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Ask an Expert: Should I Only Eat Egg Whites?

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It seems we've received scrambled messages: does the argument against eating whole eggs have a crack in it? We asked our metabolism and sports nutrition expert Douglas S. Kalman PhD, RD to weigh in on this over-easy topic. (Other puns we couldn't fit in here: deviled, hard-boiled, runny.)

Expert's Take

Douglas Kalman, PhD, RD: It seems that having high blood cholesterol levels is a risk factor for heart disease. Since how much and what kinds of foods you eat affects not only your weight, but your health, should one learn to always avoid foods high in cholesterol?

In the case of cholesterol and heart disease, we certainly put the blame squarely on foods high in cholesterol, and in the past, the egg was at the center of that witch hunt. But really, whole eggs have gotten a bad rap.

Eggs naturally contain about 185 mg of cholesterol, down from the 210 mg. The egg has been on a diet. Eggs can be separated into two basic parts, the white (albumin) and the yellow (yolk). The yolk is where all of the cholesterol and fat is stored, whereas the majority of protein occurs in the egg white. Choline, a nutrient good for memory is also found in the yolk as is Vitamin D as are some other phytonutrients (lutein and other carotenoids).

But myths do not die easily, so: there is nothing wrong with having a whole egg. Keeping in mind the credo of all things in moderation, general recommendations for healthy people, includes no more than one whole egg per day. People interested in getting adequate or extra protein without added cholesterol (we are not supposed to get more than 300 mg per day if your blood values are within normal), can use extra egg whites as a protein source.

(Note: We're big fans of two egg white, 1 whole egg omelettes here at Greatist headquarters.)

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