Is a Ham, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich Actually Healthy?

As someone who loves a good breakfast sandwich I often find myself debating whether eating a ham egg, and cheese for breakfast is a nutritious choice or just an easy way to pack in extra calories and fat. This seemingly simple combination of ingredients can be a great option for a quick, protein-packed breakfast, but the health factor really depends on the specific ingredients used.

In this article I’ll break down the nutritional value of the standard ham, egg and cheese sandwich and discuss ways to give this sandwich a healthy makeover. Read on to learn whether this convenient breakfast sandwich can be part of a balanced diet!

The Standard Ham, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich

The typical ham egg, and cheese sandwich consists of the following

  • Two slices of white bread
  • A few slices of deli ham
  • A fried egg
  • One or two slices of cheese like American or cheddar
  • Spread or condiment like mayonnaise or butter

At first glance, this seems like a decent breakfast option. It contains protein from the egg, ham and cheese. The bread provides some carbohydrates for energy. But when we look deeper at the nutritional content of each ingredient, there are some red flags:

  • White bread – Made from refined flour, white bread is low in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It also causes spikes and crashes in blood sugar.

  • Deli ham – Ham is a processed meat that is high in sodium. Just two slices can contain over 300 mg of sodium. Too much sodium has been linked to high blood pressure.

  • Fried egg – While eggs are a great source of protein, frying adds a lot of extra fat and calories.

  • Cheese – Popular sandwich cheeses like American and cheddar are high in saturated fat and sodium.

  • Mayo or butter – These condiments add extra calories, fat and sodium to the sandwich.

While the occasional standard ham, egg and cheese sandwich is fine, regularly eating ones made with these unhealthy ingredients can lead to weight gain, heart disease and other chronic health issues.

Luckily, with a few simple tweaks, we can transform this sandwich into a nutritious breakfast!

Healthy Versions of the Ham, Egg and Cheese

Here are some tips for making a healthier ham, egg and cheese sandwich:

Choose Fiber-Rich Whole Grain Bread

Replacing white bread with 100% whole wheat or multi-grain bread instantly adds more fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein to your sandwich. The extra fiber will also help you feel fuller for longer. Some great options include whole grain bread, whole wheat English muffins or even a bagel thin.

Opt for Low-Sodium Ham

To reduce the sodium content, choose low-sodium ham or even turkey breast. You can also use less meat in your sandwich. Another idea is to skip the deli meat altogether and use a plant-based protein like smashed avocado or hummus.

Cook the Egg Differently

Rather than frying the egg, try poaching, boiling or scrambling it instead. This removes a lot of the extra fat and calories from frying.

Use Healthier Cheese

Limit full-fat cheese to just one slice or swap it out for low-fat options like Swiss or mozzarella. Low-fat cottage cheese is also an option. Or omit the cheese altogether if you’re really trying to lighten it up.

Spread with Avocado Instead

Skip the fatty mayo or butter spreads and use mashed avocado instead. The healthy fats in avocado will make your sandwich more satisfying. Hummus also works well.

Add Veggies

Don’t forget to pile on the veggies! Lettuce, tomato, onion, spinach, bell peppers and other veggie toppings boost the nutritional value considerably.

Portion Control

Stick to just one sandwich rather than two to keep calories under control. Also be mindful of sandwich size – pick normal size bread slices rather than large Texas toast style.

Healthy Ham, Egg and Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Now let’s put all these healthy tips together into one nutritious recipe:


  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 slice low-sodium ham
  • 1 egg, boiled or poached
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • 1⁄4 avocado, mashed
  • Handful of spinach
  • Sliced tomato
  • Dash of hot sauce or everything bagel seasoning (optional)


  1. Toast the whole grain bread to your desired crispness.
  2. Cook the egg by either boiling or poaching until fully set.
  3. Spread the mashed avocado onto one slice of toast.
  4. Top with the spinach, ham, Swiss cheese and tomato.
  5. Add the cooked egg.
  6. Sprinkle on the hot sauce or everything bagel seasoning if desired.
  7. Top with the other slice of toast and enjoy!

This simple healthy makeover cuts the calories, fat and sodium while adding way more nutrition. By picking better ingredients, you can feel good about eating this satisfying breakfast sandwich more regularly!

Frequently Asked Questions about Ham, Egg and Cheese Sandwiches

If you’re still wondering about the health implications of ham, egg and cheese sandwiches, here are answers to some common questions:

Are ham, egg and cheese sandwiches bad for cholesterol?

It really depends on the ingredients. The egg and cheese do contain cholesterol, but using just one egg and lower-fat cheese can make it a reasonably healthy option. Omitting the fatty meats and spreads is key.

What bread is healthiest for ham, egg and cheese?

Fiber-rich whole grain or multigrain breads are best. They are lower on the glycemic index and provide more nutrients. English muffins and bagels are also better than white bread.

Is ham or turkey better in an egg sandwich?

Turkey is the healthier option since it’s lower in fat and sodium compared to ham. But picking a low-sodium ham can also work.

Should I microwave or pan fry my egg sandwich?

Microwaving is healthier since you don’t need any butter or oil to cook the egg. Lightly spraying the pan with oil before cooking makes pan frying a healthier cooking method as well.

Can I freeze ham, egg and cheese sandwiches?

Yes, they freeze well for 1–3 months. Be sure to wrap the sandwiches tightly in plastic wrap or foil before freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

The Verdict on Ham, Egg and Cheese Sandwiches

While typically high in fat, sodium and calories, ham, egg and cheese sandwiches can be perfectly healthy if care is taken to choose the right ingredients. Sticking to fiber-rich whole grain bread, low-sodium ham and lower-fat cheese in moderation is key. Boost nutrition further by adding veggies and avocado. With some simple tweaks, you can feel good about enjoying this convenient breakfast sandwich more often while getting a dose of protein, fiber and nutrients. Just be mindful of portions and ingredients and ham, egg and cheese can be part of an overall balanced diet.

ONE PAN HAM, EGG, & CHEESE TOAST | Easy 5 MINUTE High Protein Breakfast Recipe

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