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Egg whites or whole eggs: What should you have for breakfast?

As breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you are more mindful of what your morning plate has.

Written by Saswati Sarkar |Updated : July 11, 2018 2:55 AM IST

You exercise regularly, keep an eye on what you eat (and drink too!) and sleep on time. In a nutshell, you are a health conscious individual who is always on the good book of a doctor, a fitness expert and a nutritionist. So, your restaurant order includes only grilled food and salads and your regular diet is full of leafy greens, vegetables, healthy fats, so on and so forth. As breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you are more mindful of what your morning plate has. It seldom sees that tempting sunny side up, right? That's because you think egg whites are healthier. However, recent research and experts have a different take on this. Here, we settle the egg debate for you.

Egg white facts

Yes, egg whites virtually have no fat or carbohydrates and about 100 per cent of their calories come from protein alone. Four egg whites will be equal to 14g protein, 1g carbohydrate, 0 fat and about 70 calories. So, it's but natural that they have been hailed as champions against the so-called problems (calories, fats, and cholesterol) hidden in the yolks. But you should know something else about those healthy whites: They come with no nutritional value except for protein.

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Read:What happens when you eat too many eggs a day?

Whole egg truths

True that the yolk of your whole egg has a lot of cholesterol and fat. Four whole eggs equal to 28g protein, 2g carb, 21g fat and 312 calories. But your whole egg is a goldmine of nutrition too! It is rich in vitamins A, D, E and K and much more. It has got oxygen-transporting iron, bone-forming phosphorus, immune-boosting zinc and blood cell-making folate. Additionally, egg yolk contains a crucial nutrient called choline which improves brain health, amps up muscle strength and is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Not sold on whole eggs yet? Well, here is another fact for you: The fats and cholesterol in that yolk are necessary for the secretion of hormones such as testosterone.

Whole eggs have gone through various phases of being good for you, then bad and good again. The main reason behind the wave of 'eggophobia' was its high cholesterol and saturated fat content. Both were associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. However, recent research, including one published in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, stated that both these elements are not the crucial markers of coronary heart disease. There are also other studies which say that having more dietary cholesterol does not necessarily increase the levels this compound in your blood.

A study out in the International Journal of Obesity found that eggs can boost weight-loss too! The study participants were divided into two groups: A group fed on an egg-based breakfast ( 2 eggs a day) and another, fed on bagel-based breakfast. The group that ate eggs saw a 65 per cent greater weight loss. Even the decrease in their waistline was 34 per cent higher than the group eating bagel for their morning meal.

The verdict

Whole eggs are a nutritional powerhouse. You shouldn't shun the yellow goodness of the egg yolk. Go for egg whites only when you need a quick protein burst, because the dietary fat in your egg yolk may slow the protein absorption capacity of your body. But you should also remember that protein, when slowly absorbed, stays with you for longer. Moreover, whole eggs have a strong amino acid profile which helps in bodybuilding.

Smart buying tip: Choose omega-3 eggs over the normal ones. They can be a good source of DHA, the healthy fat found in fish and fish oil supplements as well. DHA boosts brain power and helps you in losing weight.

Read: Can you eat eggs and milk for gout? An expert busts myths

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