Eggs (or more specifically, egg yolks) spent a lot of time on the "do not eat" list due to fears about their cholesterol content, but the breakfast food has since been exonerated. Now that eggs are back in the game, you may be left wondering the amount of calories in an omelette with cheese and ham.
While the calorie count is pretty reasonable, that's not the only thing that makes an omelette a good breakfast choice. Eggs are also extremely nutrient dense (meaning they pack in a lot of nutrition for a low amount of calories) and can actually keep you full longer than high-carbohydrate breakfast foods.
Calories in an Omelette with Cheese
The exact calories in an omelette with cheese and ham depend on which type of cheese and ham you use. If you choose to use three medium eggs, calories come in at 180, but if you use three of the more popular large eggs, they'll contribute 282 calories to your omelette. Those three large eggs will also add:
- 19 grams of protein
- 21 grams of fat
- 1 gram of carbohydrates
- 88 milligrams of calcium
- 2.7 milligrams of iron
- 20 milligrams of magnesium
- 306 milligrams of phosphorus
- 214 milligrams of potassium
- 284 milligrams of sodium
- 2 milligrams of zinc
- 71 micrograms of folate
- 1,129 IU of vitamin A
- 126 IU of vitamin D
If you add an ounce of cheddar cheese to your omelette, you'll also add 115 calories. Choose the same amount of American cheese instead and that number drops slightly to 104 calories. Finishing your omelette off with an ounce of chopped ham will add an additional 62 calories. Add it all together and your 3 egg omelette calories come to a grand total of 452, which doesn't include any fat that you cook the egg in.
Other Benefits of Eggs
While the calories in an omelette with cheese are reasonable for a hearty breakfast, eggs have a lot more to offer than a way to fit into a calorie-restricted diet plan. According to a February 2017 report that was published in Nutrients, eating eggs for breakfast can lower the amount of a hormone called ghrelin in your body. Ghrelin is often nicknamed "the hunger hormone" because when levels of it are high, it makes you feel hungry. Since eggs lower ghrelin, that means when you eat them, you don't feel hungry as often and you're satiated for longer.
Eggs are also rich in two carotenoids (which are health-promoting plant pigments) called lutein and zeaxanthin. According to an April 2013 report in Nutrients, these carotenoids keep the retina in your eye healthy by neutralizing free radicals, improving vision and blocking damage from the blue light from computer and phone screens. Lutein and zeaxanthin also reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (or AMD) and cataracts.
Although you may be worried about the cholesterol in eggs, the report in Nutrients also noted that eating eggs doesn't negatively affect your cholesterol ratio or increase triglycerides — two major markers for heart disease.
Researchers from another study that was published in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes in August 2017 backed up these findings by reporting that consuming six to 12 eggs per week has no negative impact on total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (or "bad") cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, insulin or C-reactive protein (which measures inflammation).
- USDA FoodData Central: "Egg, Whole, Cooked, Omelet"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Ham, Chopped, Not Canned"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Cheese, Cheddar, Sharp, Sliced"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Cheese, Pasteurized Process, American, Fortified With Vitamin D"
- Canadian Journal of Diabetes: "Impact of Egg Consumption on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and at Risk for Developing Diabetes: A Systematic Review of Randomized Nutritional Intervention Studies"
- Nutrients: "Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Carotenoids and Their Role in Eye Health"
- Nutrients: "Consuming Two Eggs per Day, as Compared to an Oatmeal Breakfast, Decreases Plasma Ghrelin while Maintaining the LDL/HDL Ratio"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Medium Eggs"