Egg Whites Vs. Whole Eggs

Child's hands breaking an egg for pastry in a glass bowl

We have all seen the advertisements and have heard the popular diets calling to eat egg whites over whole eggs, but many of us have never heard why this is so important. For years, my family, along with many others around America, have cooked weekend breakfasts like our generations have before: a bunch of full eggs with bacon, sausage, and toast. This is what has been served at Denny’s for years and has tasted great. Little did we know, or really wanted to know, but we were sucking down countless amounts of calories and cholesterol in meals that gave no benefit to our bodies.

I have always thought that the color of eggs were yellow. That might sound like an ignorant statement, saying that there is a yolk and whites within the shell, but I grew up on scrambled eggs. When eating this type of meal after working out, I thought I was receiving the large amounts of proteins that I needed to keep my body growing. Finally after learning about eggs and doing some research, I found out that egg whites actually make up for two-thirds of the egg’s weight, which consists of proteins, vitamins, trace minerals, fatty material, and glucose. Looking back at the familiar yellow, all that the yolk contains are massive amounts of cholesterol, fat, and about half the protein as in the rest of the egg. As the yolk’s protein level is definitely enticing, it is not worth the large levels of cholesterol and saturated fats.

Let’s quickly break it all down:

Egg Yolks:

  • Calories: 55 cals
  • Fat: 4.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6g
  • Cholesterol: 210 mg
  • Protein: 2.7g

Egg Whites:

  • Calories: 17 cals
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Protein: 5 g

It’s very difficult for me to want to make anything with egg yolk after knowing the benefits and tasting the much more pure flavor of egg whites. These comparisons clearly show why egg whites are preferred during dieting and building muscle. As many times eggs are excluded from low-calorie recipes, egg whites are not.

Since companies have now realized the benefits of egg whites, and have also noticed that there are not always the easiest to separate from the yolk in the egg, they have created alternative products. Many natural food stores now carry small cartons of liquid and powder egg whites. These normally have a higher amount of protein and other very similar nutritional values compared to natural egg whites. There are an endless amount of uses for egg whites in cooking: breakfasts, sweet treats, low-calorie lunches, and dinner entrees. Once you try the pure taste of egg whites, after knowing their great nutritional value, you’ll never want to go back to your old-style, yolky egg recipes.

  • sanju

    it was an exceptional..detail given..and very much rtue indeed…i too was in the habit of consuming these yolks..before in my childhood days but..now coz of my good frnds i came to know that it isnt true..its actually the white part which does the trick

    anyways thanks to the xtra knowledge tat i hav gained..

  • Very detail article, especially about calories etc… but I usually eat whole egg, not just white one, for fitness.

    Anyway, great article.. Good job

  • sam

    hi, you have made a reasonable argument, but i believe that this article is one sided. Just knowing the fat, cholesterol, and protein nutritional values cannot really tell us much. what about the sodium intake, or the vitamin D, and calcium? And for my last thought, it is known that egg yolks have Omega-3 which is very good for the body. please look at other articles such as http://www.fitsugar.com/364527 and http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1372360/egg_yolk_vs_egg_white_which_is_really.html?cat=5

  • Balanced view

    Although I am an egg-white lover myself, I’m afraid your facts are incomplete.

    Egg yolks contain valuable protein, vitamins and minerals although yes, they do contain fat and cholesterol as well. In fact, 100% of the Vitamins A, D, E and K in an egg are in the egg yolk and not the white. Check out the comparison at this site:
    http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Egg_Yolk.html

    So the egg yolk and white are complementary and if cholesterol is not an issue for you, I would think it is better to eat the whole egg. Of course, all good things in moderation…

  • pramod

    I have high cholestrol problem, taking capsules alternative day. Shall I eat one egg white every day ?
    Please reply.
    pramod, dubai

  • pramod

    i have high cholestrol problem and taking medicne for the same. shall i have egg white (1 egg white) every day ?

