Are Egg Whites Good for You?

We’re sure you’ve heard someone order egg whites only. In fact, it is becoming a prominent food on breakfast menus across the country. But weren’t we always taught that eggs, on the whole, are healthy? Below, we’re going to provide some insights on the egg white phenomena and hopefully answer the question: are egg whites good for you?

Are Egg Whites Good For You?

In short, the answer is absolutely. The reason so many people use egg whites is because while this is a low-calorie food that is also incredibly high in protein. For this reason, many individuals who are watching their weight but still need a good source of protein turn to egg whites. In fact, the amino acids present in egg whites are ones that your body can’t produce on its own. Add egg whites to any meal for a healthy extra kick.

1. Low in Calories

You’ve probably heard from a young age that eggs are healthy. Maybe you’ve even heard it mentioned as a super food. In truth, eggs aren’t very high in calories, which does make them healthy. However, while one egg boasts about 71 calories, you can eliminate over half of them simply by removing the yolk. Egg whites have roughly 16 calories. So the next time you go to order an egg white omelet, be sure to ask for egg whites only. You’ll still get plenty of egg-tastic benefits and fewer calories.

2. No Cholesterol

Cholesterol is one of those things you know you should pay attention to, but you don’t unless your doctor warns you that yours is too high. A full egg, which includes the yolk, is actually packed with cholesterol, including enough to count for your entire day’s caloric intake. However what most people don’t realize is that cholesterol is all in the egg yolk. Remove it and you’ll have a healthy alternative.

3. High Protein

Protein is known to give people a little extra boost. Step aside peanut butter – egg whites are a great source of protein for your diet. One of the top sources of protein, eggs are in the upper ranks with powerhouse foods like fish and poultry. In fact, while an entire egg has about 6 grams of protein, you’ll still get 4 when you just eat the egg white.

4. Additional Health Benefits

Egg whites have a slew of additional benefits to what we’ve already mentioned. Most importantly, an egg white has zero fat while the yolk does have fat. Also, eggs whites contain great doses of folate, selenium, magnesium and even phosphorous, which are great for your overall health.

How Do You Eat Egg Whites?

It’s one thing to say that egg whites are healthy for you. It’s entirely different to try to work them into your meal plan. After all, eggs are only great for meals like omelets and scrambled eggs, right? Wrong! Egg whites can be used in a variety of dishes. Don’t want to bother with the mess of cracking and cleaning? Use an egg white alternative available at your local grocery store.

1. Pancakes

We all know the classic pancake recipe that includes eggs. Instead of using the whole egg, just double up on the egg whites. Your pancakes will be thinner – almost like a crepe. However, they’ll be healthier than the alternative, giving you about double the protein of a regular pancake. Best of all, they’ll still taste delicious.

2. Smoothies

Sure there are warnings out there not to consume raw eggs. Still, egg whites are a great way to skip those processed powders you pack into your smoothie in the morning. Mix pasteurized egg whites in with your usual kale, strawberries or banana and enjoy a healthy, delicious meal.

3. Cheesy Eggs

Did you know that you could make eggs in the microwave? It’s a fun, easy alternative to pulling out the fry pan. Mix a few eggs whites plus your favorite shredded cheese in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about five minutes. You may need to add or subtract time based upon your microwave wattage.

4. Baking

Everyone loves baked goods. Cookies and brownies and cakes, just to name a few. However, there are plenty of tasty low-fat desserts that you can bake using egg whites. Google a few recipes – you’ll be surprised at all of the cheesecakes and coffee cakes that exist using egg whites only.

5. Anything with “Fried” in the Title

Who doesn’t enjoy friend things? Instead of using thick, heavy batters, did you know that you could use an egg white alternative for a low-fat solution? Ditch the yolk and coat your food in egg whites instead – you won’t be sorry.

Things to Look Out for When Eating Egg Whites

1. Allergies

There are many food allergies out there these days - everything from peanuts to wheat to eggs. Unfortunately, people who are allergic to eggs usually are allergic to the proteins, which are in the albumen of eggs. The albumen is also known as the white part of the egg. This allergy is usually only present in children and many of them outgrow it.

Allergic reactions don’t always happen immediately. Sometimes they can take several hours. Be sure to watch your child closely when they eat food containing egg for the first time. Allergic reactions vary but can include symptoms such as a rash, cramps, hives, redness or swelling, coughing and watery eyes. Severe allergic reactions can be much worse, including swelling of the mouth or airways. Be sure to consult a doctor immediately if you or your child experiences an allergic reaction to eggs.

2. Biotin Depletion

When we cook eggs, the biotin or vitamin B7 separates and can be absorbed by the body. When eggs are eaten raw, the biotin remains bound to avidin. You’ll want to avoid biolin depletion as it can lead to a variety of symptoms in infants as well as adults, including cradle cap, hair loss, seizures and lack of muscle tone. You may also notice muscle cramps or pains when you are deficient in biotin.

3. Bacteria

You’ve been told not to eat raw eggs. The truth is, while raw eggs are not always bad for you, they can be the cause of bacterial contamination. Salmonella is one such bacterial contamination that can be found in uncooked eggs. By cooking eggs thoroughly, salmonella may be avoided. However, eggs must be cooked at a very high temperature.

Salmonella can cause nausea, dehydration and abdominal pain that lasts for several days. While most recovers, there are a few cases that have resulted in death. Consult with your doctor regarding antibiotics if you feel you may have salmonella.

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