If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s no doubt you’ve come across the healthy swaps.
If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s no doubt you’ve come across the healthy swaps: sweet potatoes instead of potatoes, black coffee instead of lattes, skim instead of whole milk.
You know the drill. And while swapping out certain foods for lower calorie and/or healthier options can help you lose weight, it’s worth taking a closer look before clearing out your fridge.
Case in point: the egg vs. egg white debate.
For years, the egg white omelet has been touted as the ultimate healthy breakfast, but are the yolks all that bad?
Studies show eating the whole egg, yolk included, can contribute to weight loss and even increase HDL cholesterol (a.k.a. the good kind), says Ashvini Mashru, R.D., author of Small Steps to Slim and the owner of Wellness Nutrition Concepts, based in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
But in reality, eggs are nutrient powerhouses and incorporating them into your diet can help you stick to your weight-loss plan and even help you shed a few pounds, says Mashru.
Yes, an egg white contains about 17 calories—compared to a whole egg's 70 calories. The problem is that it’s the nutrients in the egg are what keep you feeling satisfied.
So, it’s more likely that you’ll feel hungrier faster after eating egg whites than you would an egg, says Mashru. That’s because the nutrients in the yolk, like protein, B12, iron, and vitamin D, keep you full.
In fact, the combination of muscle-building protein and fat-melting vitamin B12 is a recipe for muscle toning and weight-loss success, says Mashru.
“You’re getting a lot of bang for your buck of just 70 calories,” says Mashru. So when you toss the yolk, you are missing out on many health-boosting benefits, she says. “It doesn’t get its name—the incredible, edible egg—for no reason."
So yes, you could use egg whites as a weight-loss tool—if you’re down for being hungry. But for a more satisfying breakfast, don’t be scared to reach for those eggs.