While eggs themselves are very healthy and can provide the body with many health benefits, the nutritional quality of fried eggs is solely dependent on what you fry them in.
Eggs are very good for you, but how you prepare them can make all the difference. That’s not to say that cooking them changes the health value of the egg itself, but of the meal. After all, to fry you need some type of fat and using a good fat or a bad fat is your choice.
Let’s look at the value of a whole egg alone. Eggs contain quality protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, while one egg contains 9% of the recommended daily value of vitamin B12, 15% of B2, 7% of B5, 6% of vitamin A and 22% of the RDA of selenium, just one egg yolk contains some amount of every vitamin and mineral required by the body. The yolk of the egg also has roughly 113 mg of choline which plays a major role in preventing liver and cardiovascular disease and protecting cell membranes. How could you go wrong?
Eggs also contain good quality protein and fats, with the whole egg supplying you with just 77 calories. This combination of nutrients makes them filling and provides a boost of energy. Eggs are considered a complete protein, providing the essential amino acids needed in most of the processes in the body and are the building blocks of cells. It’s important to consume the essential amino acids in your diet as your body cannot make them on its own.
Most of the fats in eggs are unsaturated, although some saturated fats are present as well. While saturated fats are typically considered bad for you, there is an appropriate balance of fats in this food. The unsaturated fats protect against these negative effects by protecting the heart and helping to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins eggs contain. They also have a small amount of cholesterol which is actually needed by the body. Of course, this can be bad if you have high cholesterol already.
So, since eggs alone are super healthy, what happens when you fry them? Cooking the egg does not change the value of nutrients it contains by any noticeable amount. The nutritional change of the meal occurs by adding the value of the fat in which you have fried the egg. Sure, using bacon grease to fry your egg will taste amazing, but you are also adding saturated fats, sodium, and cholesterol. Frying in butter is a little better but be sure to use as little as possible. A little butter and then a splash of water with a lid will use steam in part to cook your egg adding very little additional saturated fats. Coconut oil is an even better choice! While coconut oil is a saturated fat, it’s different than most saturated fats in that it is actually healthy for you. So, a fried egg can still be healthy for you, the question is – how do you fry YOUR eggs?
Possible short-term side effects
- allergic reaction
- effects from oil/butter used in frying
- boosts energy
- provides necessary vitamins and minerals
- promotes cell growth and healing
- protects heart health
- helps build muscle
- helps prevent liver disease
- improves brain health
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Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS | 08-14-2016
Written by Kristin Brown, DC, MS
Suggest improvement or correction