Is vegetable egg foo young healthy?

Egg foo young, a popular Chinese omelette dish consisting of eggs and vegetables, has long been a staple of Chinese-American restaurants. But like many dishes loaded with eggs, meat, and oil, its healthfulness is often called into question.

Vegetable egg foo young swaps the typical ham and shrimp for extra veggies, packing an extra nutritional punch. But is it really a healthier choice? Here we’ll take a close look at vegetable egg foo young nutrition to find out.

What is Vegetable Egg Foo Young?

Egg foo young is made by combining beaten eggs with vegetables and either meat, seafood, or just vegetables. The egg mixture is spread into thin omelette rounds and fried on both sides until crispy on the outside but still soft and tender inside.

The vegetable version, as the name implies, excludes the meat and seafood and packs in extra veggies like bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms. It’s browned in just a touch of oil instead of being deep fried like some restaurant versions.

Nutrition Facts

The nutrition of vegetable egg foo young can vary based on the specific ingredients used. However, a typical serving provides approximately:

  • Calories: 200
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams

It also contains around 15-20% of the Daily Value for several important micronutrients like:

  • Vitamin A
  • Folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Iron

Compared to a serving of regular egg foo young with ham, the vegetable version cuts the calories nearly in half and bumps up antioxidant and micronutrient content.


Swapping the meat and seafood for extra veggies provides several potential health benefits:

Higher in Micronutrients

The addition of antioxidant-rich vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cabbage, and mushrooms significantly increases the vitamin and mineral content. You gain important compounds like immune-supporting vitamin C, vision-protecting vitamin A, and folate for healthy red blood cell production.

More Fiber

Fiber is incredibly important for overall health, supporting digestive and heart health, stabilizing blood sugar, and promoting weight control. Vegetable egg foo young packs over twice as much filling fiber as the meat-based version.

Lower in Saturated Fat

Meat and seafood are among the main sources of unhealthy saturated fats in the diet. By using extra veggies instead, the saturated fat content is cut nearly in half compared to ham egg foo young.

Rich in Antioxidants

Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli contain beneficial compounds called glucosinolates which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and possible anti-cancer effects. Mushrooms also supply antioxidants like selenium and vitamin D.

Potential Downsides

While swapping meats for veggies is generally a smart move, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:

High in Calories and Fat

Despite the extra vegetables, a serving still contains around 200 calories and 14 grams of fat. This comes mainly from the eggs. Those looking to lose weight may want to enjoy it in moderation.

Lacks Variety

Like most egg dishes, it’s fairly low in fiber, providing around 2-4 grams per serving. It’s also low in vitamins and minerals found in fruits, berries, whole grains, and nuts. Enjoying it alongside a variety of other veggies can help round out the diet.

High in Choline

The eggs provide almost half the daily choline needs. While essential, very high intakes are linked to increased heart disease risk in those with low nutrient status. As part of a nutrient-rich diet, this is likely not a concern.

How Does It Compare to Other Egg Dishes?

Vegetable egg foo young provides some advantages over other popular egg dishes:

Vegetable Egg Foo Young vs. Eggs Benedict

Nutrient Vegetable Egg Foo Young (1 serving) Eggs Benedict (1 serving)
Calories 200 327
Total Fat 14 g 24 g
Saturated Fat 4 g 8 g
Protein 12 g 17 g
Carbs 6 g 12 g
Fiber 2 g 1 g

Vegetable Egg Foo Young vs. Spinach and Mushroom Omelette

Nutrient Vegetable Egg Foo Young Spinach and Mushroom Omelette
Calories 200 180
Total Fat 14 g 12 g
Saturated Fat 4 g 3 g
Protein 12 g 13 g
Carbs 6 g 5 g
Fiber 2 g 2 g

As you can see, vegetable egg foo young provides more nutrients than eggs benedict for significantly fewer calories and less saturated fat. Compared to a veggie omelette, the nutrition is fairly similar but egg foo young packs a wider variety of vegetables.

Is It Healthy Overall?

Vegetable egg foo young makes a healthier choice than meat or seafood-based versions, providing more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for fewer calories, less saturated fat, and no cholesterol.

However, with around 200 calories and 14 grams of fat per serving, it’s still a high fat, moderately high calorie dish. Enjoying reasonable portion sizes as part of an overall healthy, veggie-rich diet can help maximize the benefits while minimizing any downsides.

Some simple tips for the healthiest vegetable egg foo young include:

  • Use minimal added oil for frying
  • Load up on veggies like broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, and carrots
  • Enjoy alongside steamed brown rice and a side salad for a balanced meal
  • Watch portion sizes, a serving is 2-3 eggs worth
  • Consume along with other fiber and nutrient-dense foods like fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds


Swapping the typical meats and seafood in egg foo young for extra antioxidant-rich vegetables can significantly increase the vitamin, mineral, and fiber content. This makes vegetable egg foo young a healthier, more nutritious choice overall.

However, like most egg dishes, enjoying occasional, reasonable portion sizes is key to gaining health benefits while avoiding potential downsides from excess calories, fat, and cholesterol. Prepare it using healthy cooking methods and enjoy as part of a varied, balanced diet for the best results.

Loaded with veggies and rich in important nutrients like vitamins A and C, vegetable egg foo young can be a tasty addition to a healthy lifestyle when consumed in moderation as part of an overall nutritious eating pattern.

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