The French could prepare eggs 685 different ways during the French Revolution, making eggs a very versatile food. Eating eggs for breakfast may even help you lose weight, since they help fill you up so that you eat less during the day than you would if you ate a bagel, according to a study published in "Nutrition Research" in February 2010. However, they do contain some saturated fat.
Saturated Fat Intake
While you need some fat to keep your skin and hair healthy and absorb fat-soluble vitamins, not all types of fat are healthy. Try to limit your saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of your daily calories, since this type of fat can increase your cholesterol and heart disease risk. Fat also contains more calories per gram than protein or carbs, with 9 calories per gram compared with 4, so eating a lot of fat makes you more likely to gain weight. Most of your fat intake should come from unsaturated fats, including the heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
Fats in Eggs
Each large egg has 5.3 grams of fat, which includes 1.6 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat and 0.7 gram of polyunsaturated fat. If you eat 2,000 calories per day, you can eat about 22 grams of saturated fat, so each large egg contains about 7 percent of your saturated fat for the day.
Limiting Saturated Fat
If you want to eat eggs without consuming too much saturated fat, you can always just eat the egg white. The fat in eggs is pretty much all found in the yolk with only trace amounts in the egg white. However, egg whites also have fewer vitamins and minerals than whole eggs, so you may want to eat a mix of whites and whole eggs to get more nutrients while limiting your saturated fat intake. You can substitute two egg whites for one whole egg in recipes.
Although saturated fat has more of an effect on cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol, eat only egg whites or eat no more than four eggs a week if you are at risk for high cholesterol. Each egg has 186 milligrams of cholesterol, which is pretty close to the recommended limit of 200 milligrams per day for people at risk for heart disease. Healthy people should limit their daily cholesterol consumption to 300 milligrams per day. However, eggs are very nutritious overall, providing fiber, riboflavin, vitamin D, choline, lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Nutrition Research: Consuming Eggs for Breakfast Influences Plasma Glucose and Ghrelin, While Reducing Energy Intake During the Next 24 Hours in Adult Men
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Egg, Whole, Cooked, Hard-boiled
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Egg, White, Raw, Fresh
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose
- MedlinePlus: Fat
- MayoClinic.com: Eggs: Are They Good or Bad for My Cholesterol?
- North Dakota State University Extension: Prairie Fare: Enjoy an ‘Egg-stravaganza’ of Good Nutrition
- ABC News: All About the Egg -- Fun Facts and Cooking Tips
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.