The classic causality conundrum – which came first, the chicken or the egg? Because our article is all about eggs, we will side with them. But lately, this common question has changed to: Which is healthier in terms of egg nutrition white vs yolk?
There’s no denying that eggs are an excellent source of high quality protein with negligible calories. One whole egg contains ~5.5 grams of protein and just ~68 calories. Eggs will also give your body a nutrient called choline, which is crucial as our bodies do not produce enough. If you are deficient in choline, it leads to a deficiency of yet another essential nutrient: folic acid.
Let’s compare egg whites vs yolk to understand who is the winner of this debate.
Egg whites are essentially a food that’s low in calories and fat-free. They also contain the larger chunk of the protein. Egg white benefits include 4 grams of protein, 55 mg of sodium with just 17 calories. One serving of egg white also offers 1.3 micrograms of folate, 6.6 mcg of selenium, 2.3 mg of calcium, 3.6 mg of magnesium, and 4.9 mg of phosphorus and 53.8 mg of potassium.
There’s no denying that egg yolks are the carriers of cholesterol, the fat and the saturated fat of the egg. Though, what you often miss out on is the bit on the whole egg nutrition. The egg yolk benefits include fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids and other nutrients. A single serving of egg yolk contains about 55 calories, 4.5 grams of total fat and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, 210 mg of cholesterol, 8 mg of sodium, and 2.7 grams of protein.
The USDA has outlined the complete egg nutrition white vs yolk. This nutrient list has a percentage comparison so you can see what you are eating every time you make ‘em eggs.
Nutrition: Egg Yolks Versus Egg Whites
|Nutrient||White||Yolk||% Total in White||% Total in Yolk|
|Calcium||2.3 mg||21.9 mg||9.5%||90.5%|
|Magnesium||3.6 mg||0.85 mg||80.8%||19.2%|
|Iron||0.03 mg||0.4 mg||6.2%||93.8%|
|Phosphorus||5 mg||66.3 mg||7%||93%|
|Potassium||53.8 mg||18.5 mg||74.4%||25.6%|
|Sodium||54.8 mg||8.2 mg||87%||13%|
|Zinc||0.01 mg||0.4 mg||0.2%||99.8%|
|Copper||0.008 mg||0.013 mg||38%||62%|
|Manganese||0.004 mg||0.009 mg||30.8%||69.2%|
|Selenium||6.6 mcg||9.5 mcg||41%||59%|
|Thiamin||0.01 mg||0.03 mg||3.2%||96.8%|
|Riboflavin||0.145 mg||0.09 mg||61.7%||48.3%|
|Niacin||0.035 mg||0.004 mg||89.7%||9.3%|
|Pantothenic acid.||0.63 mg||0.51 mg||11%||89%|
|B6||0.002 mg||0.059 mg||3.3%||96.7%|
|Folate||1.3 mcg||24.8 mcg||5%||95%|
|B12||0.03 mcg||0.331 mcg||8.3%||91.7%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||245 IU||0%||100%|
|Vitamin E||0 mg||0.684 mg||0%||100%|
|Vitamin D||0 IU||18.3 IU||0%||100%|
|Vitamin K||0 IU||0.119 IU||0%||100%|
|DHA and AA||0||94 mg||0%||100%|
|Carotenoids||0 mcg||21 mcg||0%||100%|
Now, it should be clear to you that the egg yolk is actually the more nutritious of the two. So, we would always recommend that you consume the whole egg. If you would like to know more about how Ayurveda views the consumption of eggs, read our article here.
It is interesting to see that the entire egg whites vs yolk debate has seen many different recommendations over time. However, new studies show that contrary to popular belief, a mindful consumption of eggs may actually be good for you instead of harming your cholesterol levels. Recent research indicates that two eggs a day does not affect your lipid profile, and instead might improve it. Though, if you suffer from heart diseases then do limit your intake of cholesterol by all means.
Are you skeptical about eating egg yolks? How do you like to cook your egg whites?
(Pssst…we won’t judge if you say you like your eggs in a cake )