If eggs didn't exist, then I daresay that keto wouldn't be nearly as popular as it is. Why? Because eating eggs on keto is the shield to Captain America. Or the spinach to Popeye's strength.
In other words, they're the secret weapon.
As you probably know, keto is all about reducing your carbs to an extremely low level and eating a lot of fats to initiate the metabolic (aka turning food into energy/calories) mechanism known as "ketosis".
Basically, instead of using the sugars you usually get from carbs to make energy, your body goes, "Wait. I'm out of sugar. Guess it's time to use fat".
This fat-to-energy switch helps promote weight loss and could possibly help diseases like Alzheimer's and Epilepsy[*].
Eggs are fantastic on keto because they check a lot of the nutrient boxes while keeping you full. They're low-carb, they're high in protein, they're delicious, and they're full of healthy fats and nutrients[*].
I'm in love with eggs; I eat them almost every day. Even when I'm not in ketosis! Throw in some of Trader Joe's soy chorizo too and my day is made.
In this article, we'll talk about:
- Whether or not you can eat eggs on keto
- Egg yolks vs. egg whites
- The benefits of eating eggs on keto
- Our go-to ways to cook eggs on keto
- Other keto "staple foods" you need to know about
Can you eat eggs on keto?
Yes. An absolute, resounding, holy grail-esque yes.
Eggs are your best friend on keto! They are chock full of healthy fats and proteins and are super low in carbs. It’s hard to make an argument for eating too many eggs. I suppose if you went way over your calorie limit and avoided vegetables it'd be bad, but I don't think that's anything you'll need to worry about.
Just cook them how you like in a healthy fat like olive oil or avocado oil, grind some fresh sea salt and ground pepper over them, and put a little spritz of lime or lemon for a touch of acidity before serving and you’ll be a happy egger, I promise.
What about egg yolks vs. egg whites?
Both are fine on keto! Typically the yolk is avoided due to its concentration of cholesterol. And while the yolk definitely has more cholesterol, calories, and fat than their fellow egg whites, that's also where you get most of the eggs' amazing nutrients[*]!
In other words, unless you have a specific and restricting issue with cholesterol, then definitely add those yolks in.
The benefits of eating eggs on Keto
Eggs are low in carbohydrates and high in protein and healthy fats.
How many carbs are in an egg specifically? Well, that depends on the egg, but a large egg has around 0.45g of carbohydrates[*]. Considering keto diets typically recommend 20g-50g of carbs, you'd have to eat dozens of eggs to go over your carb limit. You really don't have to worry about carbs with eggs.
And with almost 8g in protein and only 90 calories in that same serving, you can see why eggs are so useful. They keep you super full without spending too much of your caloric buck.
Here's the full major nutrient breakdown of a "jumbo egg" via the USDA:
- Calories: 90
- Protein: 7.91 grams
- Total Lipids (Fats): 5.99 grams
- Carbs: 0.45 grams
- Sugar: 0.23 grams
- Potassium: 77mg
- Sodium: 89mg
- Calcium: 45mg
- Cholesterol: 234g
Go here for a deeper breakdown on egg nutrients, but remember nutrients are just part of it! How easy and versatile eggs are helps as well.
Eggs can be added to almost any meal, anytime, anywhere.
I understand there's a limit to this, but there's a reason why there are so many "breakfast all-day" places. It's because there are more ways to use eggs than you think, and you can find a recipe for any time of day that has them. This versatility makes them a must-have staple to stock your fridge with. I'd recommend going and grabbing a big 30-pack of eggs on your first day of keto. If you're ever stuck with nothing to eat, eggs are an option you need to have on hand.
Our go-to keto egg recipes for each meal
To prove that exact point, here are some ideas for eating eggs in every meal.
We all know that breakfast is where eggs reign supreme, but eggs do not have to be boring or hard! I cringe to think of all the days I made dry, bland eggs. It's so easy to make amazing eggs in just a few minutes! Here are a few of my favorite ways to make eggs:
- Avocado-Baked Eggs with Sriracha - I discovered avocado-baked eggs when I first started getting into cooking. They are delicious, extremely easy, and can be made with pretty much whatever spices, cheeses, and hot sauces you have around. It's as simple as cracking an egg into a split avocado, seasoning it, and baking it.
- Gordon Ramsay Scrambled Eggs - Arguably the most famous video about eggs on the internet - if you haven't seen it, you should. You know when you go to a coffee shop or restaurant, order the avocado toast like a millennial, and wonder how the eggs are so dense and creamy? Well, the answer is here. They take a bit more effort but are perfect for slow Saturday mornings.
- Keto Quiche - I love making quiches because you can do it once and have a great breakfast for the week. It's like pie but healthy.
- Chicken Salad Picnic Eggs - I love chicken salad, and it's definitely possible to get that fix in a healthier, keto-friendly manner. Make a big batch and you can eat it as a side or add it into lettuce wraps like the recipe below.
- Keto Egg Wraps - This is a vegetarian spin on the chicken salad idea. The avocado makes these wraps super creamy and delicious.
- Spring Soup with a Poached Egg - This soup has a light, Asian feel to it and can be a nice way to eat eggs outside of their usual setting. Use this recipe as inspiration for other soups that would benefit from an egg as well!
- Low-Carb Italian Eggs in Purgatory - One of my favorite homey dishes is the Israeli Shakshuka - essentially a tomato and egg bake of sorts. You poach the eggs in tomato sauce and typically eat it with naan (although you can definitely sub keto bread here). This silly-named recipe isn't a strict shakshuka recipe, but it's along the same lines and is absolutely delicious.
- Keto Zucchini Fritters - Sometimes on keto you just want finger food. After tons of salads and chicken, it just feels good to get that fix. These zucchini fritters get you there without kicking you out of ketosis.
- Smoked Sausage Frittata - This is another egg bake that is great for lunch or dinner. They really aren't hard to make, and the spinach and mushrooms make it feel even healthier. And if you haven't noticed, cast-irons are super popular in the keto world. If you don’t have one it's worth the investment!
Other keto superhero staples
Again, the range of carbs recommended on keto varies, but it's typically in the 20g-50g range. That is not a lot! So with that in mind, you need to keep an eye on them, and the easiest way to do that is to outline your go-to staple foods.
Here are foods you generally don’t have to worry about when counting carbs, so pick recipes that focus on these!
Our go-to keto staples:
- Meat sticks
- Peanut Butter
- Low-carb mayo
- Soy Sauce
There are so many possibilities for dishes here. Think about it. Bacon bits and roasted mushrooms over spinach. Slow-roasted salmon with lemon on a bed of greens. Steak with a side of broccoli and cheese. The ideas go on and on! All you need is a bit of determination and imagination.
And here's a lengthy list of keto foods from My Keto Kitchen if you want to dig deeper!
We wish you all the best on your keto journey. By having a firm understanding of keto and the foods that are safe, you can make it a lot easier to manage.
A lot of people fail by going way overboard with their planning and making it feel like this insurmountable challenge. There's nothing wrong with being careful, but by building up a stock of staple foods you don't have to think about, you won't get overwhelmed by feeling like you need to create a specific recipe for each meal.
The point is, by making keto a temporary lifestyle as opposed to an experiment, you are much more likely to succeed. It's a small distinction, but it matters.
And don't forget to buy lots of eggs!