An omelet is typically made of beaten, cooked eggs, sometimes folded around a filling. While omelets are often touted for their tasty flavor, they can be high in fat and sodium -- especially when you include full-fat cheese and certain breakfast meats in the filling. Using egg whites when you prepare your omelet can be an effective way to cut fat intake and make this a healthier choice. Experiment with a variety of mixed vegetables in the filling to create a balanced, wholesome meal.
Egg White Basics
The egg white is the clear liquid found inside an egg. Sometimes referred to as the albumin, egg whites protect the embryo in a fertilized egg and provide nutrients needed for growth and development. Egg whites are composed of approximately 90 percent water and 10 percent protein, and contribute more than 50 percent of the total protein found in an egg.
Preparing an Egg White Omelet
You can prepare an egg white omelet in several ways. Begin by gently whisking the desired number of egg whites along with your favorite herbs and spices in a mixing bowl until foamy. You can also add grated low-fat cheese and chopped, steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables, such as broccoli, onions and asparagus, to your mixture. Then pour the egg white mixture into a heated non-stick pan coated with nonfat cooking spray. Allow the egg whites to cook until they are "set" -- which may take between two and four minutes. If you did not add vegetables and herbs to the mixture, you can top the omelet with steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables and fresh herbs. Use a spatula to fold the omelet in half and remove it from the non-stick pan.
Egg White Omelet Nutrition
A single egg white has approximately 3.6 grams of protein, along with 17 calories, 0.24 grams of carbohydrate and a negligible amount of fat. Most people use at least two egg whites to create an omelet, along with the vegetables, meats and cheese. Depending on the types of ingredients used in an omelet, fat, protein, and carbohydrate content can vary substantially. A healthy omelet that contains two egg whites, one slice of low-fat American cheese and one-quarter cup of mixed vegetables provides approximately 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrate, 94 calories and about 1.5 grams of fat. If you saute your vegetables in oil, you need to account for the added fat and calories in the oil. You can omit the cheese if you want to cut back on the fat and calories.
Processed egg whites, such as Egg Beaters, are a good alternative for people who want egg white omelets without having to separate the whites from the yolks. Egg Beaters are pre-packed and ready-to-use. Dispose of Egg Beaters or traditional shell eggs that pass their expiration dates. Refrigerate egg whites of any type to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology; Marcia Nelms, Kathryn Sucher and Sara Long
- The Fannie Farmer Cookbook; Marion Cunningham
- Egg Beaters: Egg Beaters Original
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Egg, white, raw, fresh