Egg whites are one of the biggest staples of most athletes’ diets as well as anyone trying to lose weight or simply eat a clean diet. They’re a lean and simple-to-prepare protein source, and by using just the egg whites, you get to reduce fat and cholesterol intake. But is that really a good thing? When it’s time to muscle up, you might want to consider that it’s easier to get yoked with yolks.
So, why do people avoid egg yolks? Well, the biggest reason is usually the fat content and associated calories. Each large egg yolk contains about 4.5-5 grams of fat, which is about 40-45 calories. That’s not much in the grand scheme of daily calories, but if you’re eating several eggs at a single sitting, then it can add up in a hurry.
The second reason people tend to avoid egg yolks is the fear of their cholesterol content. But that’s old and debunked news. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the bad cholesterol, but egg yolks only have about 1.6 grams of saturated fat per yolk, and studies have shown that consumed cholesterol from foods isn’t necessarily linked to increased LDL levels in the body.
Stop throwing away all that muscle-building protein! Not only are you wasting food by throwing out the egg yolks, you’re also missing out on good protein. Every time you eat an egg white without the yolk, you’re getting just half the protein you could be getting out of each whole egg. Would you throw away half a tub of your favorite protein powder? Of course not. Plus, you can get yoked with yolks because they contain muscle-building anabolic amino acids like leucine.
As an athlete or fitness enthusiast, you probably pay more attention to your macro nutrients than anything else, so you’ve got a percentage of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you try to maintain, but what about the rest of the nutrition? Egg yolks are full of more health-enhancing nutrients than most people ever stop to think about.
In fact, while egg whites alone are a fine source of low-calorie protein, it’s the egg yolks that carry most of the nutritional value. You’re throwing away a lot of important vitamins and minerals whenever you toss out an egg yolk. Egg yolks are also dense with potent antioxidants, including carotenoids that are even more bioavailable than those found in vegetables because of the fat content in yolks that aids in their absorption.
Eat the Yolks
If calories are all you’re worried about, keep in mind that each egg yolk isn’t that calorically dense and the nutrients can help build muscle and prevent muscle loss. A no-fat diet is a no-no for many reasons, so if you’re going to eat eggs anyway, consider eating a few yolks to keep up with your required fat intake while you reap the other health benefits of eating whole eggs.
Plus, there’s something to be said for the added flavor that comes from yolks. If you’re dieting down for a competition and need to keep your protein intake high, using 2-3 egg yolks in your giant “egg white” omelet will add much-needed nutrients, much-desired flavor, and they can help keep your appetite curbed a bit longer than egg whites alone.
Stop throwing away vital nutrients and get yoked with yolks!