Are eggs good for you? Here's the healthiest way to eat them.

It’s the start of a beautiful day. You’re sitting down to eat a homemade egg breakfast when suddenly – blech. The eggs don’t look appetizing anymore, in fact, you’re repulsed by them.

It’s what’s been dubbed the “egg ick” on TikTok and it’s a real thing, says registered dietitian Abbey Sharp. It may even be affecting your health.

You know eggs are good for you, but what’s the best way to prepare and eat them? Here’s what to know to get the most health benefits.

What is the healthiest way to eat eggs?

It depends on your individual goals and preferences. If you don’t have any weight loss or other health concerns, the healthiest way to eat them is the way you like to eat them. In other words, if you’re a scrambled egg kind of person – eat scrambled eggs. If fried eggs are your jam, go for a fried egg.

Hear us out.

Eggs are an easy, inexpensive protein to lean on during economically challenging times, Sharp says. A single egg has about 6 grams of protein. It is also a complete source of protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids our body can’t make on its own. Eggs are also a healthy source of Vitamin A and D, iron, choline and other nutrients. A 2020 study also found those who ate an egg-based breakfast stayed fuller for longer than those who ate a grain-based meal.

The problem here is the “egg ick.” Because it might cause someone to miss out on a healthy breakfast option, it’s in your best interest to enjoy eggs however your body is craving them.

“Eventually we have something called ‘sensory-specific satiety,’” Sharp says. “You just get tapped out on eating the exact same way. Switching it up whenever possible so that you feel like you’re still enjoying it is really important.”

If you do want the healthiest breakfast possible and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, Sharp recommends omega-3-enriched eggs. These eggs are laid by hens whose feed is supplemented with fat sources like flaxseed. Omega-3s are essential fats that 68% of adults and over 95% of children don’t consume enough of.

Healthiest ways to eat eggs for weight loss

There are a couple of other ways you can make a healthier egg breakfast, depending on your dietary needs.

If you have weight loss goals then consider looking to a lower-fat preparation, Sharp says. Hard-boiled, poached or even baked egg bites don’t rely on as much oil or butter to crisp up the egg.

“But even if you like them fried of course there’s ways to use a nonstick skillet and be very sparing with the amount of oil that you use,” Sharp says. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”

For those trying to gain muscle, Sharp says the healthiest way to eat eggs is to pack in the extra protein. Add in extra egg whites to add more volume and protein, or mix in cottage cheese to your scramble. You could even riff off of Starbucks’ egg bites by tossing some scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and toppings into a muffin tin.

Are egg yolks bad for you?

You may have heard egg yolks are bad for you because they're high in cholesterol. That's partially right – most dietary cholesterol in eggs is found in the egg yolks, but its impact on your health isn’t that simple.

Dietary cholesterol, found in food, is different from blood cholesterol, which is a measure of heart health identified by the American Heart Association. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal-based food sources like high-fat meat, eggs, butter and cream. Blood cholesterol measures the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) “bad” cholesterol in your body. High LDL cholesterol levels can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

We used to think dietary cholesterol led to cardiovascular disease, but a 2019 review from the American Heart Association refuted the association between dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular risk. There is, however, a link between saturated fat and heart disease.

Previous guidance based on research on the effect of eggs “was complicated by the fact that eggs often are eaten with high-fat foods such as bacon, sausage and butter,” the AHA says.

Other studies have shown routinely eating eggs may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease, particularly because of nutrients like folate and omega-3 fatty acids.

Current guidance allows for more flexibility. It’s safe to eat egg yolks daily because eggs are high in dietary cholesterol but not in saturated fat. Still, those with high blood cholesterol should reduce sources of dietary cholesterol, according to the AHA.

The yolks and whites are pretty comparable when it comes to protein – yolks even have a bit more protein. You’re also getting lutein and zeaxanthin in the yolk, two antioxidants that benefit eye health.

“Ideally you want to consume the egg in its entirety to get all of those really important benefits,” Sharp says.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is the healthiest way to eat eggs? The truth about whites, yolks