Egg white or whole egg – which is healthier?

Anyone knows that eggs are a healthy food, but sometimes you might hesitate about the yolk: because of the high calories and other reasons.

So, in many fitness diets, egg yolks can end up in the trash. That’s too bad. This article aims to discuss which is healthier, egg whites or whole eggs.

TableEgg yolk per 100 gEgg whites per 100 g
calories353 kcal47 kcal
protein16.1 g11.1 g
carbohydrates0.3 g0.7 g
fat5.5 g0 g
cholesterol1260 mg0 g

In the table above, it is clear that we can find the gap.

Does it actually make sense to banish the yolk from the plate and consume only the egg white?

Nutrient comparison: egg yolk versus egg white

Both the yolk and the egg white have their advantages and disadvantages individually. To illustrate this, let’s take a close look at the two egg components[1]:

Nutrient composition1 egg yolk (19 g)1 egg white (33 g)
calories67 kcal16 kcal
protein3.1 g3.7 g
carbohydrates0.1 g0.2 mg
fat6.1 g0 g
cholesterol239 mg0 mg
Omega-3 fats0.09 gk. A. available
sodium10 mg56 mg
potassium26 mg50.8 mg
calcium27 μg3.6 μg
phosphorus112 mg7 mg
magnesium3 mg4 mg
iron1.3 mg0.1 mg
Vitamin A168 μgonly traces
Vitamin E1.2 mgonly traces
Vitamin B10.06 mg0.01 mg
Vitamin B60.06 mgonly traces
Vitamin B120.38 μg0.03 μg
folic acid31 μg3 μg
vitamin C0 mg0 mg
Vitamin D0.55 μg0 μg

For example, pure egg white contains only traces of vitamin A, E and hardly any folic acid. Iron, calcium and folic acid are also found only in small amounts. The yolk, however, scores with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of vitamin D, which is found only in a few (really delicious) foods, which is why a vitamin D deficiency is widespread. The supply of vitamin B12 is – especially as vegetarians and vegans – difficult. The yolk is (at least) a good source of vitamin B12 for vegetarians. 

“Anyone who separates eggs and disposes of the egg yolk throws away around three-quarters of all the healthy nutrients an egg contains,” says fitness doctor.

Egg yolk is the most valuable of the egg. But egg white also has its advantages – especially for those who want to lose weight and for athletes.

What are the advantages of egg white?

Whether you should eat only the egg white or the whole egg depends crucially on your (fitness) goals. The expert: “Egg white has the advantage that it is both low carb and low fat and can, therefore, be used optimally as a protein source, especially for athletes or as part of weight management”.

This is because the protein it contains is of particularly high quality and has an ideal amino acid composition.

Those who follow a (strict) nutrition plan, such as bodybuilders or fatteners, can also integrate two or three egg whites in the form of a protein omelet much more easily. Why? Egg white provides plenty of protein but has a minimal impact on fat and calorie balance. Three whole eggs would make computing more difficult and calories would have to be saved elsewhere.

“The pasteurized egg white is particularly suitable for this purpose because it can also eliminate possible pathogens,” says the expert. Another advantage: It is tasteless and suitable for hearty egg dishes as well as sweet protein pancakes.

How healthy is the egg yolk?

Only using egg white in the kitchen has many advantages. However, as already mentioned, the egg yolk contains most of the nutrients of an egg, some of which are vital:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • important minerals and trace elements such as iron, potassium, and selenium
  • vitamins, such as vitamins A, B; E; D, biotin, choline, lutein, folic acid

The expert, therefore, warns against over-hasty conclusions regarding egg yolk: “The disadvantage is that the wonderful egg yolk is put in a negative corner and in the end, is perhaps even labeled as unhealthy or even superfluous food – because that is wrong! This does not mean, however, that it does not make sense for certain groups of people to eat only egg white.

It is important that you choose the variant that better suits your training goal – whether pasteurized egg white or whole egg.

The fact is: without the egg yolk, eggs would only be half as valuable for our nutrition.

Eggs are a wonderful food because they guarantee an optimal supply of the human organism and can even be regarded as a “remedy” because hardly any other food has such a high biological value.

And what about the supposedly so bad cholesterol in egg yolk? Everything is half as bad!

Is the cholesterol in the egg yolk harmful to health?

For a long time, eggs were regarded as the cholesterol bombs par excellence. The fact is: Yes, eggs contain a lot of cholesterol, but it has been proven that cholesterol-rich foods do not have a big influence on your cholesterol level, as was assumed for years.

The consumption of trans fats from chips, fries, and sausages leads to a much higher increase in blood cholesterol levels than foods rich in cholesterol. In addition, the body throttles its own cholesterol production if too much cholesterol is ingested through food.

There are even studies that have shown that the consumption of eggs can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels due to the good quality of the fat.

How many eggs are safe per week?

The consumption of several eggs a day is absolutely harmless from a health point of view.

However, people with an increased protein requirement, such as athletes, can also eat two to three eggs a day without the blood fat values changing negatively.

One egg a day may be appropriate for people with high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes[2].

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