  • Dlove

    Let me quess Jenny Craig sells egg white powder?

  • Dlove

    Someone here that wrote this article need to get their facts straight. All essential vitamins, nutrients and omega-3 fat is in the yolk, silly :)

  • Jake

    Years ago a study was published showing that whole eggs raised cholesterol. This was before they knew about HDL and LDL, the GOOD and BAD cholesterol. Now it turns out they were right, whole eggs did indeed raise cholesterol in those studies…. the GOOD cholesterol, which of course is a good thing.

  • This is great post with lot of info. Thank’s from healthy dieting team.

  • Jabbery

    Egg yolks are gross.

  • Hexa

    The most nutritious part of the egg is the yolk. Even healthier is the whole egg, which evolved to work as a nutrient-rich whole. People who eat egg whites for health or weight loss are ill informed lemmings following an ignorant crowd.

    The whole egg is just about the healthiest thing you can eat. Throwing half of it away is foolish, especially since the yolk holds most of the nutrients. The whole egg also tastes better and is less expensive.

  • Desi

    I read your story and seems great. But you have the information backwards about the egg yolks and egg whites. Maybe you forgot how to research. Research states you need all the proteins, vitamins and minerals a body, muscle and brain needs in order to function properly is the yolk part of the egg. I also grew up with scramble eggs and bacon and cheese. But no means egg whites are healthy for you. peace 😀

  • Desi

    Hello Hexa,
    You are correct in your assertions about the eggs. Egg yolks is the most powerful nutrient and fulfilling part of your day. peace

  • Desi

    Hello, for anyone with cholesterol problems the best thing to take is niacin as a supplement. This is a vitamin that increases your HDL levelto decrease your LDL levels. Please do exercise we all need to be active.

  • Ann

    It just makes me cringe when people toss out the yolk because of fat and cholesterol. First of all, dietary fat and cholesterol has very little if any impact on your blood lipids. Furthermore, your body needs all three kinds of fat (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated) as well as cholesterol in order to function properly. Saturated fats are broken down into components in your liver, some of which are converted to healthy essential fatty acids and when you try to restrict dietary cholesterol your body simply makes more of it. Lastly, by discarding the yolk, you are missing all those valuable fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, E, and K. Without enough dietary fat, your body is unable to even use the very nutrients that we eat certain food for in the first place. For example, “health concious” people tend to drink skim milk because of all the dreaded fat in whole milk, the problem with this is without the fat your body is unable to absorb the calcium and vitamin D it needs. Whole eggs are a much better choice than egg whites only. I find it immensely disterbing that everyone seems to accept the low fat dogma without even doing their own research. Current research clearly points to moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate intake as much healthier than low fat, high carbohydrate diets, not to mention much more effective for weight loss, muscle building, and health maintenance.

  • Eric

    While the yolk does contain much of the nutritional value of an egg I would much rather take a vitamin and eat the egg whites. In terms of calories per protein ratio few natural foods are superior when trying to lose weight and or gain muscle. I like many others I know would trade the calories for the vitamins easily. A much better practice would be to use 3/4 egg whites and 1/4 regular egg for flavor cause when you think about it that’s why you really want the yolk.

  • mike

    this article is stupid to be quite honest. Eating whole eggs are fine. THE FDA are idiots. our Ancestors lived eating fats, meat, fruit and berries. The fact that it is recommeded we eat 300 carbs a day is insane. Saturated fats and Cholesterol from food is good for you its just you should watch our intake. Our grandparents lived into there 8-‘s and 90’s eating eggs bacon and toast with butter and on top of that most smoked! Witht hat said teh real problem lies with processed food and carbs.

