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To Yolk Or Not To Yolk?

Dabney Poorter

To yolk or not to yolk, that is the age old question. With all the “noise” swirling around in the wellness world, it’s hard to know which side of the fence you should camp out on in the egg yolk vs egg white discussion, so we consulted our resident nutritionist Dabney Poorter to weigh in on this great debate. 

 

Egg Yolks versus Whole Eggs

“Breakfast: 2 egg whites, a slice of toast, and cup of coffee with french vanilla creamer”. This is an example from a client’s food logs before we met for a consultation.

At our initial consultation, I provided this client with nutritional education handouts. The top of page one says: 1. Eat Breakfast. I am thrilled this client is eating breakfast, but there are a few things I would change. We can begin with a focus on education of what we are missing when we avoid egg yolks.

The Scrambled Truth

Years ago, scientists discovered that high cholesterol leads to an increased risk of heart disease. Foods high in cholesterol were, thereafter, given a negative reputation and many people began to eliminate foods, such as egg yolks. Recent studies, including one completed by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, have found that whole egg intake is not associated with an increased heart disease risk.  This conclusion pertains even to those that carry the gene ApoE4 (i.e.,highly susceptible risk).  Additional studies further suggest that heart disease risk lies in inflammation caused by other factors including chronic stress, overconsumption of vegetable oil, sugar, and processed carbohydrates.

The Sunny Side of Things

Whole eggs are nearly a perfect food with many of the nutrients your body needs to function. They are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D and contain 7 grams (a full serving) of high-quality protein. A whole egg is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins (B6 & B12), riboflavin, folate, and choline.  Each are all helpful in preventing heart disease. Two amino acids found in eggs also provide more nutrient density.  L-arginine is critical to the body’s production of protein and the release of growth hormones.  Leucine assists in regulating blood sugar levels and also helps the body produce growth hormones.

The Hardboiled Facts

A majority of the essential vitamins and minerals found in eggs are in the yolk. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should eat four eggs per day. An excess of any food is imprudent. I encourage my clients that two eggs per day is a good rule of thumb.

After our consultation, the client’s logs look more like this: “Breakfast: 2 whole eggs scrambled with avocado oil and veggies, 1 cup of berries, 1/4 avocado, and a cup of coffee with almond milk/whole milk.”

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