Depending on what you add to it, a two-egg omelette can be a healthy breakfast option. Omelette calories are not a reason for concern as long as you don't go overboard with other ingredients, such as bacon and cheese.
According to the USDA, a two-egg omelette has 188 calories, 12.9 grams of protein and 14.2 grams of fat. Omelette carbs are only about 0.7 grams.
The Benefits of Eggs
Like most foods, eggs should be consumed in moderation. A January 2015 study published in Nutrients states that they are a good source of protein, fats and micronutrients, which all play an important role in human health. The Mayo Clinic notes that high-protein diets may aid in weight loss by making you feel fuller.
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According to Kurt Hong, MD, clinical professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, eggs contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats and essential nutrients, such as vitamins B6, B12 and D.
Despite their high cholesterol content, the yolks don't raise cholesterol at all for about 70 percent of people. In fact, they may elevate good cholesterol levels, also known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL). People with higher HDL levels are at lower risk of heart disease, stroke and other health issues.
Eggs are also rich in omega-3s. According to the American Heart Association, these are essential fats that your body doesn't make but needs in order to function properly. Omega-3s may benefit your heart by decreasing the risk of arrhythmias, lowering triglyceride levels and reducing blood pressure.
Read more: 9 Things You May Not Know About Eggs
Health Risks Surrounding Eggs
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, just one large egg yolk has 200 milligrams of cholesterol, which makes it one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol. Accumulated evidence generated from a July 2013 meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that egg consumption is not associated with an increased risk of overall cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, stroke or mortality.
However, compared with people who never consume eggs, those who eat at least one egg per day are 42 percent more likely to develop type II diabetes. Individuals who have diabetes and consume eggs frequently are more likely to die from heart disease, according to the above review.
Based on nutrition facts from the USDA, a two-egg omelette contains 4 grams of saturated fat. This type of fat is considered unhealthy and can be found in high amounts in butter, coconut oil, cheese and red meat. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that eating too much of it may lead to heart disease and other health problems, including weight gain.
Based on recommendations from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your daily calories.
How to Reduce Omelette Calories
Omelettes can be a healthy choice for breakfast. You just need to be aware of the ingredients used to ensure that omelette carbs and calories aren't too high. Here are some ideas you may use for inspiration:
- Instead of using the entire yolk, take some out so it's mostly egg white. Or you can take the yolk out altogether.
- The more eggs you use, the higher in calories in your omelette will be. Restaurants will often use more eggs to make this dish thicker and fluffier, but try limiting it to one or two eggs.
- Instead of using butter to cook your eggs, try substituting extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil to cut down on saturated fats.
- Add as many vegetables as you can, Some great options are tomatoes, peppers, onions and broccoli.
- Limit meats, such as bacon and ham, as well as cheese. When ordering at a restaurant, ask for half the amount they typically put in, as meat and cheese are high in calories.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: "Egg, Whole, Cooked, Omelet"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: "Egg and Egg-Derived Foods: Effects on Human Health and Use as Functional Foods"
- Keck Medicine of USC: "About Kurt Hong"
- Keck Medicine of USC: "9 Health Benefits of Eating Eggs for Breakfast"
- American Heart Associations: "Omega 3 Fatty Acids"
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: "Egg Consumption in Relation to Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis"
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020: "Cut Down on Saturated Fats"
- Mayo Clinic: "Nutrition and Healthy Eating"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Publish Health: "Eggs"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Facts About Saturated Fats"