Do you still think of eggs as nutritional no-nos? A growing body of research scrambles the old thinking that eggs raise the risk of heart disease. One egg does contain 186 milligrams cholesterol, but an analysis of two large studies found that healthy people who ate eggs didn't have an increased risk of heart disease or stroke.
"The amount that an egg a day would raise your blood cholesterol levels is actually pretty small," says Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, nutrition department chairman at the Harvard School of Public Health. The American Heart Association recommends healthy adults stick to about an egg a day, but that's an average. Two eggs every other day are fine, too, Willett says.
Eggs can be a good choice for a healthy diet, given that they’re only 70 calories each, inexpensive, a snap to prepare, popular with kids, and packed with 6 grams of protein. The protein may even make eggs a good choice if you're trying to slim down. In one recent study, people ate breakfasts of either eggs or wheat cereal with nearly identical calories and protein. Those who ate eggs felt fuller and ate less at lunch.
Who doesn’t love quesadillas? And tucking scrambled eggs inside gives them a tasty protein boost.
Makes 6 servings
6 large eggs
3 scallions, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
freshly ground pepper
6 (8-inch) low-fat spinach or whole wheat tortillas
1 cup shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup arugula
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup fresh or jarred salsa
fresh cilantro leaves
1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and heat to medium-high. Whisk eggs with scallions, tomato, jalapeño, and pepper to blend. Pour eggs and vegetables into hot pan, and gently scramble with a spatula until cooked thoroughly. Set aside.
2. Coat another large flat skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium high. Add one tortilla. Layer with a third of the cheese, scrambled eggs, and arugula, and top with another tortilla. Heat quesadilla until bottom is golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip to brown the other side. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
3. To serve, cut quesadillas in half and garnish with sour cream, salsa, and cilantro.
Per serving: 271 calories, 15 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 196 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 393 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 32%