Knowing substitutions for ingredients is a handy trick when you're baking . One such substitution involves replacing an egg with 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water until it forms a gel. Choosing to use flaxseed instead of eggs increases your fiber intake, saves you calories and limits the amount of fat and cholesterol in your diet, whereas using eggs helps you get the recommended daily amount of some vitamins and minerals.
Each large egg contains 72 calories, 6.3 grams of protein, 4.8 grams of fat, 0.4 grams of carbohydrates and 186 milligrams of cholesterol. This serving provides 62 percent of the recommended daily limit for cholesterol. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides 37 calories, 1.3 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat and 2 grams of carbs, including 1.9 grams of fiber. Not only do flaxseeds contain less fat, but almost all of the fat they do contain is healthy unsaturated fat. Eggs have 1.5 grams of saturated fat each, or about 8 percent of the daily value, whereas a tablespoon of flaxseed has only 0.3 grams. Consuming too much saturated fat can increase your risk for high cholesterol and heart disease.
Although a tablespoon of ground flaxseed doesn't provide a significant amount of any of the essential vitamins, each egg contains 13 percent of the daily value for riboflavin, 25 percent of the DV for vitamin E and 10 percent of the DV for vitamin D. You need riboflavin for forming red blood cells and keeping your skin and hair healthy, vitamin E keeps your immune system healthy and acts as an antioxidant, and vitamin D is necessary for absorbing calcium to form strong bones.
Flaxseed contains only small amounts of the essential minerals, but eating an egg provides you with 10 percent of the DV for phosphorus and 22 percent of the DV for selenium. Phosphorus is important for producing DNA and repairing cells, and selenium helps keep your thyroid and immune system functioning properly.
Adding more flaxseed to your diet will help you get your recommended essential omega-3 fats, which keep your heart healthy. Each tablespoon contains 7.2 grams of alpha-linolenic acid, one of the three main types of omega-3 fats. This amount is more than the recommended intake per day of at least 1.3 to 2.7 grams for every 2,000 calories you consume. Eggs contain only small amounts of omega-3 fats unless you buy eggs that are fortified with these nutrients.
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.