Egg whites have managed to find their ways into our menus for over good amount of time now, however, how do we know if it is for the best? How do we know that egg whites are healthier nutritionally over whole eggs?
As far as cutting down on fat and calories is concerned, egg whites may be the better option but are we also missing out on something important with the yolks?
Healthy or Unhealthy?
The main reason why whole eggs were considered to be unhealthy in the past is due the yolks containing cholesterol. For decades, eggs were linked to an increased heart risk because of their cholesterol content. However, recent researches have negated any such claims made earlier and no longer recommend restricting intake of cholesterol. Through research it has been now confirmed that, because a food is high in cholesterol it does not necessarily increase the cholesterol level in the blood.
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That being said, cholesterol is actually a substance that the body needs. It is not half as bad as it is made to look as. Cholesterol helps in absorption and production of Vit D, it helps produce important hormones like estrogen, testosterone, progesterone apart from helping in the production of fat digesting bile acids.
According to studies conducted over period of time, 1-2 whole egg consumption showed no changes in cholesterol levels nor increased the heart disease risks. In turn, including eggs in a high protein, low carb diet helped in controlling diabetes, improving heart health as compared to those who ate only egg whites.
Consuming whole eggs instead of egg whites has little or no effect in increasing the LDL cholesterol however on the other hand; it increases the HDL or the good cholesterol.
While egg whites are low in calories and have 40-50% of the protein and 0% fat as compared to a whole egg, whole eggs are loaded when it comes to nutrition.
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They (yolk) are rich in:
- Vitamin A – good for skin and boosts vision
- Vitamin B 2 and B12- good for energy, growth and development
- Folate- healthy pregnancy and fetal brain development, helps in making blood cells
- Iron- basic body functions
- Selenium- ideal nutrient for good fertility in both men and women
- Vitamin D- Helps absorb calcium
- Choline- protects heart from diseases and helps control diabetes
- Good source of protein! Whole eggs gives you almost 7 gm. of protein
Not that egg whites are completely devoid of nutrition and cannot be eaten, once in a while, perhaps you could. But if you are going to eat eggs, why would want to avoid a nutrient rich good quality yolk? If your main concern is calories and weight control, as long as your control on overall calories is good, you don’t have to worry about eating whole eggs.
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