Scrambled eggs are a popular breakfast food that are enjoyed by many people. A serving of 3 scrambled eggs provides a good amount of protein and nutrients, and can be a healthy choice as part of a balanced diet. However, the healthiness of scrambled eggs depends on how they are prepared and what other foods they are eaten with.
Yes, 3 scrambled eggs can be a healthy choice as part of a balanced breakfast. Eggs provide high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As long as they are not prepared with a lot of added fat or calories, 3 scrambled eggs are a nutritious option.
Nutritional Profile of Eggs
Eggs are packed with nutrients and are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Here is the nutritional profile of one large egg (50g):
Some of the vitamins and minerals found in eggs include:
- Vitamin A – 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin D – 5% of the RDI
- Riboflavin (B2) – 42% of the RDI
- Vitamin B12 – 46% of the RDI
- Selenium – 22% of the RDI
Eggs also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial for eye health.
Nutrition Facts for 3 Scrambled Eggs
Since one large egg contains around 72 calories and 6g of protein, a serving of 3 scrambled eggs provides:
As you can see, 3 scrambled eggs provide a significant amount of protein, along with healthy fats, vitamin D, B vitamins and other nutrients.
Benefits of Eggs
Here are some of the key health benefits associated with eating eggs:
High in Protein
Eggs are one of the best sources of protein you can eat. Proteins are the building blocks of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.
Getting enough protein is important for building muscle mass, maintaining tissue, keeping hair and nails strong and preserving bone strength as you age.
Loaded with Nutrients
Eggs provide almost every vitamin and mineral your body needs. They are particularly high in choline, a nutrient that supports brain health and development.
Just a single egg yolk contains approximately 30% of your daily requirement for choline.
May Promote Weight Loss
Eggs are a very filling food, thanks to their protein content. Eating eggs can help you eat fewer calories overall and lose excess weight.
One study found that eating eggs for breakfast helped participants lose 65% more weight compared to those who ate a bagel breakfast with the same number of calories.
May Lower Heart Disease Risk
Although eggs used to be demonized for their cholesterol content, research shows they do NOT raise the risk of heart disease in most people.
Eating 1–3 eggs per day can improve cholesterol markers in overweight and obese people when part of a calorie-controlled diet.
Good Source of Antioxidants
In addition to all the vitamins and minerals in eggs, they also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
These antioxidants are found in the egg yolk and have been shown to promote eye health and prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
Potential Downsides of Eating Eggs
While eggs are healthy for most people, there are a few potential downsides to consider:
High in Cholesterol
Each egg contains about 212 mg of cholesterol. For some individuals susceptible to high cholesterol, consuming cholesterol-rich foods like eggs may increase blood cholesterol levels.
However, studies show that eggs only raise cholesterol moderately in most people. Eating more fiber and exercising can also help offset cholesterol changes.
May Contain Harmful Bacteria
Raw or undercooked eggs may contain salmonella bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. However, the risk of contamination is very low.
Using pasteurized eggs when cooking eliminates this risk. Properly cooking eggs by frying, boiling, baking or scrambling also kills any bacteria.
Eggs are one of the most common food allergens. Symptoms of an egg allergy include skin rash, hives, swelling and wheezing.
Children with an egg allergy should avoid eggs completely until they can be tested for egg tolerance. Adults who suspect an allergy can be tested by an allergist.
How Are You Preparing Your Scrambled Eggs?
While eggs are very nutritious, the way you cook and serve them can significantly alter their nutrition profile.
