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Egg whites vs. Egg Yolks

Now talk about a controversial little ingredient.  So what’s the big talk and all this concern over egg yolks vs. egg whites?  Information on eggs keeps changing but here is what we suggest at Hilton Head Health. 

First off, egg yolks contain the fat found in eggs, which is where the cholesterol comes from. Theres is no fat in the egg white and it contains a slightly larger amount of protein than the yolk.  Those are usually the only things we talk about when referring to eggs.  We forget the folate that’s in eggs and the selenium.  But we never really know what that means to our health so we just focus on what we know: calories, fat and protein. 

If high cholesterol runs in the gene pool of your family or if you have current issues with your cholesterol being high, it’s best to consume whole eggs maybe 2 times a week. If naturally high cholesterol does not run in your gene pool and your current cholesterol is normal, you are able to have maybe 1-2 eggs every day.  Remember that cholesterol plays a really big part in your health.  High cholesterol leads to heart disease or even stroke, so there is good reason to watch your cholesterol intake.  And, no it’s not just eggs that we get cholesterol from-its fat from anything animal derived. 

Remember that you still have to prepare these eggs in a nutritional manner.  You can’t use 1 tablespoon of butter to cook you eggs.  It’s not just the role eggs play on our health that we need to consider; we also need to watch the butter, cheese, bacon, sausage or cream that is being added to this delightful food. 

Here are some tips for using both egg whites and yolks for either side of the spectrum:

You could always use two whole eggs, but toss out one of the yolks.  Or perhaps use three egg whites plus one egg yolk to make scrambled eggs.  Any change is better than no change, especially if you’re looking to keep the volume the same but to cut back on calories.

Now remember when I talked about Selenium and folic acid (folate)? These are important roles in your health too.  Folic acid (VitaminB9) helps in the synthesis of DNA, aids the amino acid metabolism and helps form red and white blood cells.  As for Selenium, it’s best known for its antioxidant properties, which help repair damaged cells.  Both sound pretty important to me and they are both found in the egg yolk.  As we say at Hilton Head Health, everything in moderation. As you can see, taking egg yolks completely out of your diet is not nutritionally beneficial other than lowering your fat and calories. 

For all my egg salad lovers out there, you can make your egg salad healthier by simply taking out a few of those yolks… not all of them of course.  Then add a low fat or light mayonnaise and serve on a whole wheat sandwich thin. 

Keeping eggs in your diet is a good thing. Your personal health should determine the amount and the frequency you should consume them.

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