Ask the Diet Doctor: Egg Whites vs. Whole Eggs
Q: Which is better: egg whites or eggs with yolks? Is eating whole eggs really bad for my health?
A: You can eat both, but opt for whole eggs first. Whole eggs have a long nutritional history of being good for you, then bad for you (during the low-cholesterol craze), and then good for you again. The main reason why eggs were placed in the "don't eat" basket several decades ago was due to their high cholesterol and fat content; a large egg has 200 mg of cholesterol and 6 grams of fat. The belief was that by removing cholesterol from your diet, your cholesterol levels would go down – sounds like it makes sense, right?
Unfortunately, or fortunately, your body is much more complex than that. Over the past several decades research has revealed two important facts:
1. Eating a little more dietary cholesterol does not lead to increases in your cholesterol levels.
2. Your total cholesterol level is not as important of a risk factor for cardiovascular disease as we once thought. Considering that more than 35-percent of coronary heart disease occurs in people with low total cholesterol levels, it was crucial to find a more accurate marker (perhaps a topic for a future Ask the Diet Doctor).
While most of the buzz about eggs has focused on potential dangers of the high cholesterol content, whole eggs contain numerous nutrients that are key to good health. The yolk portion of an egg contains choline, an essential nutrient for brain health. Plus, whole eggs have an antioxidant capacity equal to that of an apple, an iconic symbol of good health, according to research published in Food Chemistry.
I recommend that you buy omega-3 eggs. The chickens that these eggs come from are fed a higher omega-3 diet and some omega-3 eggs (depending on the brand) contain up to 150 mg of the omega-3 fat DHA. This is the same healthy fat found in fish oil supplements that is essential for proper brain function and research shows may also help you lose weight.
Whole omega-3 eggs are a great addition to your diet and contain multiple essential nutrients. Enjoy them and your health will improve!
Meet the Diet Doctor: Mike Roussell, PhD
Author, speaker, and nutritional consultant Mike Roussell, PhD is known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical eating habits that his clients can use to ensure permanent weight loss and long lasting health. Dr. Roussell holds a bachelor degree in biochemistry from Hobart College and a doctorate in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University. Mike is the founder of Naked Nutrition, LLC, a multimedia nutrition company that provides health and nutrition solutions directly to consumers and industry professionals via DVDs, books, ebooks, audio programs, monthly newsletters, live events, and white papers. To learn more, check out Dr. Roussell's popular diet and nutrition blog, MikeRoussell.com.