Most people are flummoxed when I insist that they must eat their egg whole. They can’t hide their disbelief when I insist that they should have the egg with the yolk. This reaction is thanks to the widespread and deeply entrenched myth that the yolks are bad for health.
Eggceeds eggspectations: The yolk is the healthiest part of the egg (Photo: Reuters)
Egg yolks began facing flak when the cholesterol-scare took hold a few decades ago, and even though the yolk has been exonerated several times by multiple pieces of research and studies, the damage seems to have stuck. And that is very upsetting. I am writing this post to convince them and you too, why eating the omelette minus the yellow is a big big mistake. Here are eight reasons why we all must eat yellow goodness:
1.) Agreed the yolks are higher in calories compared to the egg white, but still at just 70 calories for the whole egg - they are one of the most nutrient dense food around.
2.) One egg has six grams of good quality protein (i.e. it has all nine “essential” amino acids). And while the egg white holds a little more than about half that protein, the other half is delivered by the yolk. Why eat only half the goodness?
3.) While most of us associate the super-healthy carotenoids with vegetables, egg yolks are actually a very good source of two carotenoids — lutein and zeaxanthin — which are crucial for eye-health. Besides protecting the eyes from the damage caused by ultraviolet light, their high dietary intake also leads to a significant reduction in the risk for cataract and age-related Macular Degeneration (which eventually leads to blindness), studies have established. Green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale have these compounds, too, but eggs are a better source as the fat they have makes it easier for our body to use the nutrients.
4.) Egg yolks have vitamin D (generally hard to get from food) — which is good for our grey matter. And we all know how badly deficient most of us are in this life saying and sustaining vitamin. Plus, it is the egg yolks (not whites) that contain antioxidant vitamins A, E and K too. Compared to the whites, egg yolks also contain more beneficial folate and vitamin B-12. A lot of us — particularly the vegetarians — are deficient in B-12 as well. So if you are an eggitarian, this is another reason for you to eat the yolk.
5.) Both — egg yolks and egg whites — have 13 types of minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, sodium, and selenium. But the yolk has them in larger quantities. For example, 90 percent of an egg's calcium is in its yolk, 93 percent of an egg's iron content is in the yolk, with just 7 percent in the white.
6.) Yolks provide us with more choline (compared to the white), which is a dietary component essential for the normal function of cells. Choline also leads to improved brain functioning and greater memory capabilities to last a lifetime. It plays a big role in the vitality of pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers as it aids in brain development of the foetus and the infant.
7.) Yolks also have a compound called betaine (not many foods have it), which helps reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated homocysteine concentrations are considered a big risk factor for cardiac disease. So they actually help cut down the risk for heart disease instead of the other way round.
8.) Finally, the fear about the fat content in the yolks is totally unfounded. In fact, half the fat in the yolk isn’t even saturated. Besides saturated fat is not a devil anymore if we go by the latest research. Cholesterol content in it is not so much of an issue too unless you already have an existing cholesterol problem. Even if you do, eating the yolk in moderation is perfectly fine.
So unless you are allergic to eggs, eat them regularly — and eat them whole.
Of course, anything in excess is bad — this post is definitely not a license to have seven or eight eggs a day.
But up to two whole eggs a day is good for almost everyone. Have them without fear of any adverse health complications.