I grew up eating eggs without ever thinking twice about removing the yolks. As I got more involved in the fitness world, I learned that many people only consume the egg whites. The main arguments for this practice are that egg whites are low in calories and contain no cholesterol. In a large egg, the yolk accounts for 55 calories whereas the egg white only contains 17 calories. This caloric difference is because (1) egg whites consist of 90% water and (2) egg yolks contain fats. One large egg yolk contains 4.5 grams of fat. Read this WebMD article about good and bad fats.
In the calorie-obsessed fitness environment, it is very easy for us to dismiss the egg yolks. But what else are we discarding when we throw out the yolk?
In addition to 2.7 g of protein, in one large egg yolk there are several vitamins and minerals including:
- Calcium (22 mg)
- Iron (0.46 mg)
- Phosphorus (66 mg)
- Potassium (19 mg)
- Sodium (8 mg)
- Zinc (0.39 mg)
- Selenium (9.5mcg)
- Folate (24.8 mcg)
- Vitamin B12 (0.3mcg)
But then there’s the cholesterol argument. One large egg yolk contains 184 milligrams of cholesterol and for decades most of us believed that there is a link between the consumption of dietary cholesterol (as found in eggs) and coronary heart disease (CHD). Recently, however, there have been studies (like this one and this one) that provide evidence indicating that there is “no association between egg intake and increased or decreased risk of CHD”. It is still recommended to that you limit dietary cholesterol (as supported by this study) if you currently suffer from coronary artery disease, heart issues and are at risk of vascular disease.
So what’s the final decision? I can’t say for sure; I am still torn. I will continue doing my own research into this topic and you should too. I used whole eggs in this quinoa egg muffin recipe. But if you prefer, you can use egg whites only by substituting each egg with two egg whites.
Prep time: 10 minutes . Cook Time: 20 minutes . Yield: Serves 4
6 Large Eggs or 12 Egg Whites
2 Cups Quinoa, cooked
1/2 Cup Reduced-Fat Shredded Cheddar
1/2 Cup Green Onions, chopped
1/2 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 to 2 Jalapeno Peppers, chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
Dash of Dried Thyme
Salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tray with large paper baking cups or coat with cooking spray. This recipe calls for 6 large muffin tins.
2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat; coat with cooking spray. Cook green onions, jalapenos and garlic for about 3 minutes until vegetables are fragrant. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine quinoa, eggs, cheese, sun dried tomatoes, thyme and cooked vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Mix well.
4. Fill each muffin tin with about 1/2 to 2/3 cups of quinoa mixture. Bake for 20 minutes until muffins are firm. Cool for about 5-10 minutes before removing from muffin tins.
5. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Muffins can also be frozen for longer.
Nutrition per muffin (whole eggs): 187 Cals; 17g Carb; 8g Fat; 12g Protein; 3g Dietary Fiber
Nutrition per muffin (egg whites): 157 Cals; 17g Carb; 4g Fat; 13g Protein; 3g Dietary Fiber
Nutrition calculated using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Importer