Many health experts call them a superfood, and anyone living the low-carb lifestyle can tell you they are a staple of their diet.
But what exactly is it about eggs that make them so nutritious? And what makes them so great if you're on the ketogenic diet?
Here's everything you should know about eating eggs on keto: the nutrition facts, health benefits, what the keto egg fast diet is, and some of our favorite low-carb egg dishes.
Nutrition Facts About EggsOne large egg contains* :
- 70 calories
- 5 grams of fat (1.5g saturated, 3g mono/polyunsaturated fats)
- Zero carbs
- 6 grams of protein
- Vitamins A, B, D, E
- Minerals such as calcium, iron, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, iodine, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, and choline
3 Awesome Health Benefits of EggsHere are three interesting facts you might not know about the health benefits of eggs.
1. Eggs Contain All 9 Essential Amino AcidsYou may or may not know this already, but not all protein sources are created equal. This is because for your body to use dietary protein, it must be broken down into amino acids.
There are at least 20 amino acids your body needs to grow new tissue and perform all of its other functions—and at least 9 of those amino acids are considered "essential" .
Certain foods (many plant-based proteins for example), do not contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs—meaning you must combine 2 or more protein sources to give your body the right mixture of nutrients.
But eggs are considered a "complete" protein source in that they contain the essential (and many of the non-essential) amino acids your body needs all in one food .
2. Eggs Contain 18 Essential MineralsThat list of minerals in the previous section was pretty long and impressive, wasn't it?
Believe it or not, it's actually only a start. Depending on the quality of the source, some eggs have been found to contain 18 essential minerals that your body needs to stay healthy .
Each mineral's contribution to human health varies, but is almost always a substantial one.
For example, two of the most important minerals found in eggs, selenium and zinc, are considered to be key nutrients in the fight to keep your body cancer-free .
3. Eggs Are Very AffordableIf you're trying to lose weight or get healthy on a budget, eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods that you can consume every day.
Consider these staggering facts :
- Eggs are 75% less expensive than chicken breast on a per serving basis.
- Eggs are 87% less expensive than ground beef on a per serving basis.
- Eggs provide almost twice as much protein as pork does on a per-dollar-spent basis.
The Most Popular Ways to Cook EggsHere are a few ways you might consider cooking your eggs on a keto diet:
- Scrambled: whisk in a bowl, pan-cooked with healthy oil or butter
- Fried: cracked directly into the pan (yolks intact) with healthy oil or butter
- Poached: cooked in a small pool of hot water for 2 to 3 minutes (yolk should still be soft)
- Hard-boiled: whole egg, shell included, gets boiled for 8 to 10 minutes (yolk should be cooked through)
- Soft-boiled: whole egg, shell included, gets boiled for 5 to 6 minutes (yolk should remain soft)
Why Eggs are so Popular on KetoEvery successful keto dieter quickly learns that having a few "staple" or go-to foods around the house makes sticking to their diet easier.
For many keto veterans, eggs are one of those foods (if not #1 on the list).
“Eggs are one of the most convenient and versatile protein sources for those following a ketogenic diet due to their high macro- and micronutrient profile, as well as appeal to meat and non-meat eaters alike,” said Registered Dietitian Molly Devine. “It’s an extra bonus that they are quick and easy to prepare and don’t require an advanced culinary degree to make them taste delicious!”
Here are several reasons eggs are so popular on keto:
- They're versatile and can be prepared in many different ways (see the recipes listed below)
- They're easy to meal prep with (for example: you can prepare enough egg salad for several days)
- They are used in many keto dishes (such as the binding ingredient for this keto meatloaf recipe)
- They're highly affordable
- They're highly nutritious
- They have the perfect macronutrient breakdown for keto dieters (high fat, moderate protein, zero carbs)
- They're easy to cook after a long day at work
“Eggs are a staple at my house. I always make sure I have them on hand because they’re so easy to cook and so good for my health,” said professional athlete and keto enthusiast Tim Tebow. “One of my favorite ways to eat eggs is to fry up a few and eat it with an avocado. It’s a great source of fat and protein with almost no carbs.”
Keto Egg Fast DietPerhaps you've found your way to this article because you're looking for information about the keto egg fast diet. Or you were just wondering about eggs but now you're curious. Either way, here's some information about it.
*Keep in mind that we are simply outlining the diet for you here and not recommending it. Always consult your personal physician before implementing extreme versions of diets such as this one.
What is a Keto Egg Fast?The keto egg fast diet is a restrictive version of the normal ketogenic diet where you eliminate most foods for 3 to 5 days.
The main purpose of the keto egg fast diet is to break through plateaus during your weight loss journey. If you've been struggling to lose weight while maintaining a healthy diet, this might be the right move for you.
There are many rules to this diet, but here are the main ones :
- Every meal must be egg-based for the duration of the diet
- You must eat at least 6 eggs per day
- You must consume healthy fats in equal proportion to each egg (1 tablespoon)
- You must practice intermittent fasting (eating meals in a window of time; this means not eating before bed for at least three hours)
- You may consume cheese, but sparingly
What are the Health Benefits of an Egg Fast?There are generally two benefits to diets that are restrictive, such as the egg fast diet:
- The first is weight loss—by only eating eggs and healthy fats, you're likely to eat fewer calories and enter ketosis (both from not eating carbs and practicing intermittent fasting). Both of these things are proven weight loss tools.
- The second is to remove other foods from your body. Some elimination diets (such as the Carnivore diet) have been shown to have other beneficial effects when you eliminate all foods but protein sources, such as improved blood sugar levels .
How Does an Egg Fast Work?For 3 to 5 days, eat nothing but eggs and healthy fats. Cease eating three hours before bed to help deplete your body of any stored glucose more rapidly, thus initiating ketosis quicker.
Keep in mind: a diet like this is not recommended over the long-term. It should only be used as a short-term weight loss fix. Current scientific literature points to the benefit of eating plenty of healthy veggies and low-carb fruits to get your fix of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, and only eating eggs falls outside of those guidelines.
Remember to consult your doctor before embarking on any restrictive diet such as this one.
Keto and Low-Carb Egg Recipes
Here's a list of some of our favorite keto-friendly egg recipes:
- Tim Tebow’s Avocado Scramble: The Heisman-trophy-winner and keto enthusiast's favorite morning ritual consists of a few fluffy eggs scrambled together with creamy avocado and spices. A perfect way to start the day!
- Egg Muffins: The perfect meal prep or on-the-go breakfast option. Cook a bunch of egg muffins on Sunday and you're good to go for breakfast all week!
- Cheesy Breakfast Casserole: Low in carbs and free of gluten, this breakfast casserole is another one you can whip up in a flash and enjoy for several days. Also, it's made with bacon and breakfast sausage. Need we say more?
- Tim Tebow’s Bacon and Spinach Omelette: A fluffy and savory mix of eggs, leafy greens, and meat. Takes only a couple minutes to throw together! Also delicious with ham or sausage.
- Green Omelette: Forget the green shake or smoothie that you've been drinking to make sure you're getting enough vitamins. All the ingredients go into the blender to streamline the process—and it's delicious!
- #1 Keto Casserole: Some people say you can't do comfort food right on a low-carb diet. To those people we say: you haven't tried this keto casserole yet. Made with eggs, bacon, cheese, and zucchini, this will quickly become a family favorite.
- Bacon Deviled Eggs: Another example where bacon makes things better. Keep these in the fridge for a tasty mid-day snack!
- Egg Salad: After hard boiling a bunch of eggs, peel the shells away and combine with mayonnaise, mustard, and spices.