronger connection between cholesterol and diet than person “B.”
This begs the question: if eggs cause an increase in cholesterol (albeit to varying degrees), do they put you at a greater risk of suffering from health problems? According to research, the answer is no – so long as you do not consume eggs in excessive quantities. Numerous studies have concluded that consuming four or less egg yolks per week does not lead to heart disease.
How Much is Too Much?
Though encouraging, this research should not be taken a green-light to eat eggs to your heart’s content. If fact, the United States Department of Agriculture advises Americans to consume no more than 300mg of cholesterol each day. This figure drops to 200mg for individuals considered to be at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
So what’s an egg-lover to do? Your first step should be to find out how much cholesterol your particular brand of eggs contains. Generally, it is estimated that one large egg contains 186mg of cholesterol. However, eggs are relatively unique when it comes to cholesterol, in that all of its cholesterol content is located within one specific area – the yolk. This means that consumers have options when it comes to eating eggs.
For example, say you have one scrambled egg at breakfast, yet are hungry for seconds. Though you have already used up 186 mg of your 300 mg daily allotment for cholesterol, you can still enjoy a second egg. The answer lies in egg whites, the clear liquid surrounding the yolk. Egg whites contain absolutely zero cholesterol, virtually no fat and only a scant 16 calories on average. In addition, egg whites are an egg-cellent source of protein, with the average egg white offering 4g of the nutrient. A singular egg white will also provide you with 4.9 mg of phosphorus, 3.6 mg of magnesium, 2.3 mg of calcium, 6.6 micrograms (mcg) of selenium and 1.3mcg of folate.
Separating the Egg White and Yolk
If you’re worried about how to successfully extract an egg’s yolk from the surrounding egg whites, then take a look our easy-to-follow guide below:
1) First, gently crack an egg along the edge of a bowl. Don’t open the egg up just yet – your goal should be to crack the shell into two halves without having any of the contents fall out.
2) Quickly turn the egg upright, and disconnect the top half from the bottom. If you’re successful, both the egg white and the yolk should be resting comfortably in the bottom half.
3) Hold both egg halves over the bowl. Pour the egg’s contents from one shell into the other, letting the egg white drip into the bowl as you do so. Be careful not to let the yolk fall into the bowl; instead, try and keep the yolk sliding between the egg shell halves. This might take some practice, but your efforts will be richly rewarded.
4) Repeat this process until all of the egg white has been poured into your bowl.
Egg White Recipes
Now that you know about the benefits of egg whites, and how to properly separate them from the yolk, you might be wondering how to go about preparing them. There are actually quite a few ways of preparing and egg-ceptional meal. The next time you are in the mood for eggs, try giving one of these ideas a try:
Scrambled Egg White Sandwiches – Here’s an easy one – simply separate the egg whites from the yolk, and scramble them as you would regular eggs. Once the eggs are sufficiently scrambled, stick them in between two pieces of your favorite bread.
Egg White Omelet – Omelets require a bit more work to prepare than scrambled eggs. Your first step should be to get all of your egg whites into a single bowl. With that out of the way, you can now get to the fun part – adding your omelet’s ingredients! While you can add just about anything to an omelet, you can’t go wrong by choosing items such as sliced mushrooms, spinach, green pepper slices and pieces of onion.
Once your ingredients of choice have been added, you can turn your attention to cooking your omelet. If you don’t have a nonstick pan, scatter the surface of your pan with some nonstick cooking spray. After adding the mixture to the pan, spread your soon-to-be omelet across the pan’s surface with a spatula. It should only take a few minutes for your egg white mixture to fully solidify, signaling that your omelet is finished. Let your omelet cool down for a minute or so before eating.
Egg White French Toast – Like the omelet recipe above, egg white French toast features multiple ingredients that can help get your day off to a healthy start. For this particular recipe, you will need 4 slices of bread, 2 tablespoons of fat-free milk, 1 ripened mashed banana, a dash of cinnamon, a pinch of slat and, of course, 3 egg whites. You will also need a frying pan and cooking spray to make this particular breakfast meal. If you really want to let your imagination run wild, you can also add 2 tablespoons of jam or pure maple syrup to your mixture.
Not surprisingly, your first step should be to separate the yolk from the egg white. With this task out of the way, you can then add your fat-free milk, salt, jam/syrup and cinnamon to the egg whites – make sure to mix them thoroughly. Coat your frying pan with cooking spray, and heat it to the desired level. Take your pieces of bread and dunk them in your egg white mixture, then place them in your frying pan. Your final step is to cook the bread to your preferred level of doneness. In all, two slices of this healthy variation of French toast will net you 5.75g of fiber and 2.65g of protein, at a cost of only 224 calories and 2.25g of fat (adding jam to your mixture will tack on an additional 80 calories; maple syrup will add roughly 105 calories to your meal).
Egg White Salad – While the first three of these recipes provide several solid options for breakfast, egg whites can also add leave a lasting imprint on lunch. To adequately prepare an egg white salad, you will need the following ingredients:
- 6 large hard-boiled egg whites, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 3 tbsp. fat-free mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. creamy Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
Once all of your ingredients are in place, start preparing your salad by putting the chopped onions in a microwavable bowl; this bowl should also be filled with 1 tablespoon of water. After covering the bowl with a microwave-safe plate, cook the onions and water for about 90 seconds. Allow the bowl to cool down to a manageable level before draining the water from the bowl.
While your onions finish cooling, place the fat-free mayonnaise, lime juice, mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice into a second bowl. Mix these ingredients together, and then turn your attention back to your chopped red onions. If they have fully cooled down from their brief spin in the microwave, add your chopped egg whites, red pepper and celery to the equation. Finally, pour your mayonnaise onto your egg whites/peppers/celery concoction, and stir them together with a mixing spoon. Your egg white salad should now be ready to eat!