One of the great debates when considering a healthy diet is that egg whites are healthier for you because the yolk is loaded with cholesterol and fat.
Which one do you choose? Which is the healthier option?
Let’s arm you with the knowledge to decide for yourself.
Factor #1: Do you want just protein or are you interested in the nutrients as well?
One egg is about 70 calories and has 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. The egg white portion of the egg contains about 3.5 grams of the total protein. The remaining 2.5 grams plus the 5 grams of fat are in the yolk. This is why many people opt to toss the yolk and increase the egg white because you’re getting all the protein without the unnecessary fat.
Although this sounds good in theory, the yolk also contains all of the nutrients. The yolk contains leucin, choline, as well as Vitamin A, D,E & B.
Do you want less calories and less protein? Or do you want to opt for the yolk with more calories and fat but also a much higher level of nutrients, vitamins and minerals?
The decision is now yours to make.
Factor #2: Cholesterol (HDL vs. LDL) or high density lipoprotein vs. low density lipoprotein
To keep this simple, LDL is the bad cholesterol because it causes the buildup of fatty deposits within your arteries that cause heart disease.
Conversely, HDL, or the good cholesterol, helps to remove the LDL from your arteries.
Many studies show that eating whole eggs raises your HDL cholesterol to a higher degree than LDL thereby increasing the overall good to bad cholesterol level in your bloodstream. This is a good thing.
Cholesterol became such a big hype in the media over the past few decades because of the rise in people diagnosed with heart disease. BUT, having higher cholesterol doesn’t mean you have heart disease. A Harvard study conducted on over 100,000 people concluded that egg consumption in healthy individuals did not increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
Cholesterol does serve a purpose in your body and to eliminate it just because of media hype is bogus.
Now that you know the difference, you are aware that as long as you are a healthy individual the increase of HDL you get by consuming egg yolks is not a bad thing after all.
Factor #3. The quality of the egg
There are other factors to consider as well such as whether the egg is organic, whether the chickens are cage free, and what the chicken’s diet consisted of. The more natural cage free chicken will have a yolk higher in omega 3 and contain more nutrients. A chicken that is raised in its natural state and allowed to eat insects and greens will have thicker shells and a deeper colored orange yolk indicating a much higher nutrient level and carotenoids.
The rule I’m proclaiming is the following. The better quality of the egg the more you should want the yolk.
Now you have an explanation of the 3 main factors to consider when choosing whether or not you want to include the yolks in your next healthy breakfast or toss them in the trash.
There really is no right or wrong answer. It’s merely a matter of preference.
Personally, I use a combination of both and here is my recommendation. If you eat eggs everyday just eat the whites. This will limit your fat and cholesterol intake. However, you should also try and incorporate the whole egg into your diet once or twice a week to get all the other nutrients, vitamins and minerals found in the yolk.
After all, an egg is at the top of the super food list, and the yolk has everything to do with that.