Eggs are one of the best foods you can eat–especially if you’ve embarked on the weight loss journey. Eggs are packed with protein, are relatively inexpensive, and offer weight-loss-friendly nutrients such as vitamin B12. Not to mention, they are also incredibly versatile and can be paired and cooked with nearly everything! You can cook them in many ways for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner. Eggs are also a time-crunched dieter’s dream, as they can be prepared ahead of time, stored in the fridge or freezer, and are portable.
However, what about the small factor of the dreaded cholesterol embedded in these delicious eggs? For years, doctors have recommended that people eat only egg whites to lower their cholesterol, or at times advised they avoid eggs altogether. This is junk science, said registered dietitian Tony Stephan, R.D., author of the 6-Week Women’s Nutrition Reset Challenge. “I tell my clients to use whole eggs,” he explained. “The yolks are actually good for you.”
Let’s not forget that our bodies need cholesterol. Cholesterol is used to balance hormones, make vitamin D, and help digest foods, according to the National Institute of Health, and recent studies have questioned the connection between dietary cholesterol and heart disease. The latest recommendations remove the cap for daily dietary cholesterol altogether. Egg lovers can rejoice, as there is no connection between eating eggs and an increase in heart attacks, according to Harvard experts.
Putting aside the feared cholesterol question aside, egg yolks are a great source of vitamins A, D, E and K, lutein, choline, and healthy omega-3 fats–none of which are found in egg whites. But don’t be so quick to overlook the egg whites, as they carry most of the protein in the egg, as well as nutrients like potassium.
Knowing that eggs are both nutritious and delicious, the question now becomes: what is the best way to eat them? Dietitian Tony Stephan ranked the following seven different methods of preparing eggs from least to most weight-loss-friendly.
7. Eggs Benedict
Steer clear of this dish if you’re looking for a healthy option, advised Stephan. “Eggs Benedict would be the highest calorie dish out of these options,” he said. “English muffins can pack a lot of carbs, plus the bacon and hollandaise sauce can add in a lot of extra calories from fat.” Traditional eggs Benedict pack more than 600 calories and 40 grams of fat. Eating this dish won’t cause severe damage; just remember to eat it in moderation.
This egg-filled pie is widely considered a brunch classic, and with good reason, as the mix of eggs, vegetables, meats, and spices nestled in a flaky crust is mouthwatering. But you might want to cut back on the quiche, mentioned Stephan. “A quiche can have healthy veggies and protein in it, but the extra calories from the milk, cream, and flour can really add up fast,” said Stephan.