Unscrambling the Egg Whites vs. Whole Egg Debate

You’ve probably faced this dilemma many times yourself: should you eat the entire egg or just the egg white? You’ve heard many diet experts and nutritionists say that the egg yolk is high in saturated fat and cholesterol and should be avoided. But is the egg yolk really to blame for the alarming rise in heart disease, stroke and other heart conditions over the past few decades? Let’s look at what makes an egg — an egg.

What’s in an Egg Yolk?

Compared to an entire egg, an egg yolk contains:

  • All of the fat and cholesterol 
  • About a third of the protein 
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants)
  • Choline

What’s in an Egg White?

Compared to an entire egg, an egg white contains:

  • 67% of the protein found in an egg
  • Fewer calories

What have studies revealed?

A study published in 1999 helped ease fears of the dangers of cholesterol and saturated fat found in egg yolks and emphasized the nutritious value of whole eggs. Researchers tracked more than 37,000 men and 80,000 women for 14 years, looking for the impact of eating one egg a day on risk of heart disease and stroke. The results did not show a clear connection. 

A 2016 meta-analysis study found no clear link between risk of heart disease and egg consumption. But even more surprising, researchers found that “eating up to an egg a day may decrease the risk of stroke by about 12%.” 

Why You Should Eat the Whole Egg

When it comes to eating eggs, there are two important things to consider: quantity and quality.

The general expert consensus is that eating one egg per day is a healthy choice. For those on a vegetarian diet, their only source of cholesterol may be eggs and so they can safely include more eggs in their diet. One way to keep your scrambled eggs on the healthy side is to use a plant-based oil, rather than butter or bacon grease.

At Chino Valley Ranchers we believe that not all eggs are created equal. All sorts of varieties — from organic, omega-3, soy free, pasture raised and vegetarian — bring a host of benefits that are not available in the traditional egg variety. So whether you decide to cut out all eggs from your diet or just the egg yolks, you’ll be missing out on the truly nutritious benefits of specialty eggs.