The combined ingredients in bacon, egg and cheese on wheat toast deliver more than 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of seven vitamins and minerals, as well as 22 grams of protein. Unfortunately, these significant nutrients come at the cost of high calories, salt and fat. Offset these negatives by limiting them in the rest of your daily diet or by choosing low-fat options.
Two slices of pork bacon, one large fried egg and one slice each of cheddar cheese and wheat toast have 365 calories, 24 grams of total fat and 786 milligrams of sodium. Daily caloric requirements vary depending on age, gender and activity level, but the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines state that sedentary women need 1,800 calories daily and active women need 2,200. Based on the average of the two extremes -- 2,000 calories -- this dish provides 18 percent of total daily calories. It also delivers half of your daily salt, one-third of the recommended total fat, 62 percent of the recommended daily saturated fat and almost 80 percent of total daily cholesterol.
This dish is an especially good source of B vitamins, including 38 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-12 and 13 percent of folate and vitamin B-6. All three remove homocysteine from your blood, which may protect your heart because high levels of homocysteine increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Folate is a critical nutrient for women who may become pregnant because it prevents birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. These neural tube defects occur during the first 28 days after conception when many women don’t realize they’re pregnant. A proactive approach that includes sufficient folate in your daily diet helps ensure you’ll have enough in this early stage of pregnancy.
The combined ingredients support healthy bones by providing 27 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium and 53 percent of phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus work together to form the compound primarily used to build bones. You may associate osteoporosis as a problem that comes with age, but the foundation for preventing weak or brittle bones comes from getting enough of both minerals from an early age. Your body constantly replaces old bone with new minerals to maintain their strength, which means you need the nutrients to support this rebuilding every day throughout your life. You’ll also get more than 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of zinc and iron.
Replace pork-based bacon with turkey bacon and you’ll lose 26 calories and 2 grams of total fat. Low-fat cheddar cheese has 65 fewer calories and 7 fewer grams of total fat. The cooking method for the egg makes a difference; a large poached egg has 5 grams of fat and 72 calories, compared with 90 calories and 7 grams of fat in a fried egg. Low-fat replacements usually contain about the same salt as their regular counterparts, unless you purchase a low-salt product.
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Pork, Cured, Bacon, Cooked
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Egg, Whole, Cooked, Fried
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Cheese, Cheddar
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Bread, Wheat, Toasted
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats
- USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 -- Appendices
- Yale School of Medicine: Nutrition Before Pregnancy
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images