Eggs are a staple in diets all over the world – they are easy to access, highly nutritious and incredibly versatile. As many of us are trying to make healthier choices when it comes to what we put in our bodies, you may be left wondering… what is the real truth about eggs? Should we eat them every day? Are egg yolks bad for your heart? If we eat just egg whites, are we making a healthier choice?
I would like to preface this by saying one thing – I am not a nutritionist. I am merely a lover of eggs who has pulled together the best research I could find (you’ll find all my resources below) on whether it’s best to go with the egg-white scramble or the whole egg-chilada.
Here’s what I’ve found.
The cholesterol found in the yolk doesn’t significantly impact blood cholesterol.
Cholesterol found in the foods we eat – including what’s inside an egg yolk – has been found to have less of an impact on your overall cholesterol levels. In fact, the vast majority of cholesterol in your body (about 85%) is manufactured by the liver. Even better news: eating whole eggs is a great way to increase your body’s HDL levels (the “good” cholesterol). Check out more about how eggs may benefit your heart health in this article from Harvard Medical School.
Egg yolks are FULL of vital nutrients – especially choline.
Choline is an essential nutrient that supports liver function, brain development, muscle movement, the nervous system as well as our metabolism. Our bodies need choline to operate optimally, but we need to get most of it from our diet. Choline can be found in several foods, but at 147 mg of choline in just one large egg (nearly 30% of your recommended daily value), eggs are a great option to get the right amount of choline in your diet. Check out this information from NIH to learn more about choline, why we need it and how you can get more of it in your diet.
The whole egg is kind of like Captain Planet (I’ll explain).
If you remember Captain Planet – I see you, fellow old millennials. If not, here’s a very high-level overview of what I’m talking about. Captain Planet was an environmental superhero who appeared when the “Planeteers” combined their individual powers to bring him there to solve big problems that they couldn’t handle on their own. Like the Planeteers, egg whites and egg yolks each bring their own unique strengths to the table. Egg whites contain virtually no fat or vitamins, but are very high in protein. Egg yolks are full of vitamins and contain almost all the egg’s total fat. But when their powers are combined (Captain Planet), you get a low-calorie, satisfying superfood that is loaded with nutrients to help your body thrive.
While egg whites can be a great low-calorie, low-fat option for a high-protein breakfast, you are missing out on so many health benefits when you sacrifice the yolk. Eating a few whole eggs daily can provide a delicious way to get your daily dose of many of the nutrients your body needs to function. As Captain Planet would say, “the power is yours” to make the best choice for you. As for me, I’ll take my eggs whole!