Eggs are a breakfast staple for many – and they don’t get old because they can be prepared in so many ways. Scrambled, over-easy, hard-boiled, poached; mixed with cheese, meat and veggies, or on top of sandwiches. The possibilities can feel endless.
But whether or not eggs are good for you is contested, and sometimes unclear. This debate can be complicated by the division of the egg white and the egg yolk. Many wonder if egg whites are a healthy option. We spoke with Mary Sabat, MS, RDN, LD, a nutritionist and owner of BodyDesigns to find out what you need to know about egg whites.
Are egg whites healthy?
Yes! Sabat says, “Egg whites are indeed considered a healthy food option. They are low in calories, fat and cholesterol while being high in protein and essential nutrients.” She adds, “Protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and supporting overall growth and development.”
Which is healthier – egg white or egg yolk?
Neither one is particularly unhealthy – they are just different. Egg whites are an excellent source of protein and are low in fat and cholesterol. Egg yolks are also high in protein, and are also a good source of other vital nutrients.
Sabat says, “The yolk contains most of the vitamins and minerals present in eggs. It is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K, as well as B vitamins like B12 and folate. Yolks also provide minerals such as iron, phosphorus, and zinc.”
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However, the yolks do contain more unsaturated fat and are higher in calories.
“Egg yolks contain dietary cholesterol,” Sabat says. “Individuals with specific health conditions, such as familial hypercholesterolemia, may need to limit their dietary cholesterol intake.”
How many egg whites can you eat a day?
The American Heart Association says eating one egg or two egg whites per day is healthy for those who like eggs as a part of their diet. But how much you can eat per day is going to be dependent on what else you consume that day. If you are eating foods that don’t have a lot of cholesterol or protein, you could eat more eggs.
The bottom line? Eating eggs is something you can feel good about, especially if your goal is weight loss.
Sabat says, “The protein and healthy fats in eggs can help you feel full and satisfied, which may aid in weight management by reducing overall calorie intake.”
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