If you look at many weight loss meal plans, you’ll notice that egg whites are often listed as the breakfast of choice. A whole grain piece of toast with an egg white omelet is all too commonly found on meal plans and healthy breakfast menus. But are egg whites as nutritional as they’re made out to seem?
If we’re going to be ditching the yolks in favor of egg whites, we’d like to know that we’re only improving our health rather than depriving ourselves of necessary nutrients. We thought it would be wise to take a further look at egg whites to see if they’re what they’re all cracked up to be.
Egg Whites Nutrition
Egg whites are exactly as they sound — the white part of the egg. Egg whites help keep the yolk protected in an egg, but lack the same fat and calorie content as the yolks.
Instead, egg whites contain about 56% of the protein in the eggs. They’re often low calorie and low cholesterol, which is why they’ve become a popular option among nutritionists and fitness experts in the first place.
With that kind of nutritional profile, it doesn’t seem like tossing out the yolks could cause any real harm to our diet, does it?
Unfortunately, while egg whites may provide a nice protein boost in your day without tons of calories, there’s little else nutritional value in the actual egg whites. Egg whites contain very few nutrients, as most of the nutritional properties that your body would benefit from lie in the actual yolks.
Why You Should Eat More Than Just the Egg Whites
A big part of why many have advocated eating only egg whites and not the yolks is because of the cholesterol content in yolks. Many have feared the potential effects of this cholesterol on heart health, not to mention the fat content and extra calories.
But recent research has proven that egg yolks and the dietary cholesterol from the yolks, to be specific, are not all bad. The cholesterol in egg yolks can actually increase HDL cholesterol in the body (the good cholesterol) and have a positive effect on heart health.
Not only that, but egg yolks provide a decent source of vitamin E, a nutrient that many Americans are lacking. Egg yolks are also rich in carotenoids, which is what gives them their yellow appearance. Carotenoids are nutrients that protect eye health and protect against inflammation in the body.
While carotenoids can be found in vegetables and fruits, the key to proper absorption of this nutrient is to pair it with fat, which egg yolks coincidentally (and adequately) supply.
Don’t Toss the Yolks
If you’re a fan of egg yolks because of their flavor and texture, then finding out that egg yolks aren’t as bad as they seem will probably be a welcome surprise. If you’re worried about the calories or potential cholesterol content, it doesn’t hurt to talk about the benefits of including yolks into your diet with your doctor.
Most experts in the health industry agree that up to three eggs a day are safe for healthy individuals to consume to maintain optimal health. If you suffer from any health conditions that you think could be negatively affected by including egg yolks into your diet, please consult your doctor prior to consuming them.