Egg is considered as the cheapest non-vegetarian food. In the United States, at just 13 cents apiece, even the poorest American can afford a two-egg omelet for his morning breakfast. But the cholesterol content in the egg has become the major health concern of the modern world.
Yolk of an egg is a storehouse of cholesterol
Eggs are a good source of protein which is easily available everywhere. But the cholesterol threat that leads to many heart problems of modern health has made the cholesterol content of egg a subject of serious study. Though egg is a good source of protein, minerals and vitamins, the yolk of an egg contains fat and cholesterol. Over half the calories of an egg come from the fat in the yolk. If you compare the protein content of egg yolks and whites, you can easily find that the protein of the egg white is more than the egg yolk. But if you compare the fat of both you can find that egg white has only 0.05 grams fat while the yolk has 4.5 grams. It is because the egg white is made up of 87% water and 13% protein.
Nutrient contents of egg yolk and white
The yolk makes up about 33% of the liquid weight of the egg and contains 60 calories, three times caloric content of the egg white. Normally an egg weighs 50-60 grams and the yolk 17-20 grams.
According to USDA National Nutrient Database, the yolk of one large egg contains approximately 2.7 g protein, 210 mg cholesterol, 0.61 g carbohydrates, and 4.51 g total fat. All the fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, are found in the egg yolk and it is one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D.
Saturated fat in egg yolk
Egg yolk contains saturated fat which raises blood cholesterol and LDL levels. Saturated fatty acids contained in an egg are: A whole egg contains many fatty acids, such as Palmitic acid 23%, Stearic acid 4%, and Myristic acid 1%.
Yoke free eggs
The white of the egg, known as albumin, contains more water and has no cholesterol at all. Since the yolk is the part of an egg which feeds the developing embryo it contains more protein, minerals and vitamins. Eggs with yoke are good for growing children and pregnant women whereas yoke free eggs are good for patients who have heart problems.
Health risk of egg yolk
The health risk found in egg yolk seems to be great. Researches reveal that dietary cholesterol increases the ratio of total HDL cholesterol and, therefore, adversely affects the body’s cholesterol profile. Although moderate consumption of eggs, up to one a day, may not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals, if many eggs are consumed, the saturated fat in egg yolk may increase the cholesterol level and cause health hazards. Since eggs are high in cholesterol and high egg consumption may increase your blood cholesterol, it is always safer to be moderate in consuming eggs.
To conclude this essay, persons with normal cholesterol can enjoy whole eggs, in moderation, as part of their low-saturated-fat diet. But it is highly suggested that eggs should not be taken with butter, cheese, bacon or sausage, since all of them are high in saturated fat.