For a while now, eggs have developed a severed reputation. Many health experts uphold egg whites, while telling you to disregard the yolks. But, why? What makes the yellow yolk so controversial? Below are a few reasons why the yolks have developed a negative reputation and how the information can be misinterpreted.
Egg Yolk Offenders
The main reason for the egg yolk’s bad publicity is its cholesterol content. One egg yolk contains about 185mg of cholesterol. Yes, that is a lot. It makes sense to assume that eating foods high in cholesterol will affect your body’s blood cholesterol levels. However, your liver must produce cholesterol for your body’s cells, helping to produce testosterone, vitamin D, and bile acids to help you digest the fat you consume. When you eat more cholesterol, your liver will not have to produce as much. When you eat less, your liver will produce more. Your body, therefore, will regulate how much cholesterol pulses through your system based on how much of it you consume.
There have been many studies that report people eating one to two eggs a day on a long term basis who have not acquired any high blood cholesterol-associated illness, such as heart disease. There have also been other studies that found egg yolks work to reduce the LDL, or the bad cholesterol in your body, while simultaneously increasing the HDL, or the good cholesterol.
If your doctor advises you to avoid egg yolks due to a prior condition, listen to your doctor! But, if you are researching egg yolks to self-educate and adhere to good health practices, think about keeping the yolks in your diet.
Another reason why people avoid the yolk is because of its fat. While egg whites contain lean protein and 0.1 grams of fat, they may tempt you into thinking they are the only essential part of the egg. One large egg yolk contains about 2.7 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 4.5 grams of fat. This estimates eggs yolks to be about 58% fat. If you have ever looked into a macronutrient diet or another low fat diet, you will find that egg yolks are the first to go. You will exceed your fat requirements for the entire day if you start your morning off with two egg yolks.
The problem with this low fat thinking is that consuming fat helps you absorb the rest of the nutrients you consume. You need omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to control inflammation, stimulate brain development, and clot your blood. Removing too much fat from your diet can actually lead to health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. You do not need a huge amount of fat in your daily diet, but 9 grams in the mornings from two whole eggs should actually help you control your hunger throughout the day and promote weight loss.
Egg Yolk Nutrients
Egg whites contain a high amount of clean protein. But not much else. In fact, the majority of an egg’s nutrients reside in the yolk. If you throw it away, you are throwing away a high amount of vitamins A, D, E, B12, and K, as well as folate, iron, and choline.
The vitamins work together to provide your body with a dash of everything it needs. They will improve and protect your eye health, immune system, digestive health, and brain and heart development.
Folate has been known to help reduce the effects of depression. It can also lower your risk of cancer, stroke, epilepsy, and cardiovascular disease.
Iron supports your body’s energy reserve, improves focus, aids in digestion, boosts your immune system, and regulates your temperature.
Choline strives to protect your heart and brain health. It can improve your memory, boost metabolism, reduce pregnancy complications, and improve asthma and cystic fibrosis symptoms.
To read more about the benefits of eating a generous, egg-filled breakfast, check out my past post!