The Difference Between Egg Whites and Egg Yolks
After reviewing the research, it is safe to say that consuming a whole egg is the best way to eat eggs. Years ago during the heyday of bad mouthing foods with cholesterol and fat components, the egg yolk was considered taboo to healthy eating because, yes, at 175 mg it does contain a high level of cholesterol. But after 25 years of study, it has become evident that cholesterol in foods like eggs is not the culprit. Saturated fat has a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol. Full-fat dairy products and fatty meats are examples of foods that are loaded with saturated fat and which trigger the body to produce cholesterol. Let’s first breakdown the current state of egg consumption.
The whole egg provides a nutritious source of sustenance that very few foods can replicate. Consequently it is one of the most nutrient dense foods available, making it a very healthy food choice. Below are its benefits:
• Weight management: The high-quality protein in eggs helps you to feel more full for longer and stay energized, which contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.
• Muscle strength and muscle-loss prevention: Research indicates that high-quality protein may help active adults build muscle strength and help prevent muscle loss in middle-aged and aging adults.
• Healthy pregnancy: Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects. Two eggs provide about 250 milligrams of choline, or roughly half of the recommended daily intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
• Brain function: Choline also aids the brain function of adults by maintaining the structure of brain cell membranes, and is a key component of the neuro-transmitter that helps relay messages from the brain through nerves to the muscles.
• Eye health: Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness.
Now let’s break down the nutritious differences between the egg yolk and egg white.
Egg whites are a low-calorie, fat-free food. They contain the bulk of the egg’s protein at 4 grams and are only 17 calories per egg. A single egg white also offers 1.3 micrograms of folate, 6.6 mcg of selenium, 2.3 mg of calcium, 3.6 mg of magnesium, and 4.9 mg of phosphorus and 53.8 mg of potassium.
It is true that egg yolks carry the cholesterol, which is the fat and saturated fat of the egg. However, what is more important is that this dietary cholesterol raises the good HDL, which is good for cardiovascular health. Yolks contain 100% of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well as carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin found in the egg. They also contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Compared to the yolk, the white doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of nutrients. The yolk contains about 55 calories but based on the nutrition information table, has more actual nutrients.
Preparation is another factor in maintaining eggs’ healthy stature. Boiled and poached eggs have the same nutritional properties as a raw egg. Scrambling or frying in one to two teaspoons of butter keeps the calorie count down, while adding onions and peppers ups the nutrient quotient for an even healthier meal. Note that there is no nutritional difference between white and brown eggs, so purchase whichever you feel comfortable with.
When you combine the nutrients of the egg yolk and egg white you have a powerful, nutritious food. However, if you suffer from diabetes, coronary artery disease or have any heart health issues like high cholesterol and have been advised to limit your dietary intake of cholesterol, consider your intake of eggs (particularly the yolks). For the majority of the population, considering the many nutritious benefits and the fact that more than 35-percent of coronary heart disease occurs in people with low total cholesterol, eating eggs as a regular part of your diet is a healthy move. If you’ve been concerned about egg consumption for health reasons, rethink those fears because you’re missing out on a healthy meal!