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Eggs 101

Eggs have had their ups and downs in the world of nutrition. In Eggs 101, we break down the basics of egg nutrition. In addition, we’ve whipped up a lightened version of Broccoli Cheddar Quiche prepared in less than 35 minutes, using only $7 worth of ingredients.

Protein Powerhouse

Eggs are a great source of protein and contain all of the essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are a few amino acids that the human body needs but cannot make itself, so it is important to get them from food sources. Per the USDA nutrient database, 1 large egg is 90 calories and 6 grams of protein.

The Story on Cholesterol in Eggs

Cholesterol is actually a substance that our body needs and produces naturally. However, too much cholesterol in the blood stream can lead to risk factors like heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends limiting dietary cholesterol to no more than 300 milligrams a day for those who are healthy and 200 milligrams a day for those with heart disease risk factors.  One whole egg contains about 180 milligrams of cholesterol.

Many factors contribute to raising blood cholesterol levels. Eating foods high in cholesterol is just one possible factor. If your goal is to lower your cholesterol, focus on limiting saturated and trans fats, as well as not going overboard on high cholesterol foods.

Egg White vs. Egg Yolk

The egg yolk contains iron and vitamins, but it also houses all of the cholesterol and fat. Egg whites are mostly protein, but are deficient in other nutrients. To stay low on calories and within the cholesterol limit while still benefiting from nutrients, try using one whole egg and then adding just egg whites.

Table 1 USDA Nutrient Database
Table 1 USDA Nutrient Database

Choosing the Right Egg

Quality matters. Look for eggs that are cage free or free range. There’s a much better chance that cage-free or free-range chickens were exposed to a more natural diet with greater variety. Diet variety and exposure to omega-3 rich plants can change the nutrient composition of the egg.

$7 and 35 Minutes: Lightened-Up Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

We lightened up a traditional quiche recipe and whipped it up in 35 minutes using only $7 worth of ingredients. This version has no crust, which dramatically reduces the amount of saturated fat. In addition, we reduced the amount of cheese and added nutritional yeast. The addition of nutritional yeast makes this dish a vitamin and mineral powerhouse.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 – 10 oz bag frozen broccoli – $1.99
  • 6 eggs – $1.29
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek Yogurt – $1.00
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese – $1.50
  • 2tbsp nutritional yeast – $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic – $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon salt – $0.10
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper – $0.10

Total: $6.48

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Defrost broccoli by rinsing under warm water or submerging in boiling water. Once defrosted, chop into small pieces.

3. In a bowl, combine eggs, greek yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper.

4. Stir in cheese, nutritional yeast and broccoli. Pour into greased pie dish (9-inch size recommended).

5. Bake for 30 minutes, until middle is set and golden brown.

Nutrition

Each serving of this quiche is roughly equivalent to eating one whole egg.

  • Calories: 131
  • Total Fat: 7.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 174 mg
  • Sodium: 527 mg
  • Carbs: 4.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 12 g

Bobby is the community and social media manager at Zipongo. He has a degree in nutrition and dietetics and previously worked as a health educator.

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