Egg whites or whole eggs, let us get this profoundly clear. If you have been around bodybuilding and fitness for any amount of time you must have come across one or two experts touting eggs for breakfast no matter what. Some devour the entire egg while others like to spend a little more going for the whites. Read on while I educate you about whole eggs vs. the whites.
I was on a weekend trip with some friends recently and one of my friends was cooking breakfast for the whole group.
I was look shocked and horrified when I noticed the eggs where being cracked and the yolks where being thrown away. I asked why he was tossing the egg yolks and he replied:
"because I thought the egg yolks were terrible for you... that is where all the nasty fat and cholesterol is."
However, the truth is, the egg yolk is where all the nutrition is!
People get so confused about nutrition because some people say that and other people say something else. In a world full of misinformation about nutrition, somehow most people now mistakenly think that the egg yolk is the worst part of the egg, when in fact, the YOLK is the HEALTHIEST PART OF THE EGG! It is a shame at how many restaurants you can walk into these days and see that the "healthy" breakfast menu always has egg white items instead of whole eggs. Are we really still in the "fat-phobic" 80s?
By throwing out the yolk and only eating egg whites, you are essentially throwing out the most nutrient dense, antioxidant-rich, vitamin and mineral loaded portion of the egg. The yolks contain so many B-vitamins, trace minerals, vitamin A, folate, choline, lutein, and other powerful nutrients... it is not even worth trying to list them all.
In fact, the whites are almost devoid of nutrition compared to the yolks.
Even the protein in egg whites is not as powerful without the yolks to balance out the amino acid profile and make the protein more bio-available. Not to even mention that the egg yolks from free range chickens are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally, you want more omega-3s from these free range chickens.
Yolk contain more than 90% of calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and panthothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the yolk contains ALL of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids (EFAs).
The most common objection to yolk eating has to do with the fact that yolks are listed has having tons of cholesterol! It is heard that cholesterol will skyrocket through the roof if you eat too many.
No, this is FALSE!
First of all, when you eat a food that contains a high amount of dietary cholesterol such as eggs, your body down-regulates its internal production of cholesterol to balance things out.
On the other hand, if you do not eat enough cholesterol, your body simply produces more since cholesterol has dozens of important vital functions in the body.
And here is where it gets even more interesting.
There have been plenty of studies lately that indicate that eating whole eggs actually raises your good HDL cholesterol to a higher degree than LDL cholesterol, thereby improving your overall cholesterol ratio and blood chemistry.
And 3rd.. high cholesterol is NOT a disease! Heart disease is a disease but high cholesterol is NOT. Cholesterol is actually a VERY important substance in your body and has vitally important functions.. it is DEAD WRONG to try to "lower your cholesterol" just because of pharmaceutical companies propaganda that everyone on the planet should be on statin drugs.
In addition, the yolks contain the antioxidant lutein as well as other antioxidants which help protect you from inflammation within your body (the REAL culprit in heart disease, not dietary cholesterol!), giving yet another reason why the yolks are actually GOOD for you, and not detrimental.
To help bring even more proof that whole eggs are better for you than egg whites, I recently read a University of Connecticut study that showed that a group of men in the study that ate 3 eggs per day for 12 weeks while on a reduced carb, higher fat diet increased their HDL cholesterol by 20%, while their LDL bad cholesterol stayed the same during the study. However, the group that ate egg substitutes (egg whites) saw no change in either and did not see the improvement in good cholesterol (remember that higher HDL levels are associated with lower risk of heart disease) that the whole egg eaters did.
So, I hope it has been established that whole eggs are not some evil food that will wreck your body...instead whole eggs are FAR superior to egg whites.
But what about the extra calories in the yolks?
This is actually a non-issue and here is why... even though egg yolks contain more calories than just eating the egg whites, the yolks have such a high micro-nutrient density in those calories, that it increases your overall nutrient density per calorie you consume. Essentially, what this does is help to regulate your appetite for the remainder of the day, so you end up eating less calories overall. In addition, the healthy fats in the egg yolks help to maintain a good level of fat-burning hormones in your body.
Overall, this means that the extra fats (healthy fats) and calories from the yolk are so nutrient-dense that they actually HELP you to burn off body fat!
Also, your normal supermarket eggs coming from mass factory farming just do not compare nutritionally with organic free range eggs from healthy chickens that are allowed to roam freely and eat a more natural diet. Your typical cheap grocery store eggs will have lower nutrient levels and a higher omega-6 level and lower omega-3 levels. On the other hand, the cage-free organic eggs from healthier chickens allowed to eat more natural feed and roam freely will have much higher vitamin and mineral levels and a more balanced healthier omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio.
Recently I compared eggs I bought at the grocery store with a batch of eggs I got at a farm stand where the chickens were free roaming and healthy.
Most people don not realize that there is a major difference because they have never bought real eggs from healthy chickens.. The eggs from the grocery store had pale yellow yolks and thin weak shells. On the other hand, the healthier free range eggs from the local farm had strong thick shells and deep orange colored yolks indicating much higher nutrition levels and carotenoids.. and just a healthier egg in general.
This is due to the fact that a free-roaming hen allowed to roam on plenty of land will eat a variety of greens, insects, worms, etc transferring MUCH higher levels of nutrients to the eggs compared to an unhealthy hen that is trapped inside a dark factory farm hen house in horrible conditions and fed nothing but piles of corn and soy. It is a DRASTIC difference in the nutrition that you get from the egg.
So next time a health or fitness professional tells you that egg whites are superior (because of their "fat-phobic" mentality towards dietary fats), you can quietly ignore their advice knowing that you now understand the REAL deal about egg yolks.
Also, please, let is stop these recipes that call for an omelet with 4-5 egg whites and only one egg yolk ... If you want real taste and real health benefits, we would all be better off eating ALL of our eggs with delicious nutrient-dense yolks.
After all, do you REALLY think that our ancestors thousands of years ago threw out the yolks and only ate the egg whites? NOT A CHANCE! They intuitively knew that all of the nutrition was found in the yolks. But our modern society has been brainwashed with misinformation about fats and cholesterol.
Another interesting study about eggs...
Recently, there was a study that compared groups of people that ate egg breakfasts vs groups of people that ate cereal or bagel-based breakfasts. The results of the study showed that the egg eaters lost or maintained a healthier body weight, while the cereal/bagel eaters gained weight.
It was hypothesized that the egg eaters actually ate less calories during the remainder of the day because their appetite was more satisfied compared to the cereal/bagel eaters who would have been more prone to wild blood sugar swings and food cravings.
Oh, and I eat 4 eggs each morning for breakfast while maintaining a single-digit body fat most of the year.
Enjoy your eggs and get a leaner body!
Health Alert:[2CreateABody] › [Nutrition Health Articles] › Egg Facts