Healthy Eggs and Low-Cholesterol Egg Substitutes

You don't have to exclude eggs from your heart-healthy diet. We help you pick the most nutritious fresh eggs and cholesterol-free egg substitutes.

The Best Eggs for Your Heart

As a refrigerator staple, eggs are one of the most versatile.

In recipes, eggs:

-- add moisture

-- hold ingredients together

-- provide leavening

Plus, eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin E, and choline (a nutrient that may help prevent heart disease). So if it weren't for the 212 milligrams of cholesterol in the yolk of a typical large egg, we wouldn't think twice about cracking one open.

Newer research has led many health experts to ease up on egg restrictions. Even so, egg eaters can quickly exceed the American Heart Association's general advice to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day (or, if you have heart disease, less than 200 milligrams daily).

Fortunately, many recipes work well with two egg whites in place of each whole egg or with egg substitutes. When you can enjoy a whole egg, look for ones with extra DHA and EPA omega-3 fats (found in yolks), which studies suggest may help lower triglycerides (fat in your blood).

Full of Omega-3: Sparboe Farms Omega Plus Eggs

Laid by hens raised without antibiotics and fed a diet that includes flaxseed and fish oil, each Omega Plus egg has 250 mg of omega-3 fat with 150 mg from EPA and DHA*. (In comparison, omega-3 in many eggs is primarily ALA from flaxseed, with little EPA and DHA.)

Per large egg: 70 calories, 4.5 g total fat (1.5 g sat. fat), 215 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 1 g carb., 6 g protein

*EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) have been shown in several studies to lower triglycerides, slow the buildup of plaque, slightly lower blood pressure, and reduce risk of death, heart attack, dangerous abnormal heart rhythms, and strokes in people with known heart disease.

Easy to Measure: Egg Beaters Original

This refrigerated liquid egg product contains egg whites with a bit of beta-carotene (vitamin A) for color. Simply scramble it or use 1/4 cup of the liquid to replace each egg in any recipe. Egg Beaters are on some restaurant menus.

Per 1/4 cup: 30 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 115 mg sodium, 1 g carb., 6 g protein

Dry Egg Product: Deb-El Just Whites

Use 2 teaspoons of this pasteurized, 100-percent-dried-egg-white product, plus water, to replace one liquid egg white. Use it in quiches, muffins, cakes, and other baked goods. Look for this shelf-stable product in the baking aisle or health-food section of stores.

Per 2 teaspoons: 10 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 0 g carb., 3 g protein

Vegan Option: Ener-G Egg Replacer

This vegan, powder egg substitute is made from potato starch, tapioca flour, and leavening. Use 1-1/2 teaspoons of it, plus water, to replace one egg or egg white. Works best in from-scratch baked goods, including muffins, pies, and quick breads. Not for scrambling.

Per 1-1/2 teaspoons: 15 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 4 g carb., 0 g protein

Quick-To-Make: Eggology On-the-Go 100% Egg Whites

Enjoy a high-protein, cholesterol-free egg breakfast in 95 seconds or less-without the mess. This additive-free, pasteurized egg product cooks up light and fluffy (like scrambled eggs) in its microwavable container. A 1/2-cup serving contains about four egg whites and provides 26 percent of your daily protein needs. Refrigerate uncooked product up to three months. The company also sells liquid egg-white products for cooking and baking.

Per 1/2 cup (4-ounce container): 60 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 0 g carb., 13 g protein

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