Are Scrambled Eggs a Healthy Breakfast?

A staple in many American diets, scrambled eggs make for a filling breakfast or a quick and easy dinner. The protein in scrambled eggs, as well as vitamins and minerals, make them one of the healthiest ways to eat eggs. To make the scrambled eggs even more nutritious and delicious, add chopped vegetables like pepper, mushrooms, zucchini and onions.

Are Scrambled Eggs Healthy? (Image: OksanaKiian/iStock/GettyImages)

Tip

Scrambled eggs are a healthy choice for breakfast. If you're sensitive to dietary cholesterol, limit your intake and occasionally eat just scrambled egg whites.

Calories and Protein

Prepared at home, a serving of two large scrambled eggs contains 182 calories, as well as a significant amount of beneficial protein — 12.2 grams per serving, which is 27 percent of the daily recommended intake for women and 22 percent for men. The protein in scrambled eggs supports proper cell function, maintains your body's hormone balance and nourishes your muscles. Because of the generous protein content, eggs can contribute to a high-protein diet, which is associated with weight loss, according to a 2017 study in Obesity Facts, affiliated with the European Journey of Obesity.

Vitamins B-5 and A

Some of scrambled eggs' health benefits come from their vitamin content. Vitamin B-5, sometimes called pantothenic acid, plays a key role in energy production by helping your cells break down nutrients into fuel. It also helps you make sex hormones.

Additionally, a serving of homemade scrambled eggs provides 705 IU of vitamin A — 30 and 24 percent of the daily vitamin A needs for women and men, respectively — as well as 1.5 milligrams of vitamin B-5, or 30 percent of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin A is essential for a healthy immune system and proper cell growth.

Selenium and Choline

Scrambled eggs boost your selenium and choline intakes. Like vitamin A, selenium supports the function of your immune system. It also neutralizes free radicals, unstable molecules that cause cell damage and are linked to cancer growth. Homemade scrambled eggs contain 28.7 micrograms of selenium — 52 percent of your daily selenium needs.

The choline in scrambled eggs helps maintain nerve function, makes up a component of cell membranes and helps your body form chemicals needed for cellular communication. Eat scrambled eggs, and you'll consume 270 milligrams of choline. This contributes 49 and 63 percent toward the daily intakes recommended for men and women, respectively.

Potential Nutrition Concerns

People with high cholesterol can be concerned about scrambled eggs' nutrition content. Because scrambled eggs are typically prepared using the whole egg, they're high in cholesterol. A homemade version contains 338 milligrams of cholesterol while the fast-food version contains 409 milligrams, which is more than the 300 milligrams a day recommended by the American Heart Association for the average person. It is also more than the 200 milligrams a day recommended for those with heart disease, diabetes or elevated LDL cholesterol.

The research doesn't support eliminating eggs from your diet entirely if you're concerned about cholesterol. However, if you're making scrambled eggs at home, you can lower their cholesterol content by replacing some or all of the whole eggs with egg whites. Eat whole scrambled eggs as an occasional treat to avoid consuming too much cholesterol on a regular basis.

Choose Healthy Additions

When preparing scrambled eggs, the additional ingredients can make or break the nutritional value of your dish. Making your eggs with butter or adding handfuls of cheese significantly increases the calorie content and harmful saturated fat. Focus on adding vegetables to your scrambled eggs for the healthiest way to eat eggs; the vegetables add bulk to your diet and boost your nutrient intake without adding many calories. Try a combination of diced green pepper, onion and zucchini, or add finely chopped kale and broccoli. Try mixing a spoonful of ground flaxseed into the raw egg mixture before cooking. The flax won't significantly change the flavor of your meal, but it will add omega-3 fatty acids.

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