Eggs are a great way to add protein to your diet. In fact, they are a nutritional powerhouse. They contain many vitamins and minerals. They also provide choline, which is essential for brain health and lutein and zeaxanthin, which keeps our eyes healthy. However, eggs also contain fats and cholesterol, which may be harmful to your health. This may be the reason why many people prefer to consume egg whites instead of whole eggs. Egg whites are made up of 90 percent water and 10% protein. The yolk may contain all the fat in the egg, but it also includes most of the nutrients.
The nutritional profiles of whole eggs and egg whites are very different. Let us look into the nutritional benefits of eggs whites and whole eggs to understand which choice is better.
Nutritional profile of egg whites and whole eggs
Egg white is the white liquid surrounds the yolk of the egg. It functions as a shock absorber, keeps the yolk in place, forms an antimicrobial barrier and provides nutrition to the developing embryo.
|Whole egg (4.8 eggs) |
(1cup: 243 grams)
|Egg white |
(1 cup: 243 grams)
|Protein ||31 grams||26 grams|
|Fats||24 grams||0 grams|
|Cholesterol||1028 mg||0 mg|
|Vitamin A (% daily value)||24 % DV||0 % DV|
|Vitamin B12||52% DV||4 % DV|
|Riboflavin||68% DV||63% DV|
|Pantothenic acid||35% DV||5% DV|
|Vitamin D||21% DV||0% DV|
|Folate||29% DV||2% DV|
|Selenium||110% DV||69% DV|
Benefits of consuming egg whites
Egg whites are low in calories, contain no cholesterol and are high in proteins. One large egg white has 16 calories, 3.6 grams of protein and no fat.
Their high-quality protein content makes them rich in all amino acids. Here are some of the reasons eggs whites are good for health.
1. Keep heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure in control
If your doctor has advised you to stay away from cholesterol, egg whites are the way to start your day. A low cholesterol diet is suggested for people with diabetes, blood pressure, and heart disease.
Just one egg yolk contains more than the ideal amount of cholesterol recommended per day, so it is advisable to have egg whites instead.
According to a study, when 88 men consumed egg whites for eight weeks, there was a significant decrease in their cholesterol levels (3). So having egg whites is a great way to reduce the risk of arteriosclerotic disease.
2. Highly nutritious for pregnant women
High-quality protein is vital for the proper growth and development of human embryos. One single egg white provides four grams of protein.
According to a study, women who consumed more protein during their pregnancy, have a lower risk of having low birth weight or premature babies (4).
3. Helps to lose weight
Protein is vital for gaining and maintaining muscle while you are trying to lose weight (5). Proteins help to curb your appetite as they keep you fuller for longer.
Egg whites also contain no fats and are low in calories. Due to their high protein content, consuming egg whites makes it easier to lose weight.
Risks of eating egg whites
Though egg whites are highly nutritious, there are some risks involved in consuming them.
Though eggs whites are safe for most of us, some people, especially children under the age of five, may have an allergic reaction to egg whites.
This allergic reaction happens when our immune system incorrectly identifies the proteins in the eggs as harmful (6). The symptoms of egg white allergy include rashes, swelling, runny nose, watery eyes, nausea, and vomiting.
2. Salmonella poisoning
Raw egg whites can get contaminated with salmonella, and this can lead to food poisoning. To destroy salmonella, you must cook the eggs for long and at high temperate (7).
3. Biotin depletion
Egg whites, when they are consumed raw, can reduce the absorption of biotin. This water-soluble vitamin is essential for energy production. Raw whites of the eggs contain a protein called avidin which can stop the absorption of biotin by binding to it.
Whole egg or egg white, which is a better option?
Nutritionally both whole eggs and egg whites contain protein, though egg whites have more protein than the yolk. But when it comes to other nutrients, egg whites lose the battle.
Eggs provide a whole lot of proteins, minerals, and some healthy fats as well. Whole eggs contain amino acids like histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Egg whites contain potassium, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium, and sodium. If you are on a strict restricted diet and have a family history of high cholesterol, egg whites may be better for you. But if that is not the case, then you must consume whole eggs as they are nutritionally superior.