When I was growing up, my mom would take two raw eggs and break them into a glass. Then she would add 1 tablespoon of Ovaltine, which is like chocolate or sugar powder basically. Not good for you, but it tastes great.
She’d mix it all together and I’d have it for breakfast. It was creamy and yummy.
I was telling this to one of my German athletes at the gym the other day, and he laughed and said, “yes, we did the same”. And then I mentioned “and sometimes my mom would also throw in a tablespoon of Cod Liver Oil” … at which point my German friend said, “Oh my God, we ate the same breakfast.”
I mention this because this is not what you would typically do in the United States. However, both my German friend and I are immigrants, so thus – we ate differently growing up.
There were no pop tarts, cereals, muffins, and so forth.
In fact, growing up I ate cow brains and tongue, as well as liver.
Now, I didn’t like it and I was forced to eat it. However, it wasn’t that bad.
Anyway, where am I going with this?…
These days and certainly in the ’80s and ’90s, people were only eating egg whites. All the bodybuilders would be doing it and well, I decided to join in.
One day my parents saw me make an egg white omelet. I had a dozen eggs and as I proceeded to throw away each yolk after yolk, my mom freaked out and said, “Oh my God, what are you doing?… you’re throwing away the best part of the egg. All the nutrients are in the yolk!!!”.
My dad on the other hand just yelled and said, “are you an idiot, that’s costing me a lot of money, stop throwing away all the damn yolks!”
I then proceed to tell them WHY I’m doing this. And how the yolk is just a lot of fat and calories. It’s not good for you. And a dozen egg whites have about 40 grams of “muscle- building” protein and have less than 200 calories…. And this is how all bodybuilders eat and this is how I’m going to get big and ripped and look like Arnold.
Well, you know… I was a teenager and thus, “young and dumb”.
Anyway, that was the last time I had an egg-white omelet at my parent’s home.
But in my 20s, I still continued to just have egg whites, never the whole egg. I didn’t question it. If the muscle magazines said to do it, I did it. I blindly followed their suggestions.
However, once again, my mom was correct. The yolk DOES contain all the nutrients.
Yes, it has all the fat, but it also has more protein too. And the cholesterol in the yolk helps produce testosterone – the REAL muscle builder!
Additionally, recent studies have found no link between egg intake and the risk of heart disease. The same review found that eating up to one egg per day might actually reduce your risk of having a stroke.1
In regards to the protein, which is the primary reason I was eating eggs, the yolk has different amino acids than the white. TOGETHER, they make up all the amino acids and has a very high (90-100) Biological Value (BV) with only Whey protein being higher (100).
The yolk and thus, the whole egg, as nature created it in perfection, has lots of benefits and far more than only eating the white.
Of course, if you’re on a low-calorie diet – keep in mind that 1 whole egg has about 70 calories, while the white has about 15. So, be mindful of this.
If you eat whole eggs, it’s ideal to be pasture-raised and honestly, eaten raw. Or, soft boil it.
But if you’re going to fry it up with some bacon and sausage, then forget it. It’s no longer healthy.
As to how many total eggs you can have a day – genetics will dictate this. I know people who have 3-6 whole eggs daily and they have great cholesterol levels. And others their cholesterol levels shoot up and stay up.
However, to play it safe, I would suggest about 6-10 whole eggs a WEEK, total. Or maybe 1 a day or 2 every other day.
You could also throw in some liquid egg whites for additional protein along with the whole eggs. But, that’s up to you.
So there you have it. Don’t be “young and dumb” like me. Eat the whole egg. Don’t bother eating only egg whites. It’s not a complete protein anyway and I’d much rather you had a different protein source.
Wild-caught salmon, pasture-raised bison, and whey protein isolate are my favorites. Along with some vegan protein powders – such as rice, pea, and hemp.