It was Sylvester Stallone who introduced me to the idea that drinking raw eggs must in some way be healthy…
I was about 13 years old and seeing Rocky for the first time. There’s a scene in which Rocky gets up at 4am to begin his training. He goes straight from his bed to the fridge (which is all of about four steps), grabs five eggs, cracks them all into a glass and drinks them down in one.
I suspect that 90 second scene not only caused a widespread “Yuck!” response, but it alerted millions to the fact that there must be some serious hardcore health attached to eggs. “If they’re good enough for Rocky…”
There’s no question that eggs have benefits! They are a fabulous source of protein whilst being relatively light on calories. But eggs are made up of two very obvious parts, the white an the yolk. Is one element better than the other? Egg yolk or egg white. Or are we better off consuming both?
Egg yolk vs Egg white
Eggs are indeed packed with protein and the vast majority of it comes from the white. This fact has been the reason why many have abandoned the yolk altogether and consumed only the white.
Apart from being pretty uninteresting when it comes to a taste test, this is also robbing them of many other benefits lurking in the yellow stuff.
These include important minerals and vitamins.Nutrients such as zeaxanthin, choline and lutein are great for out eyes, nerves and brain.
Egg yolk also delivers: Vitamins A, B-6, B-12, D and E as well as zinc and iron.
Yolk also holds the majority of folate, selenium, omega-3, phosphorous, and calories to be converted to energy.
It is worth noting that egg yolk is one of the few foods to naturally contain vitamin D.
Are there any downsides to consuming egg yolks?
Only if you really overdo them, which is pretty much what you can say about anything! Also frying the heck out of them won’t be doing yourself quite so many favours either.
And of course what you eat your eggs with has a huge impact on the quality of your nutrition. Avoid saturated fats – these are what hit your cholesterol levels – and look for simple carbohydrates.
Steamed vegetables go really nicely with poached eggs and are always worth pairing up.
So what about egg whites?
Egg whites are the big protein supplier. They generally contain around 4g of protein whilst packing only about 17 calories. So if concentrated and healthy protein boost is what you are after, then it’s hard to beat the egg white.
The good news is that nowadays you can even avoid the whole fiddly cracking and splitting process as they are available pre-split and pasteurised in cartons and found in the expected health food shops. This way they can be easily added to your cooking and recipes.
It is evident that there are many benefits to the two primary component parts of eggs as well as taken separately. Egg yolk or egg white – Be mindful of their various benefits, consider how you prepare them and what you consume them with.
All done properly – eggs will do you the power of good!
Read more from Expert Guy Holland