Eggs are one of the best foods you can eat—especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
They’re packed with satiating protein, contain no harmful additives, are relatively cheap, and offer up many weight-loss-friendly nutrients such as vitamin B12. They’re also an incredibly versatile food. You can cook them dozens of different ways and they make a hearty meal not just for breakfast but also for a quick lunch or dinner. Eggs are also a time-crunched dieter’s dream as they can be prepared ahead of time, store well in the fridge or freezer, are super portable, and can be added to almost anything.
But wait, what about all that cholesterol? For decades doctors recommended that people help keep their cholesterol low by only eating egg whites or avoiding eggs altogether. This is junk science, says 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 explains. “The yolks are actually good for you.”
First, let’s be clear: You need some cholesterol. Cholesterol is used to balance your hormones, make vitamin D, and help you digest foods, according to the National Institutes of Health, and recent research is questioning the connection between dietary cholesterol and heart disease. The latest recommendations remove the cap for daily dietary cholesterol altogether. Even better for egg lovers, there is no connection between eating eggs and an increase in heart attacks, according to Harvard experts.
The cholesterol question aside, egg yolks are a great source of vitamins A, D, E and K, lutein, and healthy omega-3 fats—none of which are in the whites. (Did you know that 60 percent of the fat in eggs is actually unsaturated?!) But the whites aren’t exactly slackers—they carry most of the protein in the egg and nutrients like potassium and choline. And, let’s be honest, whole eggs taste so much better than just a pile of rubbery egg whites.
This easy trick will show you if your eggs are still good in seconds:
Now that we’ve established eggs are both nutritious and delicious, the question becomes: What is the best way to eat them? We asked Stephan to rank seven different methods of preparing eggs from least to most weight-loss-friendly, along with his tips for cooking them.