The IHOP family restaurant chain has been serving a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner selections for nearly 50 years. Offering 14 types of pancakes as well as omelettes, breakfast specialties, burgers, sandwiches, salads, chicken and steaks, IHOP's diverse menu appeals to people of all ages. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, California-based International House of Pancakes, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of IHOP Corp. As of September 30, 2007, the end of IHOP Corp.'s third quarter, there were 1,328 IHOP restaurants in 49 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico. This site will provide you with restaurant news and copycat recipes for IHOP

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Are Eggs Healthy or Not?

The short answer is Yes!

An egg is packed with nutrition. It contains 70 calories, 5 grams of (the fat is an important transport system for vitamins and minerals) and 6 grams of high-quality protein. The amino acid makeup of egg whites makes them the highest quality for human consumption; egg white has just the right mix of essential amino acids we need to build lean body tissue. The yolk contains 13 important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, D, E,B6, B12 and the minerals zinc and iron folate. The yolk is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D. And because of the nutrient combination in egg yolks, our bodies absorb the vitamin D in eggs more easily than vitamin D from other sources.

Other nutrients include lutein and zeaxanthin. Both are antioxidants that help protect against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Many eggs also contain omega-3 fatty acids ,which benefit the cardiovascular system and are part of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. In particular, farm raised chickens that are allowed to roam outside, peck at thr ground, eat bugs and other things that are natural for them, produce eggs that are an important source of omega-3 fatty acids. Some industry raised chickens are fed with feeds enhanced with omega-3 fatty acids to increase the level of omega-3 in commercial eggs. The carton should tell you if the eggs provide omega-3 fatty acids.

So why all the confusion about eggs? To understand that, we need to take a brief look back in time. By the 1960's, scientists had learned that a major cause of heart disease was the buildup of cholesterol plaque in coronary arteries. Over the next several decades, it was widely thought that high cholesterol in people's blood must be caused by high cholesterol foods in their diet. As food scientists analyzed the animal sources of cholesterol and saturated fats in the American diet, they found that one of the highest concentrations is in eggs. That's how eggs earned a bad reputation, and nutrition experts severely restricted, or in some cases banished, eggs from the American diet.

Since 2000, however, new studies and the re-analysis of older research have painted a very different picture. We now know the cholesterol in eggs does not affect blood cholesterol levels. Rather, research shows that elevated blood cholesterol levels are largely caused by other food choices we make. These include the widespread use of trans fats in hydrogenated margarines, the increased consumption of convience baked goods containing trans fats, the heavy use of high fructose corn syrup, and the adoption of a fast food diet containing mainly fried foods. Lifestyle choices also play a role. Smoking, lack of physical activity and obesity strongly influence blood cholesterol levels and are implicated in the development of heart disease.

So eggs are OK in your daily healthy diet, but eat them in moderation. One or two eggs a day is moderate.

However, watch how you prepare your eggs. Poaching, soft-boiled or hard-boiled are fat free methods of preparation that limit calories. To fry an egg, use non-stick cooking sprays or a drop of canola oil to prevent sticking. Deviled eggs add variety to the diet and are a wonderful way to eat eggs. To reduce calories and fat, use light or nonfat mayonnaise or perhaps a bit more mustard as part of the yolk deviling mixture. To boost the nutrition content, add finely minced mushrooms or other items.

For casseroles, omelets and other combination dishes with eggs, use low fat cheeses and low fat mayo. Add nutrient dense ingredients like whole wheat bread crumbs or veggies, sauteing them in olive oil during preparation.