Speggtacular!

28 Nov

Eggs have gotten a bad rap in the media.  They have become the bad boy of high cholesterol.  And true, they do contain a high amount, but that does not mean they are to be totally avoided in our diet.  Eggs are very versatile, a good source of protein, and can be a part of most any healthy diet in moderation.

A word about cholesterol.  It is transported in our blood with a protein, and it’s a little sticky and waxy.  Interestingly enough, our body actually makes most, if not all, of the cholesterol we need.  Cholesterol is made in our liver.  Isn’t that cool?  Our body uses cholesterol in a couple of ways, but mostly to protect nerves.  It is also used for tissue and hormone production, so it does have an important function in the body.

There is the good cholesterol, and its job is to remove some of the bad cholesterol from our blood.  Kind of like a little pac man.  It chomps through the blood collecting the bad cholesterol.  It then returns it to the liver to be eliminated as waste.   There is also the bad cholesterol, which we want to limit.  Too much of the bad cholesterol sticks together and clogs arteries.  That’s a bad thing. So it is important to keep cholesterol in the diet low.  Too much cholesterol can put us at risk for heart disease and stroke.  The good news is that high cholesterol is both preventable and treatable, but its best to focus on the prevention part!

Our body also gets cholesterol from food we eat that contain it.  And like anything, too much is not healthy.  Where is cholesterol found? In what foods?  It is found in food that comes from animals, like meat and dairy products.  Shellfish can also contain moderately high amounts of cholesterol too.  However, the real contributing factor to high cholesterol with shellfish is in the preparation method, such as frying.  Who doesn’t love fried shrimp?  So both the shellfish as well as frying contribute to the high cholesterol in  shellfish.

But back to our eggs.  Eggs are a wonderful source of protein.  They also have riboflavin (also called B2), B12 (important for metabolism), selenium (helps prevent cellular damage), and phosphorus (works with calcium to build strong teeth and bones).  So you see, eggs can make a great contribution as part of your healthy diet, but in moderation.  How should they be prepared?  So any ways!  That is one of the things that makes eggs great-versatility!  They can be hard boiled or scrambled.  Cooked a million ways!  One of my favorite ways to eat eggs is to make an omelet.  Here is a simple recipe for an easy omelet.

Omelet

1 whole egg

1 egg white

3 T skim milk

salt and pepper to taste

Crack the eggs into a bowl.  Add milk, salt and pepper.  Whisk with a wire whisk or a fork until yellow and a bit fluffy.  Spray an 8 inch saute pan with non stick cooking spray.  Heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface.  Pour eggs into pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, flip omelet over.  Reduce heat to low and cook another 1-2 minutes until desired doneness.  Fold in half and slide onto a plate.

Now here is where it gets exciting.  You can fill an omelet with anything.  Ham, cheese, or my favorite for a super healthy omelet, vegetables.  When you flip the omelet, that is when you can add your filling.  I love to add roasted red peppers, onions, spinach, and really get creative!  I even use leftovers.   What?  Leftovers?  You bet!

I love to make spinach casserole.  Baked spinach casserole, with its creamy garlic, cheese and fat free milk makes a great side dish.  The next morning I will make a healthy omelet, fill it with some leftover baked spinach casserole, make a piece of whole wheat toast, and have a yummy meal!  Delish!  And when made using butter and fat sparingly, it is healthy.

Eggs can be hard boiled and sliced to add to a fresh green garden salad.  Again, use the whites and maybe only part of the yolk to keep the fat and cholesterol low and the nutrition high!  So enjoy the versatility, flavor and health benefits of working a couple of eggs into your weekly diet.

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One Response to “Speggtacular!”

  1. Shirley K November 29, 2011 at 1:05 am #

    Hi, another great healthy tip for a great dinner, lunch or even breakfast. 🙂 you are awesome. keep up the good work, love, mommy

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