Some food misconceptions just seem to hang on forever. I still hear people say they can’t have eggs because their doctor said they have high cholesterol, but not only do eggs have less cholesterol than once thought, it’s been known for almost three decades (that’s 30 years) now that eating eggs, in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, doesn’t significantly raise your blood cholesterol levels or heart disease risk.

I also see nutrition and fitness fanatics order up omelets “egg whites only please” thinking they are doing their health some good. They are not. It’s time to set the record straight and bring light to this low-cost, extremely nutritious, highly-absorb-able source of good protein. So let’s set this “egg dish” straight.

First, let’s stop thinking “low-fat” diet and start thinking about a whole-food, nutrient-rich diet! After-all, scientists from the Yale Prevention Research Center, including Dr. David Klatz, came to the conclusion that “A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.” This is the same nutrition advice registered dietitian nutritionists and functional medicine providers have been saying for years.  

Let’s look inside the egg box now. First, the yolk is the most nutrient-dense part of the egg.  Throw out the yolk and you lose almost all the fat, but that includes the omega-3 fats, important for a healthy heart and healthy eyes. You’ll also lose half the protein, riboflavin, iron and selenium. You’ll throw out virtually all of the calcium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, retinol, folate, thiamin and vitamins A, B-6, B-12, E and K, as well. And, you’ll lose the healthy eye nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin. Most importantly you have just thrown out one of the few good sources of choline in the American diet—a nutrient important for healthy cell function, memory and brain development, which is especially important for developing babies.

But don’t throw out the egg white either; it’s packed with high-quality protein, which is important for maintaining strong muscles. And at only 78 calories for a whole egg, it’s a far healthier snack than those processed little 100-calories snack packs dieters reach for in the grocery aisles. So, when looking for a healthy snack, remember that nutrient-dense foods, like the egg-straordinary egg, can and should be part of a healthy diet.

To see if you’re getting the nutrition you need for optimal health, schedule your personal nutrition consultation today and start getting sound nutrition advice from a registered dietitian nutritionist!