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Are Egg Whites or Whole Eggs Healthier For You?

Mar 12, 2008
It's not uncommon for the majority of people to think that egg whites are healthier for you than whole eggs. I'm going to show you here why that is a major false belief, and why whole eggs are MUCH better for you than egg whites.

I was on a vacation recently with some friends & one of my friends was cooking breakfast for the entire group. I went over to see what he was cooking and saw he was preparing a large batch of eggs.

Unfortunately, to my shock and horror, I noticed that he was cracking the eggs open and screening the egg whites into a bowl and throwing the egg yolks out down the drain. I asked him why the heck he was throwing out the egg yolks, and his reply was something of the sort...

"because I thought the egg yolks were horrible for you... all of the nasty fat and cholesterol is in the yolks I thought".

And I replied something like, "you mean that's where all of the nutrition is!"

This is a perfect example of how confused the majority of society is about nutrition. In a world full of food marketing misinformation and deception, somehow most people now mistakenly think that the egg yolk is the worst part of the egg, when in fact, the yolk is actually the HEALTHIEST portion of the egg!

By throwing out the yolk and only eating the egg whites, you are basically throwing out the most nutrient dense, vitamin and mineral loaded, antioxidant-rich portion of the egg. The egg yolks contain so many trace minerals, B-vitamins, vitamin A, choline, folate, lutein, & other powerful important nutrients... it is not even worth trying to list them all.

In fact, the egg whites are almost devoid of nutrition when compared to the egg yolk.

Even the protein in egg whites is not as powerful and bioavailable without the yolks to balance out the amino acid profile and make the protein more useful to your body. Not to even mention that the egg yolks from free range chickens are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids.

The egg yolks contain more than 90% of the phosphorus, calcium, zinc, iron, thiamin, B6, B12, folate, and panthothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the egg yolks contain the entire amount of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids (EFAs).

And now the typical objection I get all the time when I say that the yolks are the most nutritious part of the egg...

"But Mike... I heard that whole eggs will skyrocket my cholesterol through the roof, and they are high in fat"

No, this is FALSE thinking!

First of all, when you eat a food that is high dietary cholesterol such as eggs, your body down-regulates it's internal production of cholesterol to balance things out.

On the other hand, if you don't eat enough cholesterol, your body simply produces more since cholesterol has many important functions in your body.

And here is where it gets even more interesting...

There are indications in scientific studies 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 attacking the wrong problem... The real problem is the underlying internal inflammation that is signaling your body to deposit cholesterol as a healing agent. Attacking the root cause of the internal inflammation (smoking, stress, poor diet of refined sugars, trans fats, etc) is the real solution to heart disease... not trying to lower cholesterol.

And the fat argument is simply ridiculous... despite the popular erroneous belief, the fats in free range eggs are good for you and will actually help make you leaner via appetite control and hormonal balance.

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. Egg whites are basically just a processed food since you've messed up what nature intended.

Also, your normal super-market eggs from mass factory farms 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.

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 do not realize that there i s a major difference because they have never bought real eggs from healthy chickens... The eggs from the grocery store had thin weak shells and pale yellow yolks.

On the other hand, the eggs from the healthier free range chickens from the local farm had deep orange colored yolks and strong thick shells indicating much higher nutrition levels and carotenoids, and just a healthier egg in general.

So the next time a well-meaning but misinformed health or fitness professional tells you that egg whites are superior, you can quietly ignore their advice knowing that you understand the REAL deal about the nutritional supremacy of egg yolks.

One more interesting tidbit about eggs...

I read a study recently that compared groups of people that ate egg breakfasts versus groups of people that ate bagel or cereal based breakfasts. The results of the study showed that the egg eaters lost or maintained a healthier bodyweight, while the cereal/bagel eaters gained weight and had more body fat.

It was hypothesized that the egg eaters actually ate less calories during the remainder of the day because their appetite was more satisfied (from the healthy fats and quality protein) compared to the cereal & bagel eaters who would have been more prone to wild blood sugar swings and more frequent food cravings.
About the Author
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