Which part of the egg is healthier between egg white and egg yolk? If you were to ask this question, most people would respond that it’s the egg white that’s healthier than the egg yolk. But just because egg whites are low in calories and have almost no fat and no cholesterol, that doesn’t necessarily make them healthier than egg yolks. Egg yolks are nutritionally dense and house almost all the content of essential vitamins and minerals in the egg, meaning they are an important, even bigger source of benefits for health. And they have more protein than egg whites for the same amount.
When it comes to nutritional value, the yolk is definitely healthier than the egg white. But the egg white is definitely the healthier choice for anyone needing to cut down on their daily calorie intake, and intake of fat. Which leads us to the only reasonable conclusion: whole eggs are healthy, nutritionally dense and complete foods, but if you had to choose the part of the egg that is healthier and better for you, then that would be the part that best meets your individual nutritional requirements at a given time, without being a source of side effects.
Which part of the egg is healthier?
There are clearly important differences between egg whites and egg yolks in terms of nutrition. At the same time, there are lots of benefits to eating both egg white and egg yolk, but the benefits are different. Depending on what you may be looking for in terms of nutrition and benefits for health, you may benefit more from eating either one part of the egg or the other. Find out which part of the egg, the egg white or the egg yolk, is healthier in various circumstances and why.
For losing weight: egg white
For weight loss benefits, choose egg whites over egg yolk. If you need to lose weight, then that means you have to cut down on you daily calorie intake. Egg yolks contain almost all of the fat in eggs which means they are rich in calories. Egg whites on the other hand are about 86% to almost 90% water and over 10% protein, have almost no fat and are low in calories. For weight loss, the white part of the egg is definitely the right choice.
For more protein: both parts of the egg
If you are looking to up you protein intake, then know you can eat both egg whites and egg yolk. Both parts of the egg are naturally high in protein. How much protein in egg white? There are 10 to 11 grams of protein per 100 grams of egg white. How much protein in egg yolk? There are 15.8 to 16 grams of protein per 100 grams of egg yolk.
For building muscle mass: egg white, egg yolk, or both
You build muscle mass and tone the body via physical exercise, but need protein to bulk up. For more protein in your diet you can eat either egg whites or egg yolks. Both parts of the egg have a high content of protein and contain all essential amino acids and a few non-essential ones.
However, if you also need to lose some weight, and you need a certain body fat percentage for muscle gain and tone to show, then egg white is the better choice. If you don’t need to lose weight, or, on the contrary, would need to extra calories too, then egg yolk would be better. Or whole eggs.
There is more protein in one egg white than in one egg yolk: 3.6 g of protein per one egg white vs 2.7 g of protein per one egg yolk. But that’s just because the egg white is bigger than the egg yolk. When comparing equal amounts of egg white and yolk, there is actually more protein in egg yolk than in egg white.
For more iron: egg yolk
To get more iron in your diet, egg yolk is better than egg white. How much iron in egg yolk? 100 grams of egg yolk provides 15% of daily iron requirements for the average adult on a 2000 kcal (kilocalories) diet. How much iron in egg white? 100 grams of egg white provides only 0.4% of daily iron requirements.
For more vitamin B12: egg yolk
To get more vitamin B12 in your diet, egg yolk is better because just one yolk provides over 13% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin B12 for the average adult. A serving of 100 g of egg yolk provides 81% of the vitamin.
For a stronger immune system: both parts of the egg
For better immunity, both egg white and yolk are good for you because they provide high amounts of protein which the body uses to build antibodies and other immune system cells for the immune system response. The difference is the egg yolk is slightly healthier because it also provides high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin D and zinc, micronutrients that actively support the immune system.
Vitamin D from egg yolk has an immunomodulatory action, and actively contributes to the immune system response. Cholesterol from the yolk helps the body absorb and process vitamin D. Vitamin A in the egg yolk activates skin cell regeneration processes for wound healing and protects the integrity of mucous membranes against infection.
For more energy: egg yolk
For more energy, egg yolk is better than egg white because it’s higher in essential micronutrients such as B vitamins and iron which actively combat tiredness and fatigue. Iron and vitamin B12 are needed to make red blood cells and hemoglobin in red blood cells with benefits such as increased vitality and higher energy levels.
For pregnancy: egg yolk
Egg yolk is the healthier part of the egg for you if you are pregnant. During pregnancy nutritional requirements are increased. But that doesn’t mean eating a lot more food. It means eating more nutritious food. And egg yolks are not just nutritionally dense, but also provide most of the nutrients a woman needs during pregnancy for both the normal development of the the baby, and her health.
Egg yolk is high in vitamin B9 which has been shown to prevent defects of the brain, spine and spinal cord of the baby during pregnancy. Egg yolk also provides lots of vitamin B12, and other B vitamins, which support the expanding circulatory system of the pregnant women. Rich in iron, the yolk combats pregnancy fatigue and restores vitality.
For learning and memory: egg yolk, or whole eggs
For sustained intellectual effort, eat egg yolk or whole eggs, not just egg white. The benefit is egg yolk provides fat which is a part of every cell membrane in the body, brain cells included, and both contributes to the physical makeup of parts of the brain, and nourishes the brain.
For high cholesterol: egg white
If you have high cholesterol and associated cardiovascular disease, egg white is healthier for you than egg yolk. While both parts of the egg provide nutrients with benefits for the heart, the difference is the egg white has almost no fat, and is cholesterol free, and thus contributes to healthier cholesterol levels and profile.
For type 2 diabetes: egg white
Egg white is healthier for you if you have type 2 diabetes, although you can definitely eat whole eggs provided intake is reasonable and tailored to your individual nutritional requirements. However, the egg white has a low content of carbs and a high content of protein and is good for blood sugar control. At the same time, it’s low in fat and calories and helps with weight loss and weight management, a crucial aspect of type 2 diabetes management.
