Egg Yolks: Are They Good or Bad For You?

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Egg Yolks: Are They Good or Bad For You?

Are egg yolks healthy? Should you reconsider your breakfast sandwich and switch over to egg whites? Continue clicking through our slideshow to learn more.

One of the major concerns when it comes to egg yolks is cholesterol. That's right. The nasty word that automatically triggers our brain to think one thing: heart disease (or, more specifically, coronary artery disease). According to Dr. David Spence, one jumbo chicken egg yolk can contain around 237 milligrams of cholesterol. That's almost the full suggested intake (for a healthy individual) for the day, in just one egg!

According to LiveStrong.com, people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein blood cholesterol level should ingest no more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day.

Did you know that egg yolks have been compared to cigarettes? According to a Canadian study published in the summer of 2012, high consumption of egg yolks can lead to heavily accumulated plaque buildup with a "similar, linear pattern to that of cigarette smoking." Plaque buildup potentially leads to clogging of the arteries, which in return, leads to heart disease.

Consumption of eggs is on the rise! It was reported in 2000 that 963 billion eggs were consumed, the equivalent of 157 eggs consumed on average, per person. In 2011, reports revealed a drastic increase to 1,195 billion eggs, the equivalent of 173 eggs per person.

Now, there are always two sides to every story. While egg yolks are cholesterol-rich, they are also highly nutritious. Look for pastured eggs, which will yield a darker yellowish-orange yolk. These eggs can carry up to six times more vitamin D, more omega 3, more vitamin A and E, more beta carotene and less cholesterol.

The yolk portion of the egg contains choline, an essential for overall brain health. It also contains a small amount of lutein (0.2 milligrams of the daily recommended 4-6 milligrams), which is essential for vision health.

Did you know that egg yolks have the antioxidant capacity equal to an apple? Could an egg a day keep the doctor away?

One large egg yolk contains about 54 calories (40 come from fat, 11 from protein, 3 carbohydrates). With 2.7 grams of protein, you'll fill five percent of your USDA suggested daily value.

Get your vitamins! Egg yolks contain six percent of your daily allowance of folate and vitamin B12, five percent vitamin D and pantothetic acid. It also contains small amounts of vitamin B6, thiamine and vitamin E.

And, don't forget your minerals. Yolks contain 14% selenium, seven percent phosphorus, three percent iron and three percent zinc.

All in all, our recommendation? Be wary of how many eggs you're consuming. While eggs can be healthy, they also may poise health threats if consumed heavily. Moderation is key! Do you typically order two scrambled eggs on your morning sandwich? Try one, or go with scrambled egg whites.

Additionally, look for organic, pasture-fed hen's eggs. These are much healthier than industrial fed hens, containing three times the amount of omega-3 fat, twice as much vitamin E and 40 percent more vitamin A.

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It seems there is a bit of controversy regarding one of our favorite breakfast foods: eggs. Are they good or bad for you? Should you opt for egg whites or keep the yolk?

We know that egg yolks are high in cholesterol, but they are also highly nutritious. So, how do we make a decision? Check out the slideshow above to find out.

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