Does the white part of the egg contain the important nutrients essential for muscle growth or does the yellow part of the egg contain the important proteins? My parents keep telling me the white part is useless. Are they right?
Your parents are actually incorrect. The egg white contains one of the best sources of protein available for building muscle. Egg whites are a very low-fat, high protein source that you definitely want to include in your diet plan. Egg whites are considered to have one of the best amino acid profiles for human nutrition and they have a very high Biological Value (BV) of around 88 (100 being the highest). The Biological Value (BV) is a scale of measurement used to determine what percentage of a given nutrient source is utilized by the body. What the BV value means to you is basically how well and how quickly your body can actually use the protein you consume. The quicker the protein can get to your muscles means the better chance of building bigger and stronger muscles!
The yellow part of the egg, which is called the yolk, contains a high level of saturated fat, cholesterol and calories but it also has a fair amount of protein as well. However, the Biological Value (BV) of a whole egg is actually 100 which is the highest rating of any protein source. The yolk also has most of the egg’s nutrients and contains about 22 grams of calcium, 18 IU of Vitamin D and 25 mcg of folate.
If you are cutting calories and trying to get really lean, then you might want to limit your intake of egg yolks and stick with just the egg whites. However, for overall general health or if you want to pack on some serious muscle mass and bulk up then your best option is to include a few yolks with your egg whites for the most complete source of protein and nutrients. If you are going to eat a few yolks, then spend a little extra money on Omega-3 eggs at your local grocery store for a great way to increase the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids in your diet. A good rule of thumb is to include 1 egg yolk with every 3 egg whites. Here is the breakdown of the nutrients for both:
Fat (g): .06
Saturated Fat (g): 0
Carbs (g): .24
Protein (g): 3.6
Cholesterol (mg): 0
Fat (g): 4.51
Saturated Fat (g): 1.6
Carbs (g): .61
Protein (g): 2.7
Cholesterol (mg): 210
If you’re new to cooking, you can separate the white from the yolk in a few different ways. The easiest is the crack the egg in half and then take the 2 shells and pour the egg yolk back and forth until all the egg white spills out. Before doing this you want to make sure you have a cup or bowl under the shells before you begin. The other way to separate the egg yolk from the white is to crack the egg and then pour everything into one of your hands and let the egg white spill through your fingers and into a bowl. Since the egg whites are thin and slimy, they will go right down through the cracks of your fingers while the thicker yolk will stay intact in your hand.
Here are some great high protein meals you can make using eggs:
Egg White Veggie Omelet. Use 6-8 egg whites and 1-2 yolks (if desired) and pour into a pan on medium heat. Use Pam spray to coat the pan before adding the egg whites. Cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes. Once you see the liquid egg whites start to slowly solidify in the pan, turn the heat to low. Place 1 cup of broccoli and mushroom into a Zip’N’Steam steamer bag and place in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. Pour the steamed veggies on top of the egg whites and flip one side over with a spatula to form the omelet.
Egg Whites with Oatmeal. Cook 6-8 egg whites and 1-2 yolks (if desired) in a pan on medium heat. Pour 1 cup of old fashioned oatmeal (Bob’s Red Mill rolled oatmeal is very good) into a bowl with some water and microwave for 1-2 minutes. If you have some extra time, use steel cut oats which are very tasty and have a little more of a nutty flavor (they take about 20-25 minutes to cook). Once the oatmeal is finished, pour the cooked egg whites into the bowl and mix everything up. You can add a little cinnamon or flaxseed oil for extra taste.
Egg Whites with Swiss Cheese Over Toast. Cook 6-8 egg whites and 1-2 yolks (if desired) in a pan on medium heat. Use a good quality bread like Ezekiel bread and place 2 slices in a toaster. While the egg whites are cooking, place 1 slice of low-fat Swiss cheese onto the egg whites. Let the cheese melt for 2-3 minutes and then flip one side of the egg whites with a spatula to form the omelet. Cut the omelet in half and place both onto 2 pieces of toast. You can also scramble the egg whites if desired.