Healthy Swaps for Your Omelet

OmeletI love omelets. So much so, that I will often have an omelet for dinner. When dining out, however, an omelet is often a huge meal: toast, hash browns, bacon, you name it are part of the deal, making your choice a danger zone of cholesterol and fat. Although ordering an omelet at a restaurant or diner can seem like an unhealthy decision, you can make some very easy swaps that will make an otherwise fatty breakfast, or in my case dinner, much leaner and healthier. Here are five simple swaps to make the next time an omelet is on the horizon:

  1. You Say Potato, I say Tomato: Your order will almost always come with carb-intense and often fatty home fries or fried potatoes. A very simple, and extremely healthy swap is to ask for tomato slices instead. Almost every time I've done this, the restaurant has happily obliged. Tomatoes provide tons of fiber, have no fat and are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which is great for heart health, boosting memory and reducing risk of cancer.
  2. Egg-a-licious: Although recent studies show that the cholesterol found in eggs may not be as harmful as once assumed, one whole egg still contains 71% of your daily cholesterol and is high in fat. To keep things a bit leaner, ask for egg whites instead. If you don't like the taste of egg whites, ask if they'd be willing to do one whole egg to two egg whites. This will cut down on your cholesterol and fat intake for the day, but keep some of the flavor from the yolk.
  3. O Canada: The simple smell of crisp bacon wafting through a diner or restaurant can create mega-salivation. Unfortunately, both of these, even turkey versions, can be high in saturated fat. Instead, choose Canadian bacon. Canadian bacon is extremely low in fat and still has that smokey taste that is so delicious on egg sandwiches and in omelets. If Canadian bacon is not available, ask for ham, as ham is leaner than bacon and sausage as well.
  4. Tasty Toast: Always choose whole wheat or whole grain over white, rye or other types of toast. Whole grain toast is more robust in flavor, and will provide you with a dose of fiber that will fill you up. Further, most restaurants and diners will automatically butter your toast. Instead, ask for your toast dry and use jam instead, so as to cut back on your saturated fat intake.
  5. Say Cheese! Cheese, although a tasty part of an omelet, can be high in saturated fat and exacerbate food allergies. Goat cheese, however, has been said to be a healthier option than cow cheese. It has about one-third fewer calories per ounce, has about twice as much protein, contains half the fat and cholesterol, and is easier to digest because the fat resembles human milk more so than cow milk curd. Finally, goat milk contains less lactose than cow milk and may be an alternative for some people with dairy protein allergies. Good options include goat cheese itself or feta, which is made with a combination of goat and sheep's milk.

Do you eat omelets often? What do you do to keep them on the healthier side?

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