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Are Egg Yolks Fattening? Top Nutritionist Explains

Have you ever wondered why many people eat eggs without yolks? There are two main components of whole eggs, namely egg whites and eggs yolk. Egg whites mostly contain protein, while egg yolks contain all sorts of nutrients. It is probably because of the cholesterol content in egg yolks that eggs are considered unhealthy. In most people’s diets, whole eggs are considered to be the major source of cholesterol. Apart from the cholesterol content, eating egg yolks is often avoided by people on a weight loss regime. Does this mean that egg yolks are fattening?

Egg yolks are healthy for the body

 

Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra says that it is healthy to consume whole eggs as long as they are cooked in little amounts of fat. She says, “Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients. 1 whole egg provides around 6 grams of high quality protein. Eggs are a rather inexpensive source of high quality protein. More than half of the protein is in egg white. However yolks too are nutrient dense. They are a source of protein, vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, K and cholesterol.”

Speaking about the fat content of eggs, she adds, “Egg yolks do have fat. 1 egg has about 180 mg of cholesterol.

This is the reason they have been demonised for more than 2 decades. However, researchers have recently concluded that dietary cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern as it’s a tiny fraction of the cholesterol produced by our liver.”

Eggs should be cooked in less fat

Hence, the cholesterol in eggs might not necessarily increase bad cholesterol levels in the body. “It is rather trans-fat and excess refined sugar which can lead to increase in bad cholesterol,” says Pooja while referring to the fact 1 whole egg is healthy as far as it is cooked healthily, with less amounts of fat.

“Eating eggs will not be healthy if you fry them in butter. Weight watchers can opt for a mid-way. If cooking more than 1 egg, they can omit 1 or more yolks and retain a few. This way, you get the nutrients from yolk without piling on too much fat and calories,” she explains.

Health benefits of eating egg yolks

  1. More vitamins

Eggs yolks contain more vitamins in larger quantity than egg whites. Vitamins A, D, E and K are found only in egg yolks and not egg whites.

  1. More minerals

Egg yolks have important minerals which play the role of balancing electrolytes in the body. Both egg yolks and egg whites contain 13 different varieties of minerals, including magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.

  1. Egg yolks benefit eyes

Egg yolks contain carotenoids which are known to benefit eye health. These carotenoids give egg yolks their yellow colour. They also reduce risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Carotenoids in egg yolks act like antioxidants for the eye, which protect eyes from damage caused by free radicals.

Other health benefits of eating eggs include improving immunity and bone density; regulating metabolism; improving cellular growth and repair; maintaining a healthy blood pressure; improving brain development and reducing overall inflammation in the body.

How do eggs affect cholesterol in the blood?

As mentioned above, when consuming cholesterol through eggs make the liver produce less cholesterol. Because of this, there is no significant change in blood cholesterol levels when people eat more cholesterol from foods.

This means that your cholesterol levels will stay the same or increase only slightly on eating eggs.

Eggs and risks of heart disease

Studies say that eating 1 or 2 whole eggs in a day will neither affect your cholesterol levels nor will they increase your risk of heart disease. In fact, eating eggs on a low-carb diet has been linked to improving insulin sensitivity. Eating egg whites can also improve heart health.

(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)