We often hear that egg yolks should be thrown away when we follow a bodybuilding diet. It is recommended that only the egg whites should be consumed. But is this the right way to consume and reap the benefits from eggs ?
Let’s take a look at one medium size egg. Its egg white has about 4 grams of protein, 16 calories and no carbs or fats whatsoever. The yolk usually gets thrown away with all the nutrients inside because of the cholesterol it contains.
The egg yolk has about 2.7 g of protein, 4.5 g of fat and about 55 calories. But it also has omega-3 fatty acids, almost identical to those found in salmon for example. Omega-3 fats play an important role in proper function of the brain, eyes, the connection between cells in the nervous system, regulation of the fat levels in blood etc.
Our habits and diets are such that they don’t provide enough omega-3 on a daily basis, which can lead to problems with tendons, depression, loss of muscle mass etc. Besides DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid, which is a part of omega 3 fats, and is present with around 18 mg per egg (or up to 120 mg in some special sorts of eggs), the egg yolk is rich in lecithin.
Lecithin has the role of improving the cell membrane function, which on the other hand controls what gets in and what gets out from the cell. Besides keeping the cell membranes healthy, lecithin helps in keeping cholesterol levels under control and it’s a component that is rarely found in other foods.
So if you are on a fat cutting diet (before competition or something similar) you can eat 1-2 egg yolks a day simply because of their calories, but if you are not too concerned about your body fat percentage being too low, you can freely add 4-5 whole eggs on a daily basis.