Should we eat the whole egg?

Egg whites are all the rage nowadays. From McDonald’s to Chick-fil-A there are many companies and brands that have been making efforts to appeal to the growing number of consumers who feel that leaving the yolk out of their eggs is a healthy choice for them. Is there validity to this line of thinking, or are egg whites just an example of another diet fad that shall soon pass?

Argument for egg whites:

egg-whiteAccording to the Livestrong Foundation, an egg without the yolk remains an excellent source of natural protein with more than two thirds of the protein that is found in a whole egg. In other words, it is wrong to assume that ditching the yolk means sacrificing the protein benefits of egg consumption. Additionally, egg whites are completely fat free, making them an excellent snack or breakfast add-on for anyone who wished to lose or maintain weight. According to Livestrong, natural protein sources that are also fat free is an excellent way to lower the risk of heart disease. Another benefit of ditching the yolk is that by doing so you also do away with the very large amount of cholesterol found in them. A single egg yolk nearly reaches the maximum daily cholesterol intake recommendation of 300mg.

Argument for keeping the yolk:

yolkAs it turns out, cholesterol isn’t the only thing being tossed away with the yolk. According to a nutrition facts chart found here, to save a little bit of fat from the yolk one must sacrifice a host of valuable nutrients that can be beneficial to health. For example, the yolk of an egg contains all of its vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and almost all of its calcium. If you take a look at this chart from Harvard University, it becomes apparent that the vitamins in the yolk of an egg has the potential to do things such as reducing cancer risks and revitalizing hair, skin, and nails. The yolk of the egg is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids that have a whole list of their own health benefits. When a dose of health antioxidants is added to the list, it seems pretty illogical to discard an egg yolk on account of saving a couple grams of fat that can actually be healthy.

What to do?!

At quick glance, eating egg whites seems to give most of the good and almost none of the bad associated with egg consumption. This is a dramatic misrepresentation of the truth. The yolk of the egg, despite having cholesterol and a few grams of fat, also happens to be the source of many great health-enhancing vitamins and oils that should be a part of any nutritious breakfast. Unless you are diabetic and need to cut cholesterol or there is just no room in your diet for a few grams of fat, disposing of the yolk is definitely not the healthier choice. Eat the yolk and look elsewhere for some fat savings if necessary!




3 thoughts on “Should we eat the whole egg?

  1. Annalise Marie Pilitowski

    I have always been a fan of egg yolks. To me the yolks are the best part of the egg! There is nothing like the gooey, deliciousness of biting into a bagel sandwich with an over easy egg and the yolk breaking and dripping all over your hands and plate or eating the yolk that is inside of a hard boiled egg. Ive always eaten the whole egg and I have no shame because it is so delicious. The chart on this website shows the breakdown of egg white, egg yolks, and whole eggs and shows that the egg yolks have higher amounts of vitamins and calcium and omega-3, etc. But the real debate about which eggs are better for you is regular eggs vs organic.

  2. lkv5058

    This is interesting to me because my mom always told me egg whites were healthier but I wouldn’t eat them. My reasoning wasn’t for health, it was simply because I thought eggs with the yolk tasted much better. Knowing now that the better tasting option is also possibly the healthier option feels great. I can finally prove my mom wrong! Also, this website claims that egg yolks are very helpful in building muscle so this is a win win win situation.

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