Are you one of the people that swears by egg whites or avoids eggs altogether? Scared that the yolk is high in cholesterol and bad for your heart? Although this is partially true, by tossing the yolks you’re missing out on one of the most nutritious, healthy, and beneficial foods available. What’s even more promising is that more and more research is beginning to show that cholesterol from animal sources may no longer be detrimental to cholesterol levels, but in fact may actually help improve blood lipid ratios. Yolks are also jam packed with heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which further benefit cholesterol levels.
So Why Should I Eat Eggs
Besides tasting great, egg yolks are the nutritional heart of the egg. The majority of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in eggs are concentrated in the yolk…and there are a lot of them. Under the impression that eggs only contain protein and fat? Think again. The chart below breaks down the varying nutritional contents in the egg yolk and white.
|Vitamin A||0 IU||245 IU||100%||0%|
|Vitamin E||0 mg||0.684 mg||100%||0%|
|Vitamin D||0 IU||18.3 IU||100%||0%|
|Vitamin K||0 IU||.119 IU||100%||0%|
|DPA (Omega-3)||0 mg||20 mg||100%||0%|
|AA(Omega-6)||0 mg||75 mg||100%||0%|
|Lutein and Zeaxanthin (Antioxidants)||0 mcg||166 mcg||100%||0%|
|Zinc||.01 mg||.4 mg||99.8%||0.02%|
|Choline||.4 mg||116 mg||99.7%||0.03%|
|Fat||.05 mg||4.5 g||99%||1%|
|Vitamin B6||.002 mg||.059 mg||96.7%||3.3%|
|Folate||1.3 mcg||24.8 mcg||95%||5%|
|Iron||.4 mg||.03 mg||93.8%||6.2%|
|Phosphorus||5 mg||66.3 mg||93%||7%|
|Calcium||2.3 mg||21.9 mg||90.5%||9.5%|
|Niacin||0.035 mg||.004 mg||89.7%||9.3%|
|Pantothenic Acid||.1 mg||.5 mg||83.3%||16.7%|
|Manganese||.004 mg||.009 mg||69.2%||30.8%|
|Copper||.008 mg||.013 mg||62%||38%|
|Selenium||6.6 mcg||9.5 mcg||59%||41%|
|Protein||3.6 g||2.7 g||57%||43%|
|Riboflavin||.145 mg||.09 mg||48.3%||61.70%|
|Potassium||53.8 mg||18.5 mg||25.6%||74.4%|
|Magnesium||3.6 mg||.85 mg||19.2%||80.8%|
|Sodium||54.8 mg||8.2 mg||13%||87%|
Yolks exclusively contain the antioxidant vitamins A and E, as well as two powerful carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients help fight nasty free radicals which are responsible for causing over 60 health conditions, including cancer and premature aging. Yolks also house all of the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid content.
Additionally, yolks house over 80% of the daily required amounts of zinc, choline, vitamin B6, folate, iron, phosphorus, calcium, niacin, and pantothenic acid. All of these vitamins and minerals are essential to good health and responsible for the proper functioning of the body. Iron, zinc, and calcium deficiencies are highly prevalent worldwide in different populations, simply eating egg yolks could help fix these issues.
The only nutrients in which the white contributes significantly higher amounts than the yolk are sodium, magnesium, and potassium–electrolytes abundant due to the egg white’s high water content. Other than electrolytes, the whites are largely devoid of nutrients.
The Bottom Line
Start adding yolks back to your diet. By skipping the yolk you’re cheating yourself out of one of the world’s best nutritional powerhouses.