Egg Whites vs. Whole Eggs: The Scoop on What’s Healthier
For years we all shunned fats in the name of healthy eating, but now fats top the list of foods nutritionists say you need to be eating. Then, the anti-carb revolution took center stage. Slowly but surely we’re starting to accept the fact that not all carbs are diet ruiners. And throughout the larger health food debates, mini battles surrounding particular foods spring up. One of the most notorious (if you will), is the debate centered around egg yolks—to eat or not to eat? That was still a somewhat unresolved question—until now. Scroll down to see what top health experts have to say about egg whites versus whole eggs!
Excerpted from The New Health Rules by Frank Lipman, M.D. and Danielle Claro (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014
We consulted two experts, and they both said to eat the whole egg. “One of the tips in my new book, The New Health Rules ($15), is to eat the whole egg—most of the healthy stuff is in the yolk,” Dr. Frank Lipman says. “The egg yolks contain what I call ‘liquid gold,’ an array of essential vitamins and minerals, namely vitamins A, D, E, B12, and K; riboflavin; folate; and iron,” Elissa Goodman says, “while the whites are a great source of low-calorie protein.”
Why did people start cutting out the yolks to begin with? Dr. Lipman says it started with concerns about cholesterol. “A lot of people think egg yolk has cholesterol that’s bad for your heart,” he says. “There’s no correlation between cholesterol and heart disease; you don’t get high cholesterol from eating foods with cholesterol—most cholesterol is made in body.” But where did this misinformation come from? According to Goodman, the egg’s tarnished reputation can be attributed to a pretty reputable source. “In 1973, the American Heart Association began urging us to cut down on our egg consumption as a means of protecting against heart disease, which is associated with increased cholesterol levels,” Goodman says. “A lot of recent research suggests that the cholesterol in egg yolks doesn’t have much influence on serum cholesterol levels (it’s more about sugar, processed food, and saturated and trans fats—not cholesterol from foods).”
Eat the whole egg, but be selective about the type of eggs you eat. “The most important factor in eggs is where they come from,” Dr. Lipman says. “The healthiest eggs to get are pasture-raised eggs from chickens who are roaming around eating plants and insects.” Goodman agrees, recommending organic eggs from hormone-free, cage-free chickens. She chooses ones that are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids. “These essential fatty acids, like omega-3s, cannot be made by our bodies and must be obtained from the diet. We need these healthy fats for optimal brain growth and development.” Plus, they have anti-inflammatory effects.
Order your eggs—yolks and all—the nutritionist way, over easy or poached sans the side of toast, to reap all of the health benefits.
OK, spill it—do you order egg white omelets?