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The Incredible Edible Egg

By Alyssa Baird, Dietetic Intern at Meredith College

Have you ever heard to avoid the yolk of an egg due to the cholesterol content? The delicious yellow middle of an egg we have been told to avoid may not be so bad after all. 

An egg contains a whopping 6 g of protein and just 75 calories. The yolk contains half of the protein and is packed with vitamin and minerals. It is also one of the few foods that naturally contains Vitamin D. Although there are about 175 mg of cholesterol per egg, this has not been shown to increase blood cholesterol or LDL “bad” cholesterol in everyone. Some people may be sensitive to increases in dietary cholesterol and should enjoy in moderation, but saturated fats and trans fats are more likely the culprit for high blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are found in items like butter, cheese, bacon, and other high fat meats and dairy products.  

Eggs are a versatile and satiating option that can be incorporated into any meal of the day or hard-boiled to take as an easy to-go snack. To keep your egg recipes healthy, try eating them with vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, and onions instead of with a side of bacon. If you are going to choose a savory side, try chicken bacon, Canadian bacon, or turkey sausage as an alternative.  You can also mix your whole eggs with some egg whites for a lower calorie option that still has the color and flavor of the yolk. 

Check out these healthy egg recipes from the Duke Diet and Fitness Center:

Mediterranean Omelet

Servings: 1, Serving size: 1 Omelet


  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp prepared Basil Pesto


  1. Whisk egg and egg whites together in a small bowl
  2. Spray a medium non-stick sauté pan with cooking spray and turn on medium heat. Once pan is hot, add the egg mixture. Let cook until about ¾ done (should look somewhat dry around the edges)
  3. Sprinkle feta, tomatoes and pesto on one side of the circle and carefully fold the other half over the toppings, making a half moon. Let cook for about 1 minute then flip to cook on the other side for another minute. By this time, the inside should be done. If you prefer the omelet to be more done, you can leave it on the pan a little longer with the heat off.

Nutrition Information per Serving:
210 calories, 12 g of fat (5 g saturated), 4 g of carbohydrates, 20 g of protein, 410 mg of sodium


Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Scramble

Serving Size: ½ cup, serves 4


  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 cup of egg whites 
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese (~1 oz- weight)
  • ¼ cup chopped smoked salmon (~2 oz- weight)
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped dill


  1. Apply cooking spray to sauté pan and set it on medium heat.
  2. Whisk egg and egg whites together in a small bowl, add pan and scramble with spatula. When the eggs begin to cook, add the cheese, salmon and dill.
  3. Continue to stir the eggs until cooked to desired consistency.
  4. Remove from heat and serve.

Nutrition Information per Serving:
160 calories, fat 8 g, 1 g of carbohydrates, 20 g protein, ~420 mg sodium (depends strongly on smoked salmon brand)

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With more than 40-year years of experience in delivering wellness and weight loss programs, the Duke Diet and Fitness Center has established itself as one of the leading weight loss and total body health destinations for health conscious individuals seeking a residential style health program focused on natural weight loss.

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