Should you be eating the whole eggs vs egg white?
Eggs are the perfect food for athletes, or anyone else for that matter. However, we all know that one person who makes their omelettes without yolk.
The reason? Too many calories, too much fat and too much cholesterol.
There is no doubt that this is basically correct, because yes: egg yolks contain more calories, more fat and more cholesterol than the egg whites.
But if we only looked at this fact, we’d only be getting half the story.
So should you be eating whole eggs vs egg white? Here reveal the answer with some expert advice.
Nutrient comparison: egg yolk vs egg white
Both the egg yolk and the egg whites have their own advantages and disadvantages. To make this clear to you, let’s take a closer look at the two egg components:
Nutrition in egg yolk vs egg white
|1 egg yolk (19 g)||1 egg white (33 g)|
|Calories||67 kcal||16 kcal|
|protein||3.1 g||3.7 g|
|carbohydrates||0.1 g||0.2 mg|
|fat||6.1 g||0 g|
|cholesterol||239 mg||0 mg|
|Omega-3 fats||0.09 g||k. A. available|
|sodium||10 mg||56 mg|
|potassium||26 mg||50.8 mg|
|Calcium||27 µg||3.6 µg|
|phosphorus||112 mg||7 mg|
|magnesium||3 mg||4 mg|
|iron||1.3 mg||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin A||168 µg||only traces|
|Vitamin E.||1.2 mg||only traces|
|Vitamin B1||0.06 mg||0.01 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.06 mg||only traces|
|Vitamin B12||0.38 µg||0.03 µg|
|Folic acid||31 µg||3 µg|
|vitamin C||0 mg||0 mg|
|Vitamin D||0.55 µg||0 µg|
So the calories in a whole egg vs egg white is around 80 and 16 respectively. But not all calories are created equally, particularly when it comes to the whole egg.
Pure egg whites, for example, only contain traces of vitamins A, E and hardly any folic acid. Iron and calcium are also only found in small quantities here.
The egg yolk, on the other hand, scores high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lots of vitamin D. This vitamin is only found in a few (really tasty) foods, which is why vitamin D deficiency is so widespread.
The ability to get enough vitamin B12 is also difficult – particularly if you don’t eat meat. So if you fall into this camp, then the egg yolk is one of the best sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians.
Here’s what former top athlete, Professor Ingo Froböse has to say;
If you separate eggs and dispose of the egg yolk, then you will be discarding around three quarters of all healthy nutrients that an egg contains.
Benefits of egg whites
Whether you should only eat the egg white or the whole egg really depends on your (fitness) goals.
One of the major benefits of eating egg whites is that it’s low in carb and low in fat. It can also be used as a good protein source, particularly for athletes or those watching their weight. Not only is egg white protein high quality, but it also comes with an ideal amino acid composition.
So how does this affect the body?
With 7 grams of protein, and a spectrum of amino acids, 100 percent of the eggs white can be converted into muscle mass. This makes egg whites a powerhouse when it comes to building muscles – no wonder body builders love it so much!
In egg whites, you have plenty of protein and minimal fat and calories. So extra calories is the main reason people don’t use the yolks.
But could they be missing out on a whole host of benefits? We’ll take a closer look in a moment,
Egg whites and biotin
Biotin is a B vitamin that plays a vital role in the utilization of fats , cell metabolism, carbohydrates and proteins. You can find biotin in a lot of foods, including egg yolks.
However, it’s a widely held belief that the whites in eggs destroy Biotin. This is only partially true…
It’s a fact that avidin, a protein found in egg whites, binds to biotin making it unavailable for the body. However, a person would need to eat 6 raw egg whites a day, for months on end, for avidin to inhibit biotin within the body.
One way to ensure that there’s no affect on your biotin levels is to cook your egg whites. Heat immediately inactivates the avidin within them, while preserving all the benefits.
Is the egg yolk good for you?
Egg yolks were given a poor rap during the 1970s. This is the era when fitness enthusiasts trained for marathons and Americans became obsessed with aerobics. Throughout this time of “low cholesterol” the “experts” strongly supported removing the egg whites from the yolks of the eggs and throwing them away.
However, a better understanding of cholesterol and recent research means that many experts including health and wellness professionals, and certified nutrition coaches, are challenging this old way of thinking.
Eggs are actually low in saturated fat. And, as long as they are eaten moderately (one to two per day), they do not significantly increase the risk of heart disease in healthy individuals. In fact, now whole eggs are considered to be a superfood.
So yes, egg yolks are healthy!
And here’s why: Egg yolks contain loads of vitamins, healthy fats and minerals. They are a complete nutritional package.
And while there’s no doubt that egg whites have some of the egg’s protein, the bulk of it (along with the nutrients) are in the yolk.
Yes, that’s right, 40% of a whole egg’s protein is in the yolk. So if protein is what you’re looking for, there’s no reason not to eat the whole egg. And by the way, when you eat the entire egg, you get high quality protein, and nine essential amino acids – all for around 80 calories.
Egg yolk nutrition
As mentioned , egg yolks contain at least 40% of the protein in an egg. They also have 90% of the calcium along with phosphorus, zinc, B6, thiamin , folate, pantothenic acid and B12.
If all this isn’t enough reason to include egg yolks in your morning omelette, there’s more. Eggs yolks also contain ALL the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and ALL the essential fatty acids.
What are the best eggs?
Aside from the whole whole egg vs egg white debate, the type of egg you eat matters. Try, when you can, to buy organic free range eggs. Why? A number of reasons; one of them being that free range organic eggs have much more protein.
If you’re wondering why organic free range eggs are so packed full of protein, it’s because the chickens eat what they’re supposed to eat. They’re out in the sun, so they can peck at grubs, bugs and greens etc. This is then transferred to the egg making it even more nutritious.
Commercial, battery-fed chickens, on the other hand, get stuffed full of corn and soy while being caged indoors.
If you were to put an organic free-range egg next to a battery chicken egg the contrast would be astounding. The organic free range eggs have a much tougher shell and a brighter yolk, which signifies a higher nutritional content. In comparison, the battery-fed chicken eggs have a weaker shell and a poor color.
When you get the best type egg, just eating them boiled with some salt is delicious. But sometimes nothing beats a well made omelette. I really like the omelet pan by Calphalon (link to check on Amazon).
Whole egg vs egg white – the conclusion
If you are wondering which part of the egg is healthy? The resounding response would be; all of it!
Even science backs this up.
Studies were carried out in University of Illinois on 10 participants. Some were given whole egg and others just egg whites before some resistance training. The group that ate whole eggs were found to generate greater muscle-protein synthesis (a naturally occurring process that builds and repairs muscles), than those who only ate egg whites.
Nicholas Burd, a professor at the University of Illinois has this to say;
“This study suggests that eating protein within its most natural food matrix tends to be more beneficial to our muscles as opposed to getting one’s protein from isolated protein sources,”
So give in to that entire orb of deliciousness – at least every so often, your body will thank you for it!