Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Egg Whites, Better than the Rest?

Eggs are a staple in the vast majority of modern diets.  They hold our bread together, they form our breakfast omelettes, they can be a nice hard boiled snack, and for my fellow gym-goers they represent a fantastic source of protein.  You eat more eggs than you probably realize, and that's not a bad thing.  Eggs are a natural food loaded with great substance that your body can make use of.  In fact I suggest getting a few more eggs into your diet, especially around breakfast and lunch time.  They're low calorie, high protein, and absolutely delicious.  But is there a way that you can make this natural super-food even better for you?  I'll let you in on a simple little diet change regarding eggs that might make them that much more enjoyable to have in your diet.

Now maybe you've heard, but the only really iffy part of an egg happens to be that nice creamy yellow yolk.  Egg yolks do contain "bad" cholesterol, which you definitely don't want to be getting too much of in your diet.  One egg yolk contains about 213mg of LDL cholesterol, and if you're consuming multiple eggs a day I'd suggest limiting your cholesterol from other sources.  Will this cholesterol kill your healthy diet?  No, not at all, in fact the average person doesn't eat enough eggs to even feel the effects of that added cholesterol.  Still though, it'd be nice to get more of the benefits from eggs (of which there are numerous) without worrying about heart health.  Also, egg yolks contain the majority of the calories in eggs.  One egg has about 78 calories, and the yolk contains between 55-60 of them.  Wouldn't it be nice to have an extremely low calorie egg white source, free from cholesterol and saturated fat?

Well that's a pretty easy thing to do, actually.  BUY EGG WHITES.  Liquid egg whites come in small cartons, and are extremely useful for everything from omelettes to cakes to breads or anything else you want to bake.  They contain all the benefits from eggs such as:

High Vitamin D Content

Dense, usable protein

Healthy, unsaturated fat

High Sulfur content

But how do you use egg whites?  Well in omelettes, it's pretty easy.  Measure out your desired amount (I'd suggest either 1/2 cup or 1 cup, which contain 60 and 120 calories respectively), and throw it on a greased up griddle.  Add some peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheese, and a lean protein source to have quite the healthy, satisfying breakfast.  It's pretty easy to do scrambled eggs as well, just follow the same process, but run the spatula through the egg white liquid as it's grilling to "scramble" it into a soft, lumpy egg pile of goodness. I'd suggest seasoning with some cayenne pepper, I really like it spicy.  But stay away from the salt!

How about baking?  Obviously this gets a little more iffy if you're trying to substitute egg whites for whole eggs, but it can work.  There's a general formula which says if you want to replace whole eggs, use two egg whites (1 egg white would be the amount of white contained in one egg.)  If you're using carton egg whites (such as egg beaters, which I would STRONGLY recommend considering they add a whole lot of yolk nutrients back into the substance without any of the cholesterol or fat), you need a conversion factor.  This conversion was pulled directly off their website www.eggbeaters.com:

For recipes, simply use Egg Beaters as follows:
4 whole eggs = 1 cup Egg Beaters
1 whole egg = 1/4 cup Egg Beaters
1 egg white = 3 tbsp Egg Beaters

Try it in a few recipes!  You can really add a new health factor to many of your old favorites.

On a side note, if you're making an omelette with traditional carton egg whites, don't be afraid to add one whole egg in there too for both flavor and the nutrients that the yolk contains.  While the yolk does contain LDL cholesterol, it also has a lot of benefits as well, like all sorts of rich vitamins.  And believe me, one egg won't hurt you.  Better yet, use egg beaters.  Like I mentioned before, they separate the yolk out, but add all the lost nutrients back into the mixture.  That's a win win situation right there.  It's also a great source of beta carotene!

So there you have it.  Some of the benefits of egg whites, and why it'd be a great idea to try some in your diet.  The cartons are really easy to find, and even easier to use once you start giving them a chance and making the effort to change up those recipes.  Give it a shot!

Scramble with determination, fry with confidence, and as always, good luck!

1 comment:

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