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Eggs 101

No longer a forbidden treat, eggs should be a staple in every fit guy's diet.

WHY YOU NEED EGGS

The amino acids in eggs are converted into muscle, skin, collagen, and other body tissue more efficiently than the proteins from any other food you can eat (or drink). Egg yolks are packed with nutrients, including nearly half of a large egg's 6 grams of protein as well as almost all of the 13 different vitamins eggs supply. Yolks are also an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that protect your peepers against most forms of age- related damage.

Two eggs over easy for breakfast can help whittle down your waistline. Studies show that people who eat eggs in the morning have an easier time curbing calorie intake during the day. About 75% of the fat found in eggs is unsaturated. Research suggests that healthy men may eat up to two eggs a day as part of a low- fat eating plan without raising their risk for heart disease. Skip the bacon and sausage, however.

Two eggs provide nearly half your daily quota for choline. The compound is a key component of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that carries messages between nerves and muscles and fosters the storage of memories in the brain.

HOW TO GET MORE

STOCKPILE THEM. Hard-cook a half dozen eggs every Sunday so you have plenty on hand during the week for egg salad sandwiches, to slice in salads, or just to eat as a quick between-meal snack.

MAKE THEM INTO A WRAP. In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs and 2 tbsp water. In a 7-inch omelet pan or skillet over medium- high heat, melt 1 tsp butter. Pour in egg mixture. When top is thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup diced red and green bell peppers. Carefully slide egg onto an 8-inch whole-wheat sandwich wrap. Fold in sides, and eat.

DEVIL THEM. Cut in half lengthwise 6 hard-cooked eggs. Remove yolks and place in medium bowl; mash with fork. Add 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise and 1 tsp each Dijon mustard and white vinegar. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff egg-white halves with yolk mixture and devour.

MF TIP Only buy eggs that are refrigerated. Before purchasing, check each egg for cleanliness and cracks. Store them in their carton in the middle of the refrigerator—not the door. Fresh eggs are good for four to five weeks after purchase, while hard-cooked eggs keep for about a week in the fridge.

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