Why Whole Eggs Are Better Than Egg Whites

Whole Eggs vs. Egg Whites

Most people don’t remember exactly why or when they formed this belief, but somehow they got into their heads that whole eggs are “bad” for you, and egg whites are the healthiest part of the egg to eat. While there is nothing necessarily “wrong” with egg whites, the yolks are actually where the majority of an egg’s nutritional value is found.

Egg yolks contains more than 90 percent of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in a single egg (including calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and 89 percent of the panthothenic acid.) While it’s true that the yolk contains all the fat, it’s healthy, hormone-balancing fat (i.e. fat that is not bad for you), plus it also contains all of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, E, D, and K. Furthermore, the yolk contains about half of the each egg’s protein, and it’s necessary to balance out the amino acid profile found in egg whites. So why would anyone get rid of the yolk?

The egg white is no slacker, providing over 80 percent of the magnesium, sodium, and niacin found in eggs. Eggs are meant to be eaten in their entirety. Whole eggs are quality nutrition and one of the most inexpensive, nutritionally rich foods around. Even if you buy organic, free range eggs, they come in at less than 50 cents for every 10 grams of protein, plus all those valuable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

At this point you’re probably remembering a key concern you were told to look out for: cholesterol. Most people worry that eggs will increase their cholesterol if they eat them, but most people also don’t really understand how cholesterol works in the body. When you eat more cholesterol, your body actually responds by producing less internally. If you avoid cholesterol in your diet, your body will respond by making more. Bodies are generally trying to create an environment of consistency. It fights change, so you might be surprised to find that your cholesterol levels will remain pretty constant over a wide range of dietary intakes. Plus, there are a ton of studies that have shown that whole eggs actually increase the HDL, or “good,” cholesterol for a more optimal, healthy cholesterol ratio.

As far as the distinction between eating free-range vs not: research from Mother Earth News, suggests that eggs from cage-free pasture-raised hens provide a drastically improved nutritional profile than standard eggs. Compared to typical supermarket eggs, the eggs from pasture-raised hens may contain:

  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 2 times more Omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 6 times more vitamin D
  • 7 times more beta-carotene

So what are you waiting for? Go make yourself an omelette from some tasty free-range eggs!