Eggs vs. bagels: Which is the healthier breakfast choice?

Hens across the country have likely been working overtime in preparation for the holidays of Easter and Passover. Eggs are definitely front and centre on many celebratory menus. But at other times of the year, they continue to get a bad rap. For many, the fact that they contain cholesterol has often unfairly overshadowed their numerous nutritional perks.

A few decades ago, dietary cholesterol was initially thought to be the primary villain in boosting blood cholesterol readings. Consequently eggs were shunned by those seeking heart healthy fare. But even though science has vindicated them, their reputation was sullied.

Well, it’s time to set the record straight and give eggs their due.

Though eggs have been unjustly maligned, moderate consumption is still recommended for those who eat a variety of cholesterol-containing foods as cholesterol totals can add up. In addition, for some individuals with elevated blood cholesterol readings who appear to more sensitive to dietary cholesterol limiting their intake of egg yolks (where cholesterol is found) may be advised.

But limiting eggs is not the same as eliminating them altogether.

And when you consider what eggs have going for them, including them on the menu on a regular basis is simply smart. Besides being incredibly versatile and budget-friendly, they’re packed with nutrition and offer some advantages for those concerned with waist management.

As for their nutritional content, eggs offer top-notch protein and in a flash, if you need it. Throw in their assorted B vitamins like B12, riboflavin and niacin, vitamins A, D and E along with minerals like selenium and choline and you’ve got a lot of nutrition for just 70 calories per egg. And last but certainly not least, eggs also supply the carotenoids or yellowish pigments called lutein and zeaxanthin which play a role in maintaining healthy vision.

Eating eggs can also help to tame appetites. A number of studies have compared the effect of an egg-based or bagel-based breakfast, both of which contained the same number of calories, on the caloric intake later in the day. In one study on overweight women conducted at Saint Louis University in Missouri, the subjects consumed an average of 163 fewer calories for lunch after an egg breakfast. Over a 24-hour period, they consumed about 418 fewer calories than those who ate the bagel breakfast.

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Categories: Weight Management

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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