Certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor & Nutrition Counselor, Whitney Cole is your triple-threat in the fight against fat! Exercise Physiologist, Sports Conditioning Coach & Corrective Exercise Specialist, Byron Paidoussi sculpts athletes & average joes into superheroes! Regarded as the most "innovative, motivating & results-delivering" trainers in Hollywood, Byron & Whitney have been featured in Muscle & Fitness, Shape, Fitness, InTouch & US Weekly. This husband & wife team inspires clients to exceed their fitness potential by developing customized total-body conditioning & performance nutrition plans. Clientele includes celebrities, pro athletes and Angelenos simply aiming to lose weight & tone up. For success story photos, recipes & articles: www.fitnessandfuel-la.com

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Don't miss the omelet recipe at the end of this article!

Given how many people raise their eyebrows and remark, "Aren't they bad for you?" in response to my "eat eggs" recommendation, I thought I'd set the record straight.

eggs yolkYes, they are high in fat and cholesterol, both which reside in the yolk.

No, eating the white only is not "better."

While the yolk is fattening by comparison with the white (5g vs. 0g for a large egg), it also contains 3 of the 6 grams of protein in the egg, along with calcium, copper, zinc, Vitamin E, Omega 3s, riboflavin, Vitamin D, etc. The white alone really only provides protein, and surprise, most of the egg's sodium. By tossing the yolk entirely, you miss out on the above nutrients which actually work in conjunction with the protein in the white for muscle growth, cell repair and memory function, to mention a few.

While convenient, the packaged whites are actually the worst option. Not only do you lose the important nutrients naturally occurring in the yolk, but also, like any packaged product that has an extended shelf life, you get to consume an additional 115g of sodium, vegetable gums, phosphates and other preservatives. Some brands do contain traces of the vitamins and nutrients originally in the egg, but they are typically added in, like cereal, bread and other enriched foods.

My clients know our diet - "The Arsenal" - is based on simplicity. Eat foods as close to what was growing (fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts) or grazing in the field or swimming in the water (meats and fish) as possible. So, the less-processed items on your menu, the happier your tummy will be. Plus, in this instance, I'm giving you a license to eat something that actually tastes better. Please don't argue that Egg Beaters and the like taste better... the flavoring is just another on the list of additives anyway.

Regarding cholesterol, instead of getting hung up on the dietary cholesterol listed on food labels, we should be more concerned with monitoring the level of cholesterol in our bloodstream. This measure is more affected by the mix of fats in our diets rather than the cholesterol we intake from food. We'll chat fats in another entry.

So who wins the egg debate? Here's my crack at it:

In the interest of limiting daily fat and calories, and keeping an eye on cholesterol, I recommend eating a 2:1 ratio of whites:full egg. Crack 4 eggs in a bowl and remove 2 yolks before scrambling. If you already have your doctor hounding you about high cholesterol or heart disease, you should reduce the ratio to 3:1, removing 3 of the 4 yolks in the former example, and enjoy this omelet no more than 3 times a week.

In addition to maintaining the healthy nutrient content of consuming the full egg, both options taste great and are more satisfying than choking down another egg white omelet, which I can say from my experience as a (former ) egg-white-only girl.

For my Easy (& Impressive) Omelet go to WhitneyMCole.com

Personal Trainer, Pilates Practitioner & Nutrition Counselor
Diet.com Fitness Expert & Wellsphere Health Maven

Got a diet or nutrition question for Whitney? Send it to whitney@whitneymcole.com to see it answered in the next Fit Fueled and Fabulous blog at Diet.com

Weight-loss, strength, definition, flexibility, abs of steel...whatever your motivation, helping you reach it and relish the confidence of accomplishment is Whitney's.

@ 11:50am ET on January 27, 2010
Super article Whitney! I have your 3-1 ratio egg breakfast virtually every morning, when I have cereal and fruit as an alternative, it isn't nearly as satisfying and doesn't hold me through lunch the way eggs do! Thanks for the thorough and informative article with great advice, please keep them coming. ACL

@ 10:35am ET on February 1, 2010
by not being hungry , I am much less liable to grab the wrong thing . protein really holds you and gives long term energy..thanks, Whitney

@ 11:58am ET on February 1, 2010
Glad you are enjoying your eggs in the am, Alicia! You betcha, Dashound! Protein will sustain your energy level til your next meal, especially natural sources like eggs, which are easiest for your body to absorb and utilize. Have a fueled, fit & fabulous day! - WMC

@ 4:04pm ET on June 12, 2010
THANK YOU!! I LOVE eggs, but haven't been eating them since I've been dieting, because of all the negative press they receive. Your post made me realize that they are just another great source of protein that I need for the energy that I desperately search for!


@ 4:05am ET on July 1, 2010
That was great, I love eating eggs and I usually have a breakfast of scrambled eggs with 1 egg yoke and two egg whites.
According to the book eat this not that, consuming eggs 4 times a week improves the amount of nutrition you take in from other foods.

@ 7:08am ET on July 17, 2010
What a great article.. I'm a big fan of incorporating eggs in my diet they always provide with the energy I need to get through the day

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