And omelets are only the beginning. Few foods can be cooked as many ways as eggs, and they’re often a vital ingredient in recipes, either whole or separated, to add richness to a pudding or give a souffle its airy texture.
But there’s a lot more going on under that shell that you might realize. This guide will explain everything you need to know about how eggs can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.
How to Cook It: Hard-Boiled Eggs
Common Questions & Answers
What’s in an Egg? A Closer Look at Its Nutrition Facts
- 72 calories
- 5 grams (g) of fat
- 6 g of protein
- 0 g carbohydrates
- 0 g fiber
- 0 g sugar
What Are the Known Health Benefits of Eggs?
How Eating Eggs Can Help You Lose Weight
Eggs and Cholesterol: What to Know About Their Relationship
How to Select and Store Eggs for the Best Quality and Taste
Egg cartons today are full of buzzwords and marketing terms — here is how to decipher some of the most common you’re likely to encounter:
- White Versus Brown Eggs?Time to put the idea to bed that brown eggs are better. The color of an eggshell varies depending on the breed of chicken that laid it. There is no measurable nutritional difference between white and brown eggs (or any other color).
- Pasteurized Eggs?These are eggs that have been treated to destroy?salmonella. You can buy these in their shell (it will say "pasteurized" on the carton) or as a liquid pasteurized egg product. You’d want to use these if you’re making a dish that uses undercooked eggs, such as homemade Caesar dressing.
- Cage-Free Eggs?This language signifies that the hens that laid these eggs have access to an open area or can move about a barn or poultry house.
- Free-Range and Pasture-Fed Eggs?These phrases mean the chickens that laid the eggs had access to the outdoors.
- Organic Eggs?Certified organic eggs can only come from hens that are raised under specific conditions. They must be uncaged and able to roam around freely indoors and out. They also eat feed free of conventional pesticides and fertilizers, in accordance with the USDA's National Organic Program.
- Natural Eggs?All eggs are natural — they have nothing added to them.
All the Ways You Can Cook Eggs in Your Home Kitchen
One of the best things about eggs is their versatility in dishes, meaning that they don’t have to get boring as long as you play around with preparations, including:
- Omelets and frittatas
Other Ways You Can Use Eggs
- Added to casseroles as a binder (and to increase the protein)
- In crab and fish cakes or burgers, again as a binder
- To soak bread for French toast or French toast casseroles
- In homemade ice cream and eggnog (heat the egg mixture first)
- In meringue
- Egg salad
- Atop a grain bowl
- In carbonara sauce for your pasta
- Poached in tomato sauce (shakshuka)
- Hard-boiled on salad
- Fried atop soup
- In fried rice
- In breakfast tacos
The Must-Know Health Risk of Eating Raw Eggs
Symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and?abdominal pain?can appear 6 to 48 hours after eating a bad egg, but fortunately most people recover without treatment.
In spite of their somewhat controversial past, eggs can be a terrific part of a healthy diet, and even a heart-healthy one, when enjoyed in moderation. Their satiating protein may even help if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, and eggs also contain plenty of essential vitamins, earning them a regular place in a nutritious diet. Knowing how to select, store, and cook with eggs is a great way to enhance your diet.
Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
- History of Egg Production.?American Egg Board.
- Egg-STAT-ic About Eggs. U.S. Department of Agriculture. July 2021.
- Egg, Whole, Raw, Fresh.?USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release. April 2019.
- Eggs, Grade A, Large, Egg White. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release. December 2019.
- Réhault-Godbert S, Guyot N, Nys Y. The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health. Nutrients. March 2019.
- Ask the Doctor: Are Eggs Risky for Heart Health??Harvard Health. December 2021.
- Incredibly Nutritious.?American Egg Board.
- Fuller NR, Sainsbury A, Caterson ID, et al. Effect of a High-Egg Diet on Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in People With Type 2 Diabetes: The Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) Study — Randomized Weight-Loss and Follow-Up Phase.?The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.?May 2018.
- Vander Wal JS, Gupta A, Khosla P, et al. Egg Breakfast Enhances Weight Loss.?International Journal of Obesity. August 2008.
- Ratliff J, Leite JO, De Ogburn R, et al. Consuming Eggs for Breakfast Influences Plasma Glucose and Ghrelin, While Reducing Energy Intake During the Next 24 Hours in Adult Men.?Nutrition Research.?February 2010.
- McNamara D. The Fifty Year Rehabilitation of the Egg.?Nutrients. October 2015.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. March 2020.
- Salmonella and Eggs.?Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 2018.
- Cholesterol.?MedlinePlus. April 2018.
- Virtanen JK, Mursu J, Virtanen HEK, et al. Associations of Egg and Cholesterol Intakes With Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Risk of Incident Coronary Artery Disease According to Apolipoprotein E Phenotype in Men: The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.?The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.?March 2016.
- Facts About Saturated Fats. MedlinePlus. May 2020.
- Why Do We Refrigerate Eggs and Other Countries Don’t??Egg Safety Center. August 2017.
- What to Look For When Buying Eggs.?Egg Safety Center. November 2015.
- Egg Safety: What You Need to Know.?U.S. Food and Drug Administration. March 2018.
- Eggstra! Eggstra! Learn All About Them. U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 2012.
- Food Safety by Type of Food: Eggs and Egg Products.?FoodSafety.gov.
- Qin C, Lv J, Guo Y, et al. Associations of Egg Consumption With Cardiovascular Disease in a Cohort Study of 0.5 Million Chinese Adults.?Heart. May 2018.
- How to Make Flax Egg Replacer.?Bob’s Red Mill.
- Is the Internal Appearance of Eggs Related to Egg Safety??Egg Safety Center.
- Royal Marine Commando Egg Diet.
- Shell Eggs From Farm to Table. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Safety and Inspection Service.
- Soliman GA. Dietary Cholesterol and the Lack of Evidence in Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrients. June 2018.