  • Nick on a diet/weight lifting program

    I’ve been doing a lot of research as I’m in kind of a tough program. I’m trying to really pack on muscle and lose a lot of the fat I have. Its tough because you’re balancing the weight and fat needed for true strong muscle building and still be losing all of that unhealthy weight. A lot of pro weight lifters and stuff usually just go with whole eggs but then I saw that as they prep for a show where they need to be more cut they change it up. They will mix one whole egg with like 4 or 5 egg whites. That way they do get that “healthy moderate” benefits from the whole egg but they also get the benefits listed above with the egg whites in the larger quantity.

  • Chas

    Based on this article I wouldn’t trust anything written on this site. This article is just plain false. The most beneficial and nutrient dense part of an egg is the yolk…if you take out the yolk it’s like drinking fruit juice instead of eating the whole fruit which is much healthier.

    The cholesterol in eggs is HDL which is a cholesterol your body needs and actually helps regulate the bad cholesterol (LDL).

    Do not just eat egg whites…keep the yolk in there…nature knows what it’s doing. Just make sure you get cage free organic eggs and you can’t go wrong. Whole foods actually has cage free/soy free which was cool to see.

  • Abhi

    Well, i suggest egg white is too better for all of us there ll no complaints of becomin fat u no..ya i do gym at home i wann wann build body but not fat body..egg white contains wat teen girls n guys need for them..

  • Bill

    Who would want to eat an animal secretion? That’s what an egg yolk is. Think about it?????

  • Jason

    @Bill,

    Vegan diets are not for everyone, your as bad as an Evangelical trying to push religion… think about it?????

  • Non contrarian

    O.K. here is my take on this…The writer of this article is not stating that eating egg whites is better than eating the whole egg from a nutrition stand point, if the fact was we had only eggs to eat in our diet, then eating the whole egg would be correct, but like most people I eat other meals during the day that include other important nutrients that fill in the gaps of your precious yokes..You people are just being contrary.. There is nothing wrong with eating an egg white as an alternative or substitute for protein.
    In an effort to reduce my fat intake I will eat an egg white omelet with some spinach for my breakfast…For lunch I may have a turkey sandwich, now are you people gonna bash me because I don’t put the mayonnaise on my sandwich.

  • David

    I have been adding the yolk only to my morning shake. I was surprised to hear the whites are good for you. I thought they were useless sticky goo. I have never eaten whole eggs with my shake but I am going to try it soon. I am surprised that body builders are so worried about fat. Don’t you need fat for a healthy body? I thought fat is necessary for the brain.

    P.S. I have a good egg supplier and I have no cholesterol problems.

  • Pharmacist

    Some of you people are ridiculous. HDL cholesterol is made by the body, not ingested. To say that eating egg yolks is good for someone because it’s made of HDL cholesterol is absurd beyond comprehension.

  • Yea im cutting off the yolk and sticking the the whites only

  • Desi

    Send me an email lets talk about it.
    Here is the list of vitamins your, our body needs in order to function properly.
    Choline (mg) 126 0.4 116
    Riboflavin (mg) 0.2 0.15 0.09
    Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0.45 0.03 0.33
    Folate (mcg) 24 1 25
    Vitamin D (IU) 41 0 37
    Vitamin A (IU) 270 0 245
    Vitamin B 6 (mg) 0.09 0 0.06
    Thiamin (mg) 0.02 0 0.03
    Vitamin E (mg) 0.5 0 0.44
    Selenium (mcg) 15.4 6.6 9.5
    Phosphorous (mg) 99 5 66
    Iron (mg) 0.88 0.03 0.46
    Zinc (mg) 0.65 0.01 0.39
    Calcium (mg) 28 2 22
    Sodium (mg) 71 55 8
    Potassium (mg) 69 54 19
    Magnesium (mg) 6 4 1
    Any questions.
    Egg whites does not have all the vitamins needed.
    Protein is a source you can get from other foods.
    I rather get the vitamins rev up my mornings and hold me down until the evening.
    Most i have on eggs is two per day.
    I see most people ordering 5 egg whites daily lol that’s really absurd.

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