The Yolk is the most nutritious part of an egg… I was on a week-long training vacation on the Malabar coast recently when my buddy, Sandeep, offered to make me one of his famous ‘power breakfasts’.
It sounded great so I snuck into the kitchen to see the master in action. But to my horror, Sandeep was separating the egg yolks and throwing them in the bin, so he could make egg white omelettes.
“Mate, what the heck (that’s the clean version!) are you doing with the yolks?”
“Throwing them away. The yolks are full of fat and bad cholesterol. Your body doesn’t need that stuff!” He replied.
“Don’t you mean that’s the most nutritious part of the egg!?” I yelled back.
I think this is the perfect example of how most people are confused about nutrition. I mean Sandeep used to swim for India, he watches what he eats and he’s still very fit now even though he is early 30’s (sorry pal). So what hope is there for mere mortals like you and me?
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Heck, I’ve even seen personal trainers, the guys and gals that tell us how to think when it comes to exercise and nutrition, hard boil an egg, peel off and eat the whites and throw the yolk away.
And to tell you the truth, I used to do the same. Until I did some research that taught me the yolk is the most nutritious part of an egg.
Egg Yolks Are Full Of Cholesterol
How many times have you heard this? It’s like eating whole eggs will give you heart disease. Well I’m here to tell you, this is not true.
Did you know that our bodies produce cholesterol of their own accord? It’s actually a natural substance used in tons of important bodily functions.
If you only eat foods that are low in dietary cholesterol then your body will go right ahead and produce more of its own.
But on the other hand, if you eat foods high in dietary cholesterol, like whole eggs, then your body will reduce its internal cholesterol production.
And get this; there have been plenty of studies that show whole eggs increase your levels of good HDL cholesterol more than LDL cholesterol. So they can actually improve your overall cholesterol ratio. If you are looking for ways to reduce your cholesterol level naturally, then visit this link.
Whole Eggs Can Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Egg Yolks are Nutritious. Quite the opposite of what most people believe to be true, whole eggs can actually reduce your risk of heart disease.
That’s because egg yolks contain Lutein, and other antioxidants, that help reduce inflammation inside your body. Remember, it’s the inflammation of blood vessels and arteries, and your body’s attempt to repair this damage, that causes heart disease.
Remember we said that whole eggs can improve your blood cholesterol ratio? Well a study from the University of Connecticut published in The Journal Of Nutrition, shows us just that.
The study found that a group of men that ate 3 eggs per day for 12 weeks on a reduced carb, higher fat diet, increased their HDL good cholesterol by 20%. However, their LDL bad cholesterol stayed unchanged.
The study also fed egg substitutes (egg whites) to a separate group of men, but they saw no improvement in good cholesterol. Remember that higher HDL levels are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Now if that isn’t good news for your heart, I don’t know what is!
What About The Protein?
But what if you just want the protein from an egg? After all, the egg whites are known to be a great source of protein, and you eat a pretty healthy diet any way, so you don’t really need the extra nutrition of the yolk, do you?
Well actually, yes you do. Amino acids found in the yolk actually make the protein of the white more ‘bio-available’. That means it is easier to digest and for your body to use where needed. Great if you’re looking to maintain or build lean muscle mass.
So if I haven’t done enough to convince you not to throw away your yolks, here are all of the other nutrients you might be missing out on:
- Calcium (90% is found in the yolk) – Needed for healthy bones of course. But did you know calcium also helps inhibit the production of calcitriol when encourages the body to store more fat and makes it harder to break down?
- Iron – Improves your body’s ability to absorb oxygen and avoid fatigue.
- Zinc – Helps the body fight infections and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Phosphorus – Can help improve digestion and speed up your metabolism.
- Thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamins B6, B9 (folate), B5 and B12 – Helps the body release energy from fat, protein and carbohydrates.
- Vitamins A, D, E and K (the fat solubles) – Great for your skin, eyes, bones and teeth.
- Essential Fatty Acids – Help regulate insulin levels in the body helping you burn more belly fat.
Phew, what a list!
What About The Extra Calories?
OK, so eating whole eggs will increase your calorie intake vs eating the whites alone. But is this something you should be concerned about?
The simple answer is, no you should not. More important than the number of calories you consume is the nutrient density of those calories. As you can see from the list above, whole eggs are packed full of nutrients. This will help to regulate your appetite (stop you feeling hungry) meaning you consumer fewer calories over all.
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Also, the nutrients found in whole eggs are great for regulating blood sugar levels, helping your body maintain a fat burning state (rather than encouraging it to store more fat).
Does Free-Range Matter?
You might not already know this, but free-range eggs are far more nutritious than the mass-produced, battery farmed variety.
Free-range hens that are allowed to exercise at will and enjoy a natural diet of insects and wild plant life transfer much more nutrition to their eggs than those trapped in a tiny cage and fed on hormone packed corn and soy.
The difficulty comes in finding truly free-range eggs. Many retailers will claim to be “free-range” but actually only allow their hens to roam for a couple of hours per day.
I like to get my eggs from a local farm shop where I know the conditions are good. If you’re lucky enough to know somebody that keeps free-range hens as pets, or for personal consumption, you might be able to persuade them to sell their excess eggs to you for next to nothing.
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So next time you catch a friend making some ‘egg-white omelettes’, or a workout supplement company tries to sell you their ‘egg-white protein powder’, do yourself a favor and don’t fall for the BS.
Remember that a lot of misinformation about eggs has come from the huge pharmaceutical companies to help market their ‘anti-cholesterol’ drugs.
Enjoy your eggs and get a fitter, leaner body.