Consuming fat as part of a healthy diet is essential for our health. But not all dietary fats are the same, and some foods contain healthier fats than others. Can you name the different types of dietary fats? Is there more fat in the egg white or the egg yolk? We’re here to share the facts on fats!
How much fat is in eggs?
A serving of two large eggs contains 11 grams of fat, consisting of 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat and 5 grams of monounsaturated fat.
Which part of the egg contains fat?
All the fat in an egg is found in the yolk. Not only does the egg yolk contain healthy fats, it contains a ton of important fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The healthy fats in the egg yolk actually help our bodies to absorb these nutrients in the yolk too.
This Mediterranean Salad Bowl is filled with colourful veggies like red peppers, cherry tomatoes and broccoli. The perfectly soft boiled eggs on top allow you to maximize the benefits of all of the salad’s healthy nutrients!
No need to worry whether the heat from cooking destroys the healthy fats in eggs! All the fats in eggs remain stable during the cooking process.
Why do we need fat in our diet?
Dietary fats are essential for many important functions, including:
- Brain and nerve support
- Absorption of fat-soluble nutrients
- Hormone production
- Cell growth and function
Dietary fat also helps you to feel fuller longer, and helps to add more flavour and texture to your meal. But, not all fats are the same when it comes to the effects they have on health.
The three main types of fats that are found in food are unsaturated fat, saturated fat, and trans fat.
Unsaturated fat is an important and healthy part of a balanced diet. There are two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat.
Monounsaturated fats have anti-inflammatory health benefits that help to maintain a healthy heart. They are found in foods like eggs, nuts, seeds, avocadoes and olive oil. A serving of two large eggs contains 5 grams of monounsaturated fat.
For tasty ways to fill up on monounsaturated fat, eggs and avocado make the perfect pair in these 8 delicious recipes.
Omega-3 Fats are one type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 fats are loaded with health benefits and are important to include in a healthy diet. Omega-3 fats contribute to a healthy brain and nervous system, and may help to lower the risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 fats are found in foods such as fatty fish, seafood, walnuts, eggs, and ground flaxseeds. A serving of two regular large eggs contains 0.2 grams of omega-3 fat. Many stores also carry Omega-3 enriched eggs that provide higher amounts of omega-3 fat. The amount of omega-3 in these enriched eggs depends on the brand, with Omega-3 enriched eggs often carrying around 800mg per two-egg serving.
Omega-3 enriched eggs are produced by hens that are fed a special diet that is rich in ground flaxseeds or fish oil. Omega-3 enriched eggs contain all types of omega-3 fats, including DHA and EPA, which are the most important kinds of omega-3 fats that most of us need more of.
For a satisfying and heart-healthy recipe filled with omega-3 fats, this recipe for salmon with Niçoise relish is the perfect choice.
Omega-6 Fats are another type of polyunsaturated fat, and are found in foods such as soybeans, corn, safflower oil, sunflower oil, meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Most of us already get enough omega-6 fats in our diets.
A serving of two large eggs contain 1.5 grams of omega-6 fats.
Saturated fat is found in animal-based foods like cheese and meat, and plant-based foods like palm oil, coconut oil, and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Saturated fat is also found in highly-processed foods like pastries, chips and prepared frozen meals.
The advice from the Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that we limit the amount of highly-processed foods we eat, which can help lower saturated fat intake. The guidelines recommend replacing these highly-processed foods with whole, nutritious foods that are higher in unsaturated fat.
You can still enjoy foods that naturally contain some saturated fat like eggs, meats, poultry, fish and dairy products - they’re full of nutrients and are good choices in healthy amounts. A serving of two large eggs contains 3.5 grams of saturated fat.
Trans fats not only increase your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, they can also decrease your levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Eating a lot of trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease and other chronic health problems.
Trans fats can be found naturally in some animal-based foods such as beef and lamb. Trans fats can also be industrially produced during food processing; it’s these trans fats in processed foods that are most prominent in our diets and that should be avoided.
In the past, the main source of industrially produced trans fats were partially hydrogenated oils. These oils were used by food manufacturers to improve the shelf life and texture of foods such as hard margarines and vegetable shortenings. Health Canada has recently placed a ban on adding partially hydrogenated oils to foods sold in Canada.
You can enjoy eggs knowing that they are naturally free of trans fats.