What Are the Benefits of Poaching Eggs?

Eggs have an undeserved negative reputation. They've long been labeled as a contributor to increased blood cholesterol levels and heart problems due to their cholesterol content. For those who like eggs and are attempting to eat healthy, however, there is good news: A summary of research on dietary cholesterol intake published by Advances in Nutrition indicated no substantiated link between consumption of cholesterol and increase in cardiovascular disease. The journal reported that long-term egg consumption did not appear to have a negative impact on cardiovascular health. One of the easiest and healthiest ways to prepare eggs is by poaching them.

Poaching an egg is a quick way to add protein to a meal of steamed vegetables. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Choline and Antioxidants

Whole eggs -- included those prepared by poaching -- are high in the nutrient choline. Advances in Nutrition Journal reports studies have linked low dietary choline consumption to a higher risk of breast cancer, higher concentrations of inflammation and an increased chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect. Eggs are also good sources of calcium and iron, important minerals, respectively, for bone and teeth growth and red blood cell formation. In addition, they supply the body with lutein and zeaxanthin -- antioxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration.

Protein and Calories

Consumption of two poached eggs a day may be an effective part of a weight-loss plan. One egg contains only 72 calories. According to researchers at Louisiana State University, obese women who ate two eggs for breakfast at least five times a week lost 65 percent more weight than those who ate bagels for breakfast. Eggs contain an easily digested protein that makes you feel full quicker and continue to feel full longer than a meal of carbohydrates.

High-Temperature Preparation Risks

Whole eggs may be an important addition to a healthy, balanced diet, but the benefits may be decreased by the preparation method. Research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York indicates that frying or grilling foods at high temperatures can actually produce compounds that may increase body inflammation, which is of special concern to individuals who struggle with arthritis or other inflammatory-type diseases. Poached eggs are prepared with boiling water, which does not produce these inflammatory-causing compounds.

Fats

For individuals attempting to cut down on saturated fat and calories, poached eggs compare favorably to eggs that are fried or scrambled. Scrambled or fried eggs -- and omelets -- require butter or oil, and omelets often include milk and/or cheese. Consuming too much saturated fat is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. If you use unsaturated fats such as olive oil or corn oil, you are choosing a healthier option, but you are still adding calories to the final product. Poaching an egg avoids additional fats and calories.

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