How do you like your eggs in the morning? If you want them to be healthy, the answer probably shouldn’t be fried.
Eggs are a great part of a balanced diet as they’re jam-packed with protein, vitamin D vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, folate and iodine. However, the way we prepare them can have an impact on how healthy they are overall.
So, what’s the best method?
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First you need to decide how many you want to eat. According to Charlotte Stirling-Reed, registered nutrition consultant and co-founder of LittleFoodie.org, the rules surrounding how many eggs it’s safe for people to eat have caused confusion for the public over the years.
“Previously there were limits on how many eggs should be eaten a day. This is mainly due to the fact that eggs contain cholesterol and ‘high cholesterol’ in the blood is often linked to heart disease,” she explains.
“However, the cholesterol we eat in the diet doesn’t actually impact on our levels of cholesterol in the body and therefore there isn’t necessarily a limit to how many eggs we should eat each week. The most important thing is that we ensure variety in the diet and so opt for a variety of protein sources, including eggs.”
So what about the actual method of cooking? While there is some evidence to suggest the cooking method may cause some nutrient losses or increases, Stirling-Reed says these effects are “fairly minimal”.
“A more important concept is actually what we serve our eggs with,” she says.
For example, frying with lashings of oil is likely to add extra fat and calories. In fact, the NHS says this method can increase an egg’s fat content by around 50%, so fried eggs should definitely be reserved as a treat.
Regularly making scrambled eggs with large amounts of butter can also be bad news for health. “But if you’re eating scrambled egg and using just milk - not oil or butter - then you’re likely to also be adding in extra nutrients,” Stirling-Reed says.
Your safest bet if you’re trying to keep eggs healthy is to boil or poach them, without added salt. There is little health difference between these two methods, but Stirling-Reed is a fan of boiled. “They are perfect for eating on the go or for food for babies,” she says.