Is chicken egg foo young healthy?

Chicken egg foo young is a Chinese omelette dish made with eggs, onion, bean sprouts, and other vegetables along with small pieces of chicken or shrimp. It is pan-fried into a large flat omelette and often served with gravy.

Egg foo young is a tasty and versatile dish that can be part of a healthy diet when prepared properly. However, like any food, it also contains some less nutritious components. Evaluating the nutritional value of chicken egg foo young requires looking at the ingredients that go into it.

Nutritional Profile of Chicken Egg Foo Young

The main ingredients in chicken egg foo young are eggs, chicken, onions, bean sprouts, and vegetables. Here is a breakdown of the nutritional profile of these key ingredients:


– High in protein – 6g per large egg
– Contains all 9 essential amino acids
– Provides choline, an important nutrient for brain and liver health
– High in selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, and minerals like zinc, iron, and copper
– However, eggs are high in cholesterol with around 185mg per large egg


– Excellent source of lean protein
– Provides B vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid
– Contains the minerals phosphorus, selenium, and zinc
– Skinless chicken breast is a low-fat option
– Chicken thigh or leg with skin adds saturated fat and calories


– Contain fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and quercetin, an antioxidant
– Low in calories and carbs
– Can provide prebiotic benefits by promoting gut health

Bean sprouts:

– Low in calories and high in fiber and crunchy texture
– Contains folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants
– Has glucosinolates that may help prevent cancer
– However, has low protein and is not a significant source of nutrients


– Adding veggies like bell peppers, carrots, cabbage boosts fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

Overall, chicken egg foo young made with lean chicken, lots of vegetables, and minimal oil contains beneficial nutrients. But the use of whole eggs and higher fat meats impacts its health profile.

Potential Health Benefits

When made properly, chicken egg foo young can provide the following health benefits:

– High protein food: The eggs and chicken provide a good dose of protein needed for building and repairing muscle tissue. The amino acid profile of eggs makes them a complete protein.

– Nutrient-dense: Eggs supply choline and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin that play key roles in eye and brain health. Chicken provides niacin, selenium, zinc. Veggies add vitamins and minerals.

– Lean protein: Using skinless chicken breast provides a lean protein source that is low in saturated fat and calories compared to fattier cuts.

– Vegetables: Adding lots of different vegetables like cabbage, spinach, bell peppers significantly boosts the fiber content and adds a range of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.

– Heart health: Replacing red meat with white meat chicken can benefit heart health by reducing saturated fat intake.

– Prebiotic benefits: Onions contain the prebiotic fiber inulin which promotes gut health by feeding healthy bacteria.

So in moderation, chicken egg foo young made with lean chicken, lots of vegetables, and healthy oils can be a nutritious addition to your diet.

Potential Downsides

However, there are also some nutritional downsides to keep in mind with chicken egg foo young:

– High cholesterol: Egg yolks are high in dietary cholesterol, with around 185mg per large egg. Consuming high cholesterol foods regularly can increase blood cholesterol levels.

– Saturated fat: Using chicken thigh or leg meat with skin adds significant saturated fat compared to skinless chicken breast. Too much saturated fat raises blood cholesterol and heart disease risk.

– Calories and fat: Chicken egg foo young is high in calories and fat when cooked with lots of oil or salty, fatty gravy. Excess calories lead to weight gain and associated health risks.

– Acrylamide: Frying or overcooking carbohydrate-rich foods like egg foo young at high heat creates acrylamide, a potential carcinogen.

– Sodium: Most restaurant versions contain extremely high amounts of sodium, as much as an entire day’s worth in one dish. Excess sodium intake is linked with high blood pressure.

So chicken egg foo young should be consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. Limiting egg yolks, using lean cuts of chicken, minimal cooking oil, and low-sodium gravy creates a healthier balance.

Is Chicken Egg Foo Young Healthy For Weight Loss?

Chicken egg foo young can be incorporated into a weight loss diet but needs some modifications:

– Use skinless chicken breast instead of fatty thigh or leg meat to decrease saturated fat and calories.

– Load up on non-starchy vegetables like cabbage, spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms. They provide fiber, nutrients, and bulk with minimal calories.

– Use just a spray or teaspoon of heart-healthy oil like olive or avocado oil instead of pouring oil directly into the pan.

