Egg yolks used to have a bad reputation because of their high-cholesterol content. Doctors and health authorities once recommended that people limit egg yolk consumption, especially individuals with high cholesterol, blood pressure, or heart conditions.
But more focused research indicates that high blood levels of cholesterol are less influenced by cholesterol-containing foods, such as eggs, than individual factors, such as ethnicity, gender, hormonal functioning, and overall nutrition.
Like egg whites, egg yolks have high protein content and contain many essential vitamins, minerals, fats, and healthy calories.
Fast facts on egg yolk nutrition:
Nutrients vary between eggs naturally.
Most research shows that egg yolks contain most of the nutrition found in eggs.
Like most animal-sourced foods, eggs carry some potential health risks.
Benefits of Egg yolk nutrition
Studies suggest that eggs may play a role in healthy eating patterns.
Eggs are a low-cost, nutrient-filled, easy to access and prepare food, making them an excellent dietary staple for many people worldwide. Eggs are also a very versatile food. And the consumption of eggs does not usually conflict with most religious or moral guidelines.
Eating egg whites and yolks together in a whole egg also contains the right balance of protein, fat, and calories that allows most people to feel fuller and more satisfied at meals.
A 2015 study found that obese Mexican-American women who ate eggs regularly after pregnancy got higher overall scores on the Healthy Eating Index than those who did not, suggesting eggs might play a role in healthy eating patterns.
Possible further health benefits associated with egg yolks include:
increasing immune function, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer action
increasing eye health, including lowering the risk of macular degeneration, and age-related cataracts
improving bone density and resilience
maintaining a healthy blood production and composition, especially iron content and clotting factors
maintaining a healthy, regulated metabolism
improving fat and protein metabolism
improving cellular growth and repair
improving cardiovascular health
maintaining a healthy blood pressure
increasing skin and hair health
improving bowel and bladder health
increasing nutritional absorption during digestion
production and health of neurotransmitters
improved brain development and health
reducing the risk of bowel obstruction and kidney stones
reducing overall body inflammation
More recently researchers have begun to explore the potential of various immune-stimulating compounds found in egg yolks called immunoglobulins.
A 2017 study found that female mice that consumed the egg yolk nutrient anti-VacA IgY were less likely to get become infected by Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that commonly causes intestinal infection.
The amount of nutrition in each egg yolk depends on the size of the egg, how it was raised and processed, and what species it is. And the final dietary value of egg yolks varies greatly depending on how they are prepared. For example, cooking whole eggs in oil may double, even triple, the fat and cholesterol content of an egg dish.
Egg yolks contain at least seven essential minerals, including:
22 mg calcium
0.46 mg iron
1 mg magnesium
66 mg phosphorus
19 mg potassium
8 mg sodium
0.39 mg zinc
Egg yolks are high in many vitamins, especially fat and water-soluble vitamins.
Medical News Today