Maybe you should eat the yolk. As a trainer, I get a little disgruntled when clients eat only egg whites for the wrong reasons. Yes, the yolk contains all of the fat and cholesterol. But here are two reasons why whole eggs may have advantages over the whites alones:
- Egg whites contain 1/2 the protein in an egg. Consuming the whole egg with a balanced diet can increase protein while still eating to burn body fat
- Whole eggs contain complete protein. Egg whites alone do not. Complete protein sources are required for muscle growth and repair.
The Calorie Breakdown in a Whole Egg
- The Whites in a Large Egg: ≈12 Calories
- The Yolks in a Large Egg: ≈ 58 Calories in a large egg (12 Cal from protein/46 Cal from fat)
- 1 Whole Large Egg: 70 Calories, 24 from protein and 46 from fat
- 1 Large Egg: 187 mg, 62% of daily total. See below for more on cholesterol
Egg yolks contain 1/2 the protein of a large egg, 3 grams specifically. But they clearly also contain a lot of fat and cholesterol. Isn’t that unhealthy? It can be! But whole eggs can also be a part of well planned, fat burning, lean muscle diet. Keep in mind that whole eggs are part of the diet for many athletes where body composition (BMI and BMR) is concerned.
Why Whole Egg vs. Egg Whites?
For one, egg whites alone don’t taste good. Let’s be honest. They also do not contain the essential amino acids required for maintaining lean muscle mass. They are low Calorie, but they are not optimal protein for preventing muscle atrophy ..
Second, the fat contained in one large whole eggs is negligible. 5 grams to be exact. Dietary fat in controlled amounts (without the excess carbs and overeating) actually facilitates an optimal fat burning metabolism. It is excessive carbohydrates added to proteins and healthy fat( which ultimately become high Calorie) meals that lead to anabolic responses. Aka, body fat storage.
Last, multiple studies postulate that consuming low to moderate amounts of cholesterol in itself does not lead to physiological disorders such as hyperlipidemia and heart disease. Our body has a way of processing cholesterol when operating efficiently. Actually, when eating in more balanced, healthy manner, more cholesterol increases our body’s ability to process it, lowering LDL levels.
I am proof of that. Read about it here. An unbalanced diet, hypercaloric and hyperglycemic, have been observed to be main causes of high blood cholesterol.
The physiological effects of the cholesterol in 3 scrambled eggs is significantly different that that of 3 eggs eaten with 2 pancakes soaked in syrup.
Genetics and predispositions are also a contributing factor. For that reason, always seek a medical professional before making any serious dietary decisions.
Whole Eggs And Muscle Gain (Hypertrophy)
Whole eggs have been a long standing dietary supplement for those interested in gaining muscle. That is because they are a complete protein source, as mentioned above. Why have some consumed them raw? Cooking eggs denatures the protein contained in them, decreasing the rate of absorption. For more on the rate of absorption between protein sources, click here
More on the Incredible, Edible Egg
In summation, the benefits of a whole eggs are:
- Complete Protein: Essential amino acids come from dietary protein and are required to repair and build lean muscle tissue. The whites alone DO NOT contain complete protein.
- Overall Protein Content: A large egg has appx. 6 grams of protein. The white has only 3.
- Low Carb Dieters: The low carb diet is a carb restricted, high protein, moderate fat diet. The moderate amount of fat in the yolk is required.
- Dietary Fat Increases Body Fat Burning: Our bodies are smarter than our thoughts. Fat is the natural source of energy while at rest and during light physical activity. Consume a healthy proportion
of healthy fat in your meals and your body will reward you by developing more lipase enzymes which increases it’s fat burning efficiency.
- Taste: An important aspect of sticking to any diet/regimen is flavor, lets be honest. Egg whites coagulate faster and can taste like cardboard. The flavor and viscocity of the yolk simply makes for a more enjoyable meal.
As a trainer and someone who has lost over 100 lbs. while being conscious of not only my health but physical composition, I would only avoid eating egg yolks under the recommendation of a physician or for other health reasons related to cholesterol.