Eggs, they get a good rap, they get a badrap. And sometimes they just get wrapped... inpaint.
Over 79 BILLION eggs are consumed each yearin the US alone. It's also a staple breakfast item for many parts of the world and is an ingredient formany other popular food.
But eggs have been getting quite a lot of hate lately, particularly the egg yolk.
So what exactly is up with this delicious yellow center of an egg? The main concern is the cholesterol, which for many years we've been told to be bad for you and cause cardiovascular diseases.
Egg whites contain exactly zero milligrams of cholesterol while egg yolks contain roughly 185 milligrams, or 62% of the recommended amount the ODPHP believes you should have per day.
Seeing that most people typically eat eggs in pairs, many people consume well over their recommended amount of cholesterol before they even head out to work. And when the media began to spread the news of the “dangers” of egg yolks due to its high cholesterol presence. everyone began avoiding yolks like the plague.
But people didn't want to give up their eggs. Since the stigma wasn't that the entire egg was bad for you, the damage was only done specifically to the egg yolk. Egg whites, however, was still seen as good. And with that perception, the egg white craze took off!
Almost all things that uses whole eggs now have an egg white alternative. Egg white omelets, egg white pancakes, scrambled egg whites, and even your popular fast food chains offer a “healthy” egg white option.
So does the science actually back up this claim about our voluptuous egg yolks? Let's first understand a bit more about cholesterol. Cholesterol is carried through blood vessels in particles known as lipoproteins.
Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is the bad guy since high concentration will build up plaque in your blood vessels, leading to coronary heart diseases. High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is the good guys because they clear out those pesky LDLs from hanging around the blood by taking them back to the liver.
Consuming egg yolks have shown to increase LDL, but simultaneously it increases HDL, tipping the cholesterol scale to an even balance. Your body is also good at adapting to how much cholesterol you eat.
For many of the studies where they observed subjects eating excess cholesterol, total cholesterol and lipoprotein levels tend to stay the same. When you eat more cholesterol, your body will produce less of its own. Conversely, if you eat less, your body will produce more.
This was observed to the extreme in 1991 when an 88-year old man ate 25 eggs per day without any changes to his cholesterol and health. Poor little hens in his town.
As for other studies on eggs, they generally show that regular egg consumption, including that scary yolk, is safe except for subjects that are already predisposed to coronary heart disease, dealing with type 2 diabetes, or have an overall bad diet to begin with.
In these cases, they'll have to be a bit more careful with egg yolks and anything else containing those pesky LDLs. For those of you that already switch to eating only egg whites, you're currently missing out on the multitude of nutrients that egg yolks have that egg whites don't or have very little of, such as calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, thiamin, B vitamins 5, 6, 9, and 12, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Choline.
Oh, one more, leucine, which is the primary branched chain amino acid used for muscle protein synthesis, aka GAINZ. Hey, at least egg whites contain 38 fewer calories.