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Separate egg fact from fiction

Published in For the Health of It Author: Clara Vancura, Registered Dietitian

Scrambled, over easy or over hard? Perhaps no single ingredient is as versatile as eggs. It also may be one of the most misunderstood foods. To keep confusion from hatching, let’s clear up some myths about the incredible, edible egg.

Myth: Egg whites are healthy, but egg yolks are not.

Yes, egg whites contain a good amount of protein and vitamin B. But much of what makes eggs good for you comes from the yolk. Eating egg yolks increases the amount of calories you consume. But yolks also contain nearly half of the egg’s protein, vitamins D and B12, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals that benefit the eyes, bones and brain.

Myth: But eggs contain cholesterol and that’s not good for one’s heart.

Cholesterol has gotten a bit of bad rap in the nutritional world. It’s true that one medium egg contains more than half of your recommended daily intake. But cholesterol is used to make hormones and vital parts of our cells. It’s so vital that if you don’t eat enough cholesterol, your liver will make it instead to keep up its supply.

Furthermore, the American Heart Association has stopped cholesterol limit recommendations. Now, doctors focus more on saturated fats and sugars and how these items (along with a lack of exercise) contribute to heart disease.

Eggs themselves contain very little saturated fat — but some of the things you use to prepare them could include them. So it’s good to take note of that when meal planning.

Myth: Brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs.

There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. Certain breeds of hens lay brown eggs and other breeds of hens lay white eggs. In general, hens that lay brown eggs are larger birds and require more feed—so they cost more. And with no other difference, that may be a large reason white eggs are so common at the grocery store.