Here are some preparation methods that can boost or reduce the healthfulness of scrambled eggs:
- Cook in olive oil or avocado oil – adds antioxidants
- Add veggies like spinach, tomatoes, onions – boosts fiber and nutrients
- Use dairy-free milk – avoids saturated fat
- Season with herbs, spices, hot sauce – adds flavor without calories
- Use just egg whites – reduces calories and cholesterol
- Cook with butter or bacon fat – adds saturated fat
- Add cheese – increases calories and fat
- Serve with white toast or hash browns – simple carbs and not very filling
- Add cream, creme fraiche – increases fat and calories
- Salt excessively – may promote high blood pressure
Healthy Ways to Prepare 3 Scrambled Eggs
Here are some nutritious ways to cook and serve your 3 scrambled eggs:
1. Veggie Scramble
- Scramble eggs in avocado oil
- Add diced tomatoes, spinach, onions, mushrooms
- Season with salt, pepper, oregano
- Top with sliced avocado
2. Southwest Style
- Whisk eggs with splash of non-dairy milk
- Scramble in olive oil
- Add black beans, bell pepper, onions, corn
- Season with chili powder, cumin, garlic
- Top with salsa, sprinkle of cheese (optional)
3. Mediterranean Scramble
- Beat eggs with fresh herbs like basil, dill, chives
- Scramble in olive oil, don’t overcook
- Top with crumbled feta cheese
- Serve with whole grain toast
Preparing your scrambled eggs with vegetables and healthy fats will enhance nutrition while keeping them low in calories. Avoid adding fatty meats like sausage.
Healthy Side Dishes for Scrambled Eggs
To make your 3 scrambled eggs a well-rounded, nutritious breakfast, pair them with healthy side dishes like:
- Fresh fruit like berries or melon
- Whole grain oatmeal or cereal
- Greek yogurt with granola
- Leafy greens salad
- Avocado slices
- Roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Tomato slices
- Whole grain or sourdough toast
Avoid pairing eggs with greasy sides like hash browns, sausage, bacon or biscuits to keep the meal balanced.
Eggs for Different Diets
Eggs can fit into several different diets and eating patterns:
Eggs are a staple food on the high-fat, very low-carb ketogenic diet. They provide protein, fat and nutrients without raising carb intake.
The Paleo diet emphasizes meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. As such, eggs are encouraged as a main protein source.
Eggs provide vitmain B12, an important nutrient that is hard to obtain on plant-based diets. Eggs can be part of lacto-ovo vegetarian diets but not vegan ones.
Although eggs contain cholesterol, they typically don’t raise blood cholesterol significantly. Still, some people on low cholesterol diets may need to limit egg yolks to about 1 per day.
Should You Eat Egg Whites or Whole Eggs?
Both egg whites and whole eggs provide benefits, but whole eggs contain more nutrients:
- Lower in calories, fat and cholesterol
- Contain the majority of the protein
- Still provide nutrients like selenium, B vitamins and iron
- Higher in calories, fat and cholesterol
- Additional protein compared to just whites
- Healthy fat helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins
- Nutrients like choline concentrated in the yolk
In most cases, whole eggs are recommended. However, those with cholesterol issues or cutting calories may want just whites.
Potential Health Risks of Eating Too Many Eggs
Here are some possible downsides of eating too many eggs:
- May negatively impact cholesterol levels in some people when eaten in excess.
- Increase risk of heart disease for people with diabetes if more than 3 eggs per week.
- Potential for weight gain if eaten in addition to usual diet without adjusting calories.
- Risk of developing an allergy or sensitivity over time.
- Possibility of nutrient deficiencies if eggs make up a majority of the diet.
Eating up to 3 eggs daily as part of a healthy diet is unlikely to cause harm. But restricting intake to no more than 7 per week is a good target for most people.
Nutrition Recommendations for Eggs
Here are some common recommendations for egg intake:
- Healthy people can eat up to 7 eggs per week.
- People with diabetes should limit eggs to no more than 3 per week.
- For those with high cholesterol, restricting yolks to 1 per day and whites only may be advised.
- Pregnant women should cook eggs thoroughly to avoid risk of salmonella.
- Children, older adults and the immuno-compromised should avoid raw and undercooked eggs.
- Moderating portion sizes is important when trying to lose weight.
Speaking to a doctor or registered dietician can help determine appropriate egg intake for your individual health status and diet.
The Bottom Line
Eggs are among the healthiest foods you can eat. Whole eggs provide protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants necessary for good health.
Enjoying 3 scrambled eggs several times per week can fit into a balanced diet for most people. Prepare them with vegetables, fresh herbs and healthy oils or non-dairy milk for added nutrition.
Pair scrambled eggs with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, yogurt and other plant-based foods. Be mindful of added saturated fats like cheese, cream and fatty meats.
Overall, 3 scrambled eggs can provide great nutrition to start your day. As part of a varied diet, they pose little risk for heart health or cholesterol for most individuals.