Egg whites or whole eggs?
Should I eat egg whites or whole eggs? A whole egg has 70% RDA of cholesterol, so if I eat 3 every day for breakfast, that's a lot of cholesterol. Whole eggs also have 4.5 grams of fat, which egg whites do not. I don't want to get fat or high cholesterol, so I'm wondering if it's better to just eat 1 whole egg/day and the rest egg whites? Or is there some other benefit of egg yolks that I'm missing...
The Best Answer
Eggs are a bit unusual in that they are not quite a perfect food but close.
More recent research shows excellent benefits from the WHOLE EGG. Sort of a synergistic combination with the whole egg.
Good research shown in The Immortality Edge, an eggsellent book on getting young, fast.
Sorry, could not resist a little yoke with eggsellent. So sue me.
Whole Eggs are better. The research is showing that it actually has a positive impact on your body contrary to what was speculated before. But don't take my word for it. If you trust Tim Ferriss, and I think most of us here do :p In his presentations after the book release he has been telling people that he is now finding that whole eggs are much better and to go with those. He has a few presentations on youtube that are excellent. Basically it's the same presentation give at different locations like twitter or google headquarters. The question and answer at the end is what is different. Great questions and great answers.
I saw this in the book so I looked it up again for you.
p72 of the paperback version lists the protein items, with stars for the ones that have worked best for him.
"*Egg whites with 1-2 whole eggs for flavour (or, if organic, 2-5 whole eggs, including yolks)"
I can't stand the taste of the non-pastured ones anymore, after a few years of eating the good ones, but I still try to only have 2 for my breakfast, and different proteins at other meals.
Plus, I second Patrick. Your body doesn't make cholesterol from cholesterol - it's produced as a response to dietary fat, particularly saturated or trans fats, from my understanding (and lots of conversations with health promotion professionals). Interestingly, though, this doesn't seem to apply to coconut oils - areas where there's high coconut consumption (in its fresh, natural form, I note) tend to have low levels of heart disease, so I suspect science hasn't quite got the whole picture in regards to fats and whole foods.
In regards to cholesterol, keep in mind that the amount of cholesterol that comes from your diet has a very small effect on the cholesterol in your blood. According to a footnote in "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes:
This article, "Two Egg Diet Cracks Cholesterol Issue" echoes that:
I would hazard a guess that it is the sugar and refined carbs more than the saturated fats in the above mentioned foods that is the real culprit in terms of cholesterol (and high triglycerides for that matter).
all important nurtients are in the yolk. also, i would research whether there is any proof that eating high cholesterol foods actually makes you have unhealthy high cholesterol OR that you having high cholesterol causes any health problems. high cholesterol + hardened arteries causes problems. if you're young and healthy and a non smoker i would not worry about egg yolks and cholesterol.
on another note, i have put in some egg whites to my breakfast b/c it makes me sick to eat as much eggs as needed to get 20g of protein. egg white is less bulky than egg w/ yolk. i have 2 eggs, 1 egg white and 1/4 c cottage cheese to get a high protein breakfast.
SOME cholesterol is good as the answers above discuss, but not too much.
A standard egg contains a disappointing 6g of protein. So you would need 5 whole eggs to get 30 grams for breakfast (if you excluded legumes).
This is too much cholesterol (as you may be getting more from avocados, olive oil etc later).
As Tim suggests, 1 egg yolk (mainly for flavour) and 3 or 4 egg whites would give you all of the benefits with non of the risks.
There are definitely positive benefits to egg yolks. The cholesterol creates testosterone, which does wonders for your sex drive. Egg yolks also have choline, which supposedly increases fat loss. Plus if you're taking the Policosanol and Slo niacin, those are designed to help keep your cholesterol in check. If you're concerned, try doing 50% yolks and 50% whites to help balance it out.