For better fertility: egg yolk
For better fertility, the egg yolk is the better choice. Egg yolk is a good source of zinc and high in selenium with benefits for male and female fertility. It’s also high in cholesterol which is needed to synthesize hormones for the endocrine system and boost fertility. Egg yolks have a good content of vitamin D which can contribute to higher pregnancy rates, that is, increase your chances of getting pregnant, and better pregnancy outcomes.
For anemia: egg yolk
Egg yolk is high in iron and most B vitamins, all of which have anti-anemia effects. The body needs iron and vitamins B6, B9 and B12 to make red blood cells and hemoglobin in red blood cells to transport oxygen to tissues. Getting enough of these nutrients every day helps combat tiredness and fatigue, muscle weakness and lethargy, and restores vitality.
For high blood pressure: egg white, and egg yolk in moderation
Both egg white and egg yolk are good for high blood pressure, but benefits are minor. Both parts of the egg have small amounts of potassium and magnesium, around 2-3% of daily values for the average adult per 100 g. Magnesium and potassium help reduce pressure in blood vessels and relax blood vessel walls for better blood flow and lower blood pressure numbers.
For child nutrition: egg whites and egg yolks
A growing child needs good nutrition and eggs are an affordable and nutritionally dense food. Unless there is an allergic background, eggs are a gold mine for child development.
Due to their nutrition, eggs are good for the normal growth and development of a child, both physical growth and intellectual development. Nutrients such as vitamin D, phosphorus, B vitamins, iron, fats, cholesterol and protein hold benefits for bones, teeth, skin, eyes and mucous membranes as well as support intellectual effort. See more nutrition facts of egg yolk.
For strong, healthy hair: egg whites and egg yolks
Hair needs nourishment from within, as well as cosmetic care. Egg whites and egg yolks are good for hair because of their high content of protein which helps build strong, healthy hair. Moreover, vitamins in egg yolk contribute to scalp health and hair growth.
For healthy skin: egg yolks
Egg yolks are the better choice when it comes to skin health. Yolks are rich in fat which is needed to build skin cell membranes. Fat and vitamins A and E in egg yolks exert antioxidant effects and help protect skin cells from free radical damage. Vitamin A in egg yolks, which is preformed vitamin A in the form of retinol, also regulates skin cell renewal and has antiaging effects.
Also, amino acids that form the protein in both egg whites and egg yolks help produce collagen and elastin, two structural proteins needed for skin elasticity.
For the brain: egg yolk, but also egg white
High in fat and protein, egg yolk actively nourishes the brain and helps build brain cell membranes. Fat and protein from the yolk help combat brain fog, and support learning, memory and other cognitive functions. Egg yolk has most of the vitamin B12 and all the cholesterol in the egg. Vitamin B12 and cholesterol are needed to build the protective insulating coating around the tail of neurons called the myelin sheath for effective brain-body communication.
Also, the essential amino acids that make up the protein in both egg white and yolk help synthesize neurotransmitters that regulate brain and nervous system activities such as appetite, mood, sleep and productivity.
For bloating and burping: egg whites, but also egg yolks
If you are suffering from bloating and excessive burping, then reducing your fiber intake might just be the solution for you. Egg whites, but also egg yolks are very low carb and free of dietary fiber and should help with bloating and excessive burping.
For acid reflux and gastritis: egg whites, and yolk
If you have acid reflux or gastritis, eating eggs might just be good for you. Both parts of the egg are free of dietary fiber and very low in carbs so they won’t irritate an already sensitive stomach lining. They are also high in protein which provides nutrition and satiety, without eliciting any gastrointestinal discomfort or causing any side effects.
However, egg yolks are high in fat which is more difficult to digest, so intake should be reasonable to avoid side effects. Ideally, have eggs for breakfast, and cook them lightly (e.g. hard-boiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, poached eggs).
For good vision: egg yolks
Egg yolk is definitely the healthier part of the egg when it comes to benefits for eyesight. The yolk houses all of the vitamin A content of the egg, and contains primarily preformed vitamin A, or retinol with benefits for visual acuity, color vision and vision in low light. Egg whites have no vitamin A. See more nutrition facts of egg white.
Egg yolks also have small amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, two pigmented yellow carotenoid antioxidants that get absorbed in the retina and macula lutea area of the eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin physically protect the eyes from damage from light, and can help lower risks of cataract and age related macular degeneration, AMD.
For thyroid health: egg white and egg yolk
Both egg whites and egg yolk have a good content of selenium which regulates thyroid activity and iodine metabolism for good thyroid health. Just one egg yolk at 17 grams gets you over 17% of your daily selenium requirements, while a serving of 100 grams of egg yolks has over 100% selenium. By comparison, 100 grams of egg white provides over 36% of daily selenium requirements.
For bones and teeth: egg yolk
The egg yolk is healthier than the egg white when it comes to bones and teeth health. Egg yolks are high in phosphorus which regulates the processes of bone absorption and bone creation, helping build strong bones and teeth. 100 grams of egg yolk has over 55% of daily phosphorus requirements for the average adult. One egg yolk at 17 grams provides close to 9.5% of daily phosphorus values.
Egg yolks also have vitamin D which regulates endocrine processes that contribute to bone formation and calcium absorption into bones. 100 grams of egg yolk provides 27% of daily vitamin D values, while one egg yolk has only 4.5% vitamin D. Cholesterol which is all contained in the yolk further optimizes vitamin D absorption from food and vitamin D synthesis from exposure to sunlight.