Question: Should I avoid the egg yolk and only eat the egg whites?
Answer: No. “The beauty of the egg is in the yolk,” says cholesterol-health-issues specialist Michael Mogadam, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and author of Every Heart Attack is Preventable (Lifeline Press, 2001). “The white has nothing but protein. The egg yolk has the nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.”
Question: Will eggs raise my cholesterol to unhealthy levels?
Answer: Eggs have been shunned for several decades due to the misconception that high-cholesterol food causes coronary heart disease. Actually, research suggests that eating two eggs a day for 12 weeks raises LDL cholesterol by only 4 points, and the numbers level off soon thereafter. In fact, cholesterol rich food only accounts for 15 percent of your total cholesterol, since your body will produce cholesterol when it is not available. As you will see below, the nutritional profile of pastured eggs provide everything needed for a healthy cardiovascular system.
Sugar, vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates play a much larger role in an unhealthy cholesterol panel. A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who ate the most added sugar had the lowest HDL, or good cholesterol, and the highest blood triglyceride levels. People who ate the least sugar had the highest HDL and the lowest triglyceride levels. Vegetable oils contain high levels of inflammatory omega-6’s. The Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids exist in an almost one-to-one ratio from chickens roaming out in the sun and hunting for bugs and worms; but in eggs from chickens fed only grain, the Omega-6 content can be as much as 19 times greater than the all important unsaturated Omega-3. Other very long-chain and highly unsaturated fatty acids – necessary for the development of the brain – are found in properly produced eggs but are almost wholly absent in most commercial eggs.
When compared to the USDA’s nutrient data for conventional eggs coming from chickens confined in factory farms, the eggs of pastured hens usually contain:
- 1⁄3 less cholesterol
- 1⁄4 less saturated fat
- 2⁄3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
- 4 to 6 times more vitamin D
Question: What are the benefits of the yolk?
Answer: Eggs have provided mankind with high-quality protein and fat-soluble vitamins for millennia. Properly produced eggs are rich in just about every nutrient we have yet discovered, especially fat-soluble vitamins A & D. They are an excellent source of special long-chain fatty acids called EPA and DHA, which play a vital role in the development of the nervous system in the infant and the maintenance of mental acuity in the adult. The egg yolk is the most concentrated source of choline, a B vitamin found in lecithin than is necessary for keeping the cholesterol moving in the blood stream.
Question: Where should I buy my eggs?
Answer: Your local farmers market will have the highest quality eggs, but if you are at the store, buy pastured eggs because the chickens will have access to bugs and worms in the grass, creating the perfect nutritional profile.
Don’t Toss the Egg Yolk. Michael Mogadam, M.D
Fallon, Sally. Nourishing Traditions