I was on a weekend trip with some friends recently and one of the guys was cooking breakfast for the gang. I went over to see what he was cooking, just in time to see him getting ready to make a big batch of eggs.
As he cracked the eggs open, he screened the egg whites into a bowl… throwing out the egg yolks. When I asked him why the heck he was throwing out the egg yolks, he replied, “Because I thought the egg yolks were bad for you. That’s where all the fat and cholesterol is… right?”
WRONG! I replied, “That’s where all of the nutrition is!”
This is a perfect example of how confused most people are about nutrition. In a world full of misinformation about nutrition, most people still mistakenly think that the egg yolk is the worst part of the egg. The truth is that the YOLK IS THE HEALTHIEST PART OF THE EGG!
By throwing out the yolk and only eating egg whites, you’re 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’s not even worth trying to list them all.
On the other hand, the egg whites are almost devoid of nutrition.
Even the protein in egg whites isn’t as powerful without the yolks to balance out the amino acid profile and make the protein more bio-available. And if you get eggs from free range chickens, the yokes are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
“But I heard that whole eggs will skyrocket my cholesterol through the roof”
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.
But, if you don’t eat enough cholesterol, your body simply produces more, since cholesterol has dozens of important vital functions in the body.
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.
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 good cholesterol by 20%, while their LDL bad cholesterol stayed the same during the study.
But, 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) than did those eating whole eggs.
“But what about the extra calories in the yolks?”
This is actually a non-issue and here’s 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. What this means is it helps regulate your appetite for the remainder of the day; so you end up eating less calories overall.
So I hope we’ve established that whole eggs are not some evil food that will wreck your body… instead whole eggs are FAR superior to egg whites.
BTW: Your supermarket eggs coming from mass factory farming just don’t 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 level.
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.
I recently 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’t realize that there’s a major difference because they’ve 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.
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.
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 all of the nutrition was found in the yolks. But our modern society has been brainwashed with misinformation about fats and cholesterol.
Oh, one last thing I almost forgot… I personally eat 4 whole eggs almost every day with breakfast, and I maintain single-digit body fat most of the year.
Enjoy your eggs and get a leaner body!