I have a confession.
I've been discriminating against egg yolks for years. Believing the egg white was the only healthy part of the egg, I've been dropping egg yolk after egg yolk down the drain. I would cringe as my friends and family dipped their toast in the yellow goo spilling out of their eggs.
I shudder to think how much time and nutrition I've wasted trying to pick every last speck of egg yolk out of my hard boiled eggs when they crumbled after not separating from the whites nice and easy.
I'm ashamed of my part in promoting these lies about egg yolks.
Turns out - egg yolks have been getting a bad wrap. They aren't evil after all.
To all the yolks I've wronged - I'm sorry. And now it's time to set the record straight.
SCREAM IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS - EGG YOLKS ARE GOOD FOR YOU
It seems that if you look, the true information is out there and easy to find, but somewhere along the way I took someone's word for it that egg yolks were little time bombs waiting to skyrocket my cholesterol and stop my heart.
It was probably one of the juice monkeys at the local gym - I dunno. And the rumours are true - egg yolks are full of fat and cholesterol -- but it's the good stuff not the bad stuff. Back in the day - someone heard the word cholesterol and mass panic ensued - war was declared against the egg yolk.
I was recently "enlightened" when I came across an article by certified nutritionist and personal trainer Mike Geary - Are Whole Eggs Or Egg Whites Better For You?. Now this article went completely against everything I have been following for ten plus years, so naturally, it took a bit of convincing to bring me to this point.
Fast forward through 8 hours of research later, and it all comes down to this table that I summarized below and the facts it presents based on the USDA Nutrient Database. This database has the goods on what nutrients are found in pretty much any food you can imagine. It is used in all sorts of applications and nutrition programs. It is pretty much the de facto resource if you need to find out exactly what is in what you are eating. Most importantly, you can believe its data unlike the knowledge you may get from the local juice monkey or well meaning friends and family.
TAKE A LOOK AT THESE BENEFITS OF EGG YOLKS
If you are throwing away your egg yolks, you are throwing away:
- 2.7g of protein (consider that the egg white has slightly more at 3.6g - you can double your protein intake by keeping the egg yolk)
- Vitamin A, E, D, K, DHA and AA, Carotenoids, and Zinc (the egg white has none of this stuff - and it's all good stuff)
- A lot of other really good nutrients (all of which you aren't getting much of in your egg whites)
SO WHY HAVE FITNESS PROS BEEN TELLING US TO THROW AWAY THE EGG YOLKS?
It's because the yolks contain 99% of the fat and back when low fat diets were the craze of the day, everyone was deathly afraid of fat. Well, fat isn't bad. It's actually essential you get some fat and you can do a whole lot worse than the fat you will find in egg yolks.
There are lots of bad fats out there - primarily the ones human beings have had a hand in making (trans fats for instance), but eggs are pretty much nature's multivitamin. You're doing yourself a big disfavor by eliminating egg yolks from your diet.
But wait...let's take this one step further.
Also in my research, I found that egg whites aren't all they're cracked up to be. In fact, raw egg whites contain two nasty things. One of them is an inhibitor that has a role in preventing digestion and the other is a glycoprotein (Avidin) that basically attaches itself to the B vitamin biotin which prevents it from being used by your body.
Before you go hog wild and start slurping down egg yolks with your white or throwing egg yolks in every thing you cook - realize that - like anything- you can overdo it. That fat is still there and depending on your fitness goals - might make meeting certain targets harder to achieve. I eat eggs every morning - four of them to be exact - but only two egg yolks. I keep the ratio at 50% yolk to egg simply because that's enough egg yolk for me. You should assess how much egg yolk is good for you.
So yeah, how's it feel to know you've been throwing away the good part and eating the bad part for as long as you can remember. I can tell you that I wasn't all that thrilled - I guess ignorance really is bliss.
Personally, I'm glad Mike set me on the path to egg yolk enlightenment.. It is sooooo much easier to crack the egg and drop it into the pan rather than try to separate the white from the egg every time. No more eggs down the drain for me - all that good yolk goodness is going straight to my belly - hope you decide to do the same.