– Egg whites provide protein without the high cholesterol of yolks. Make a veggie egg white foo young.

– Opt for lower calorie cooking methods like pan frying instead of deep frying.

– Skip the starchy white rice or fried rice as a side dish. Pair it with cauliflower rice or a side salad instead.

– Avoid unhealthy gravy made with flour, butter, and salt. Make your own fresh, low-sodium gravy.

– Watch your portion size as restaurant servings are often 2-3 times larger than a standard serving size.

Overall, chicken egg foo young can be modified to fit into a healthy weight loss plan by lowering its fat, calorie, and sodium content.

Is Chicken Egg Foo Young Keto-Friendly?

Chicken egg foo young can be made keto-friendly by modifying the ingredients:

– Use chicken thighs or legs with the skin on instead of skinless breasts to increase the fat content.

– Cook with butter or coconut oil instead of vegetable or seed oils.

– Avoid using starchy vegetables like carrots or bell peppers. Stick to low-carb options like cabbage, spinach, zucchini, eggs.

– Skip the bean sprouts as they are higher in carbs.

– Mix in cheese like cheddar or feta for more fat.

– Serve with cauliflower rice instead of regular white rice.

– Make your own keto-friendly gravy using xanthan gum as a thickener instead of corn starch.

– Add other keto ingredients like mushrooms, avocado, nuts, or seeds.

The key is limiting the total carb content from the vegetables. Aim for less than 10g net carbs per serving to stay in ketosis.

So with some simple substitutes, chicken egg foo young can definitely be part of a ketogenic diet.

Healthier Chicken Egg Foo Young Recipe

Here is a recipe for a healthier homemade version of chicken egg foo young:

– 3 large eggs
– 3 egg whites
– 1 cup chopped skinless chicken breast
– 1 cup bean sprouts
– 1 cup shredded cabbage
– 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
– 1/2 cup sliced onion
– 1/2 cup diced carrots
– 1/2 cup chopped spinach
– 1 tbsp avocado oil
– 1 tsp sesame oil
– Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

1. In a bowl, whisk together whole eggs and egg whites until blended.
2. Add chicken, vegetables, and seasonings and mix well.
3. Heat avocado and sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
4. Pour egg mixture into the skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes until eggs begin to set.
5. Use a spatula to lift edges of the omelette allowing uncooked egg to flow underneath.
6. When egg is mostly set but still moist on top, cover skillet and let cook for 2-3 more minutes.
7. Slide omelette onto a plate, cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving):
Calories: 243
Fat: 12g
Carbs: 6g
Protein: 28g

This version maximizes nutrition by using lean chicken, nutrient-rich vegetables, and healthy fats. The mix of whole eggs and whites provides a protein punch while limiting cholesterol. Pan-frying instead of deep frying prevents excessive calories. Feel free to add your favorite veggies or play with different seasoning combinations.

Healthier Ways to Order Chicken Egg Foo Young at Restaurants

When dining out, you can make some swaps to lighten up this dish:

– Request it be made with egg whites instead of whole eggs to cut cholesterol.

– Choose steamed rice instead of fried rice for less fat and calories.

– Ask for a small drizzle of sauce on the side instead of drenching it in salty, sugary sauces.

– Replace the white rice with brown rice or a side salad with vinaigrette dressing.

– Order vegetable egg foo young made with tofu instead of chicken to increase plant protein.

– Ask for sliced almonds, sesame seeds, or scallions to be added for extra nutrients.

– Substitute chicken with shrimp for more variety.

Being mindful of portions and ingredients when ordering out allows you to balance the nutritional pros and cons of chicken egg foo young.


Chicken egg foo young is a mixed bag when it comes to health. Eggs and chicken provide quality protein but also high cholesterol in the case of eggs. Veggies add beneficial vitamins and minerals. However, cooking with lots of oil and sodium-laden sauces decreases its nutrition profile. Overall, consuming homemade versions in moderation using healthy cooking techniques and ingredients can allow you to enjoy this dish while maintaining a balanced diet. Chicken egg foo young can also be adapted to be keto-friendly or aid in weight loss goals. Being selective about protein sources, vegetables, cooking oils and limit sodium and portions provides the healthiest options when eating this tasty Chinese omelette.

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