Ask HE: Should you eat just the egg white?

by in Ask the Experts, September 14, 2011
hard-boiled eggs
Is it really healthy to skip the yolk?

Many health-conscious folks opt for egg whites only. Little do they know they’re wasting a huge dose of protein and other precious nutrients when they toss out those golden yolks.

Q: When looking to take in healthy protein from eggs, should you go for the whole thing or just eat the egg white?

A: When you look at the nutrients it’s hard to dispute. Eggs have a lot of nutrition going on and most of it’s found in the egg yolk.

Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD, senior director of nutrition education for the Egg Nutrition Center brought us up to speed on all the goodies that eggs have to offer. The white of a large egg provides 3.6 grams of protein, but you’ll also find an additional 2.7 grams hanging out in the yolk. The yolk is also home to all the heart-healthy fats and hefty doses of vitamins like riboflavin, D and B12; nutrients like choline and selenium are also in abundance.

Yes, yolks are also where all the not-so-healthy fat and cholesterol are hiding. If you do have high cholesterol, you may have to limit your intake, but with only 1.6 grams of saturated fat per serving, eggs can certainly be worked in to a heart-healthy diet. To cut down on some of the fat and cholesterol, use a combination of whole eggs plus a few extra egg whites in egg dishes like omelets, frittatas and quiche.

Tell Us: Do you keep or toss the yolks?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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