How Healthy Are Egg Whites?

In 1968, the American Heart Association recommended limiting their egg consumption to no more than three eggs each week.

But in the past few years, the AHA has dropped this restriction due to extensive research revealing no significant association between eating eggs and the risk of dying from heart disease or other causes.

For more significant amounts (eating 2+ eggs every day, for example), some studies have shown a greater risk of cholesterol or heart issues, but other studies have not demonstrated any significant risk. More analysis is needed to determine whether or not there is a definitive link between eating many eggs each day and a substantial risk of heart disease or other health issues.

A good alternative might be to eat just the egg whites, leaving out the yolks.

Benefits of Egg Whites

All of the fat, cholesterol and most calories are packed into the egg yolk. However, two-thirds of the protein is in the egg whites.

Egg whites are about 90% water and 10% protein. And they provide a “complete” protein profile, meaning all nine essential amino acids are there.

This combination of high-protein and low-calorie makes egg whites an appealing food for weight loss. Starting your day with a high-protein breakfast can decrease appetite throughout the day, so you’ll tend to eat less than if you eat a carbohydrate breakfast of bagels or cereal.

Egg whites contain Vitamin B2 and Selenium, but most nutrients are in the egg yolk.

Are Egg Yolks Bad?

For many decades, eggs – and particularly yolks – have been considered a dangerous source of cholesterol. But it looks like saturated fat and trans-fat may be more problematic than dietary cholesterol for raising blood cholesterol levels.

Instead of cutting out eggs entirely, it may be better to cook them with vegetable oil instead of butter. This way, you can get all the great proteins, nutrients, and vitamins of the whole egg with little potential drawbacks.

It may be better for people who want to limit their fat or cholesterol intake to leave out the yolks and only eat the egg whites.

But for most people, there doesn’t appear to be much danger in eating the whole egg, and there isn’t much benefit to excluding the yolk. While the yolk contains more fats and cholesterol, it’s also where most of the vitamins and nutrients are found.

Make sure to cook your eggs thoroughly. Raw or undercooked eggs can still carry food-borne illnesses.