There are a lot of misconceptions about eggs out there. Let’s take a couple of minutes to tackle one of the biggies — egg whites versus whole eggs. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so let’s sift through the myths and finally figure out which is healthier — egg whites or whole eggs?
Egg yolks have been demonized for decades as harbingers of weight gain and heart disease, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whole eggs are a nutritious food, and you’re actually doing your body a disservice by completely ditching the yolks. Here are 4 reasons whole eggs nutritionally beat out egg whites.
Egg whites alone can deplete nutrients. Eating just egg whites can lead to biotin deficiency. Egg whites contain avidin, which is a substance which binds to biotin. Without the biotin found in the yolk to bind to, eating excessive amounts of egg whites can cause avidin to bind to the biotin stored in your body. In contrast, eggs are a food pre-packaged for you by nature. Both the white and the yolk work together to make a nutritionally complete food, whereas egg whites alone are really only half the story.
Yolks house nutrients. Not only do the yolks house many B vitamins, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and around half of the egg’s protein content, but yolks are full of essential amino acids that your body needs for hormonal balance. It contains L-arginine, which regulates growth hormone production in the body, as well as leucine, which assists in regulating blood sugar levels. The yolk also contains brain-boosting choline and eye-protecting phytochemical lutein. On the other hand, the whites on their own contain only a very small percentage of the these nutrients and a measly 3.5 grams of protein (there are 7 in a whole large egg). It’s pretty clear that you’re actually doing yourself a nutritional disservice by only eating the whites.
Yolks won’t skyrocket your cholesterol… This myth has been thoroughly busted, but some people are still tentative to embrace eggs into their healthy lifestyles. It’s been well-documented that an egg or two a day does not directly impact your blood cholesterol levels. In fact, a piece in the British Medical Journal investigates 17 reports and concluded that consumption of an egg per day is not associated with an increased risk of stroke or heart disease. It turns out, the previous studies that concluded that the cholesterol in eggs was linked to heart disease were extremely flawed. So, if you’ve been just eating whites because you’re afraid of egg-based cholesterol, maybe it’s time to add a healthy yolk or two into your life.
Nor do whole eggs make you gain weight. Think of it as nature’s perfect food, all combined in a tidy little package for you. There’s no need to be afraid of the fat in eggs. What’s important, however, is to only buy organic, pastured eggs. When compared to conventional eggs, pastured eggs have been shown to have 1/3 less cholesterol, 2/3 more vitamin A, 1/4 less saturated fat, twice as many omega-3 fatty acids, triple the vitamin E and 7 times more beta-carotene. Whereas conventional eggs may be sightly inflammatory in your body, pastured organic eggs are undeniably a nutritious, anti-inflammatory food choice.
Of course, always consult your doctor before making any dietary changes, especially if high cholesterol is hereditary in your family.
Let’s stop demonizing wholesome, natural foods and start demonizing the highly processed foods that are actually making us sick. Ditch the sugary cereals, stop fearing egg yolks and enjoy breakfast again!