Conventional wisdom says that in order to get a six pack or fit into your favorite bikini you have to cut your cholesterol and fat. One easy way to do that is to hold the egg yolk. Today with 600,000 Americans dying of heart disease each year, a large percentage of our population has gone yolk free.
For all of you bikini dreamers out there I’m sorry to say, but you’ve been doing it all wrong.
The egg yolk is the healthiest part, and here’s why…
What about the Cholesterol?
A single egg contains approximately 200mg of cholesterol. Well, that may seem like a lot of cholesterol to you, but the good news is, there is no correlation between eating eggs and increasing the risk of heart disease.
To better understand cholesterol, we must first understand what it is responsible for in the body. To put it simply, cholesterol is a compound synthesized by the liver and is essential in activating the release of neurotransmitters. Cholesterol is vital for brain function. There’s no better way to start your day then tossing in a couple of egg yolks for breakfast.
Not only are egg yolks not responsible for heart disease, but they may elevate your HDL, the good cholesterol, and increase the size of your LDL, the bad cholesterol. It can increase the size from small LDL, the number one cause for heart disease, to large LDL, which is less harmful, thereby, reducing the risk of heart disease.
One question commonly asked is whether there is a limit to one’s egg consumption? The conventional wisdom has always been to limit egg yolks to 2-6 per week. However, recently, the American Heart Association removed that limit, and advocates reducing overall cholesterol through good eating practices.
Now you can start enjoying your eggs stress-free.
The recent craze has been to go gluten-free and dairy-free. Individuals have eliminated these foods both to lose weight and because of allergies. Surprisingly, egg white allergy is second only to dairy allergy in prevalence. Egg white allergies affect 1.6 — 3.2% of the general population. This is just another reason that the egg yolk is far superior to its brother egg white.
Another reason to not only eat the egg white is that you miss out on a large number of essential vitamins. Egg yolks are rich in the B-complex vitamin choline. Traditionally, choline-rich foods are found in liver, but how many of us are eating liver on a daily basis, except possibly during Passover? Choline supports fetal brain development and overall health in general. In fact, according to one study, choline-rich foods, when eaten by the mother while pregnant are responsible for the child having a lifelong increase in memory and attention. Shockingly, today 90% of Americans are choline deficient.
Besides choline, egg yolks are also one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. There is the fallacy that as an adult you should be drinking milk to help maintain strong bones. There are alternatives to drinking milk to obtain your vitamin D. If you are vitamin D deficient, you may have brittle bones. Vitamin D also protects older adults from osteoporosis, and plays key roles in cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduces inflammation.
Not only are eggs loaded with vitamins, but also great for your sex drive. The egg yolk contains a higher percentage than the egg white of the vitamin known as selenium, which is also found in Brazil nuts. Selenium is important in the sexual health for men, assisting in sperm production and its motility. A deficiency in selenium can lead to infertility in men.
Cholesterol may also play a role in improving your sex drive. According to Tim Ferris, 24 hours prior to sex and three hours prior to bedtime, you should eat at least 800 milligrams of cholesterol, which would be four whole eggs.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You may have heard from your doctor about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids. Traditionally, omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish. However, with elevated mercury levels and steep prices for wild caught fish, the egg yolk is a great complement to receive some of your omega-3 fatty acids. However, there is a caveat to this wisdom. If you do consume eggs, it is highly recommended to eat pasture-raised rather than pasteurized eggs, which may come from factory farms. You can find pasture-raised eggs at food co-ops, farm stands, a Community Supported Agriculture share (CSA), or your local farm. There, you can personally meet the farmers and see their hens. If that is not your scene, the next best option after pasture-raised eggs is organic, free-range/cage-free eggs. This can be found at most grocery stores. Pasture-raised eggs contain 0.66g of omega-3 fatty acids, as opposed to conventional eggs, which contain only 1/3 this amount.
Pasture-raised eggs have comparable amounts of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, as opposed to the conventional egg, which has 20 times more omega-6 fatty acids. This ratio is important in preventing heart disease. Research also shows strong evidence that omega-3s can lower triglycerides and blood pressure, other important measures for heart disease.
Next time you pull out your carton of eggbeaters, stop, turn around, and drive to your health food store. Cook yourself up a delicious pasture-raised omelet and include the egg yolk. I hope that you will reconsider this conventional wisdom, and good luck with bikini season!
 Mine Y, Yang M. Recent advances in the understanding of egg allergens: basic, industrial and clinical perspectives. J Agric Food Chem 2008;56:4874-4900.
 Zeisel, SH. The fetal origins of memory: the role of dietary choline in optimal brain development. J Pediatr. 2006;149:S131-S136.