Whether over-easy, poached, scrambled, fried, or as an omelet, egg yolks are a rich source of nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet for most individuals. They provide a good source of protein, heart-healthy fats, choline, and other vitamins. However, it is essential to note that consuming too many eggs can increase cholesterol, and some people may have allergies to them.
Generally, egg whites have the same nutritional value as the yolks but contain lower levels of some nutrients. For example, egg yolks have high concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain choline, a nutrient that has received much attention recently as it plays an essential role in brain health and development. Egg yolks also have lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants, which can help protect against age-related macular degeneration.
However, it is essential to note that choline and other vitamins are better absorbed from cooked than raw eggs. This is because the body can digest them better at this stage. Raw eggs can also contain bacteria like salmonella, making you sick if consumed.
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The benefits of consuming egg yolks are numerous, but it is always best to talk to your doctor or registered dietitian about the appropriate amount. They can tell you if the extra cholesterol in eggs is a concern and if any other factors could affect your health.
A recent study found that consuming egg yolks daily increased people’s ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. High levels of HDL are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Those with a history of heart disease should limit their cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg daily.
It is important to remember that the cholesterol in eggs comes from the cholesterol in the hens’ diet and is not the same as the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol that can contribute to heart disease. Those at high risk of developing heart disease should talk to their doctor or registered dietitian before increasing their egg consumption.
Other reasons to include egg yolks in your diet are that they offer high-quality protein and are a good source of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E. They can also help improve digestion, boost the immune system, and decrease blood pressure. In addition, they contain omega-3 fatty acids (ALA and DHA) that can benefit heart health. Finally, they are also an affordable and convenient way to add a variety of nutrients to your diet.