Eggs have caught a bad rep for the cholesterol levels of the yolk. You’ve probably experienced first-hand the egg-whites only trend. This is a travesty! The most nutritious part of the egg (not to mention delicious) is the yolk. For those trying to build muscle mass and cut fat, you need to pack protein alongside a rigorous workout plan. Eggs pack protein and contain essential nutrients that promote muscle growth.
The Nutrition Facts
One large egg contains 7 grams of protein and is only about 70 calories. Egg yolks also contain vitamin B12, which is essential for fat breakdown and muscle contraction. Not to mention, eggs are packed with riboflavin, folate, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and vitamins B6, D, and E.
For charts and a complete breakdown of the nutritional facts, click here.
The Cholesterol Claim
Many have dubbed eggs as unhealthy due to the cholesterol levels of the yolks. Don’t worry about cholesterol in eggs. Dietary cholesterol isn’t bound to blood cholesterol. If you have bad cholesterol, lower your body fat rather than throwing the yolk away.
The Health Benefits
As The Incredible Egg reports, eggs provide the following health benefits:
- Weight management: The high-quality protein in eggs helps you to feel fuller longer and stay energized, which contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.1
- Muscle strength and muscle-loss prevention: Research indicates that high-quality protein may help active adults build muscle strength and help prevent muscle loss in middle-aged and aging adults.2
- Healthy pregnancy: Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps prevent birth defects. Two eggs provide about 250 milligrams of choline, or roughly half of the recommended daily intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women.3
- Brain function: Choline also aids the brain function of adults by maintaining the structure of brain cell membranes, and is a key component of the neuro-transmitter that helps relay messages from the brain through nerves to the muscles.4
- Eye health: Lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in egg yolks, help prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related blindness. Though eggs contain a small amount of these two nutrients, research shows that the lutein from eggs may be more bioavailable than lutein from other food sources.5
Recipes & Cooking Tips
1 Weigle DS, et al. 2005. A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 82:41-48.
2 Evans WJ. 2004. Protein Nutrition, Exercise and Aging. J Am Coll Nutr. 23(6)601S-609S.
3 Zeisel SH. Choline: Critical role during fetal development and dietary requirements in adults. Annu Rev Nutr, 2006; 26:229-50.
4 Moeller SM, et al. 2000. The Potential Role of Dietary Xanthophylls in Cataract and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. J Am Coll Nutr. 19(5):522S-527S.
5 Chung HY, et al. Lutein bioavailability is higher from lutein-enriched eggs than from supplements and spinach in men. J Nutr. 2004; 134:1887-1893.