Need to know some good info on egg white nutrition? Quick background then; eggs are one of the most common items on the breakfast menu in America and many other countries. They provide a good base of protein to help get your day started, and they are filling enough to keep any hunger pangs away before heading out to school or work until lunch time rolls around. They have not been without controversy, however.
They are notoriously high in cholesterol, which is one thing many health conscious people try to shy away from. It has been found that all of this cholesterol is concentrated in the yolk. For this reason, it has become common practice to just have egg whites as part of a meal. While egg white lack this big negative from the yolk, it is helpful to look at what this part of the egg contains in the way of positive nutritional value.
Good Source of Protein
While the yolk does have some protein, the whites have a respectable amount too. This is good to know for those of us who need a protein boost first thing in the morning and want to know we’re not losing that by only having the whites from an egg. Protein helps us feel more energetic for the day ahead and can also make you feel full longer, so it is an important part of any breakfast to get you through the busiest morning.
Perfect if You’re Trying to Cut Down on Your Fat Intake
Egg whites have practically no fat. This is another of the attributes of a whole egg that are generally considered bad by some and, like the cholesterol, is contained within the yolk. This makes egg whites an ideal part of any meal for someone on a low fat diet.
Of course, we all need some fat in our diets, however, other sources, such as oils, that do not also have the negative of cholesterol, may be better for your health.
Calories in an Egg
Eggs are a relatively low calorie food when taken as a whole. Take the yolk away, and you remove about three quarters of these already few calories. Just about anything you put on the plate next to egg whites will have more calories than them, so if you are calorie counting, this is one food you won’t have to worry about.
The cereal some people might be filling up on in place of eggs will have far more calories, and most of them will also have sugar and other negative ingredients as well.
Egg Whites are a Little Sparse on Actual Nutrients
While the yolk of the egg contains the cholesterol, fat and the lion’s share of calories, it also has a lot of the content of a whole egg that is considered good for us. Egg whites have the bulk of the magnesium, potassium and niacin that are contained in a whole egg and roughly half the Riboflavin. Other than these few nutrients, the whites are pretty weak in terms of nutritional content.
All the vitamins A, D, E and K as well as all the B vitamins except for Niacin and Riboflavin in an egg are concentrated in the yolk. Vitamin A is essential for good vision, cell growth and a healthy immune system. Vitamin D is important for helping the body absorb the mineral calcium, which keeps our bones strong. The B vitamins possess a myriad of health benefits, and vitamin K is essential for blood clotting so that cuts heal properly. All of the minerals choline and zinc, and practically all of the phosphorous contained in eggs are also in the yolk. Phosphorous is critical for bone formation, and zinc provides a powerful boost to our immune system. Choline helps keep our hearts healthy. This list of benefits is not complete.
All of these vitamins and minerals have other critical health benefits, and deficiencies in any of them can set one up for health problems down the road. If you only eat egg whites to cut down on your fat or cholesterol intake, then be sure you get these critical vitamins and minerals from other sources.
Part of a Nutritious Diet
While egg whites are not nutritionally complete enough to be the only thing you have in the morning before heading off to work or school, they can be an important part of your diet. Additionally, let’s not underestimate the healthy nutrients in egg whites. While the bulk of the nutrients are in the yolk, those that are in the whites are an essential part of a healthy diet.
Magnesium aids our bodies in keeping our hearts functioning normally and our blood pressure at healthy levels. It is also believed to be helpful in treating migraines, insomnia and depression. Potassium is required by the body for the proper functioning of our nerves and helps our muscles to move including the heart. Also, the body does need some fat and cholesterol.
They just have a bad reputation because our normal western diet is far too heavy in these things.
By not adding fat or cholesterol to your dietary intake in the form of egg yolks, you have the flexibility to get some of these in other foods that you prefer over eggs throughout the course of your day without consuming an excessive amount. Egg whites do contain nearly all the sodium that is in an egg. Given that Americans and others who follow a Western diet get too much sodium in their diets, this may actually be the only unhealthy thing in egg whites. Overall, though, egg whites, and even an occasional whole egg, are an excellent addition to any diet if you do not already consume them regularly.
It is one of the most versatile foods in terms of the variety of ways in which it can be cooked and this only adds to its desirability. Eggs are among the most highly consumed foods on earth, and egg whites will add some good and almost none of the bad associated with this food to your diet.