Egg white or whole egg Which part of the egg is healthier??
Eggs are the perfect athlete food. In many fitness kitchens, however, only the egg white is used, while the yolk (yolk) ends up in the trash. The reason: too many calories, too much fat, too much cholesterol. Basically, this is also correct, because yes: the egg yolk actually contains more calories, more fat and more cholesterol than the egg white – as the table illustrates:
Egg yolk per 100 g
Egg white per 100 g
So does it really make sense to banish the yolk from your plate and eat only the egg white?? We checked with the sports scientist and health expert Prof. Dr. Ingo Frobose of the German sport university Cologne for you inquired.
Nutrient comparison: egg yolk versus egg white
Both the egg yolk and the egg white have their advantages and disadvantages when considered separately. To help you understand this, let’s take a close look at the two egg ingredients:
1 egg yolk (19 g)
1 egg white ( 33 g)
Pure egg white, for example, contains only traces of vitamin A, E and hardly any folic acid. Also iron, calcium and folic acid can be found here only in small quantities. The egg yolk, on the other hand, scores with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lots of vitamin D, which is only found in a few (really tasty) foods, which is why vitamin D deficiency is widespread. The supply of vitamin B12 is also difficult – especially as vegetarians and vegans. The egg yolk is (at least) for vegetarians a good source of vitamin B12.
"If you separate eggs and dispose of the yolk, you are throwing away about three-quarters of all the healthy nutrients an egg contains", says fitness doctor Frobose.
It’s not for nothing that something good (or the best) is colloquially called "the yellow of the egg. The phrase originated from the conviction that the yolk is the most valuable of the egg. But the egg white also has its advantages – especially for weight loss enthusiasts and athletes.
What are the advantages of (pasteurized) egg whites??
Whether you should eat just the yolk or the whole egg depends very much on your (fitness) goals. The expert: "The egg white has the advantage that it is both low carb and low fat and can therefore be optimally used as a protein source, especially for athletes or in the context of weight management." Because the contained protein is particularly high-quality and has an ideal amino acid composition.
Moreover, those who follow a (strict) diet plan, such as bodybuilders or weight-lifters, can incorporate two or three egg whites in the form of an egg white omelet there much more easily. Why? Egg whites provide plenty of protein, but have a minimal impact on the fat and calorie account. Three whole eggs would already make the math harder and you would have to cut calories elsewhere.
"Pasteurized egg white is particularly suitable for this purpose, because then possible pathogens can also be eliminated", says the expert. Another advantage: It is neutral in taste and is suitable for both savory egg dishes and sweet protein pancakes.
How healthy is the egg yolk?
Using only the egg white in the kitchen has numerous advantages. But, as mentioned earlier, the yolk contains most of the nutrients – some of them vital – in an egg:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- important minerals and trace elements such as iron, potassium and selenium
- Vitamins, like vitamin A, B; E; D, biotin, choline, lutein, folic acid
The expert therefore warns against jumping to conclusions about egg yolks: "The disadvantage is that the wonderful egg yolk is pushed into a negative corner and may even end up being labeled as an unhealthy or even superfluous food – because this is wrong!" But that does not mean that for certain groups of people it is not quite useful to eat only the egg white. The important thing is to choose the one that suits your training goal better – whether pasteurized egg white or whole egg.
The fact is: without the yolk, eggs would only be half as valuable for our diet. "Eggs are a wonderful food, because they guarantee an optimal supply of the human organism and can even be used as a "remedy" because hardly any other food has such a high biological value", so Frobose.
And what about the supposedly evil cholesterol in egg yolks? Everything half so bad!
Is the cholesterol in egg yolk harmful to health?
For a long time eggs were considered the cholesterol bombs par excellence. Fact is: Yes, eggs contain a lot of cholesterol, but in the meantime it has been proven that cholesterol-rich foods do not have a great influence on your cholesterol level, as was assumed for years. "The negative view of cholesterol has mainly been done without any real scientific basis and has permanently damaged the image of egg – wrongly!", says the sports scientist. In addition, the body produces much of the cholesterol that is deposited in the blood vessels and clogs them, itself.
"The real problem are the so-called trans fats", asks Prof. Frobose correct.
Because consuming trans fats from chips, fries and sausages raises blood cholesterol levels much more than cholesterol-rich foods do. In addition, the body curbs its own cholesterol production when too much cholesterol is ingested through food. "There are even studies that could show that the consumption of eggs can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels due to the good fat quality", says the expert.
How many eggs are safe per week?
"The consumption of several eggs daily is healthwise absolutely harmless", says fitness expert Frobose. "People with an increased protein requirement, like athletes, can eat however quite also two to three eggs daily, without thereby the blood fat values change negatively."
"Caution should be however diabetics type 2, whose blood values are often not adjusted correctly ", warns the expert. Who already has an elevated cholesterol level, should also keep moderation. The dose makes the poison in the end. "I generally recommend a maximum of one egg per day", Says the expert in conclusion.
What’s the best way to separate egg whites from yolks?
In some recipes with eggs it is necessary to separate eggs. To separate the yolk from the egg white, there are two simple and quick methods. Just try which one you find easier.
- The shell method: Crack the eggshell on a bowl so that the shell breaks in half. Let the egg yolk slide alternately from one bowl to the other, so that the egg white flows into the bowl. The egg yolk then goes into a separate bowl.
- The bottle method: Open the egg as in the first method and put the entire egg in a bowl. Take an empty and clean plastic bottle. Gently squeeze them together, creating a pressure that allows you to ‘suck up’ the yolk. Reduce the pressure on the bottle and let the yolk slide out into a second bowl.
Conclusion: Eat an egg white or a whole egg – you decide!
"For me, unfortunately, the egg is a kind of forgotten superfood", our expert puts it in a nutshell. Eggs are an excellent food that should end up on your plate on a regular basis. The cholesterol fairy tale is history. Nevertheless, depending on your individual fitness goal, it can make perfect sense to forgo the egg yolk and resort to liquid egg whites. This has numerous, nutritional benefits and is a high-quality, low-calorie, low-fat protein source that weight-loss enthusiasts and athletes in particular can tap into with a clear conscience.