Are Egg Whites Healthy? Nutrition Facts: Egg Whites vs Whole Eggs

Our diet and nutrition resources are rigorously vetted by our expert team and adhere to our Diet and Nutrition Guidelines.

Deciding whether it is healthier to have the whole egg with the yolk or to separate the egg and just eat the egg white is an ongoing debate.

Are egg whites healthy? Are egg whites good for you? Are eggs good for you in general? And is it better to have egg whites vs whole eggs?

In this egg nutrition guide, we will compare egg whites vs whole egg nutrition and discuss whether it’s better to eat whole eggs or only egg whites; and answer your question, are egg whites healthy?

We will look at: 

  • Are Eggs Good for You?
  • Are Egg Whites Healthy? Nutrition Facts for Eggs

Let’s get started!

A carton of eggs.

Are Eggs Good for You?

Before we try answer the questions, are egg whites good for you and look at some of the differences and benefits that can be gained by eating egg whites vs whole eggs or egg yolks vs egg whites, it’s helpful to answer the baseline question: “Are eggs good for you?“

As with many foods and dietary concepts, there isn’t a clear consensus within the nutrition community about whether eggs are good for you or bad for you because different people have various nutritional needs, disease risk factors, and overall diet compositions.

Moreover, many of the most nutritious foods are still only “good for you“ in moderation.

If you are investigating the differences between the benefits of eggs with the yolk versus just eating egg whites, it’s likely that you are aware that there is some controversy as to whether whole eggs are healthy or unhealthy.

On one side of the argument, many nutrition professionals and dietary advice suggest that eggs are considered to be a healthy food.

A soft boiled egg sliced in two.

Eggs are natural and provide a complete source of protein, which means that they contain all nine essential amino acids

Whole eggs with the yolk also are high in several essential vitamins and minerals.

On the other hand, some people are concerned about the cholesterol content in whole eggs, as one whole large egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol. 

Because cholesterol has a daily value (DV) of no more than 300 mg, this means that a single egg has nearly two-thirds of the recommended daily maximum for cholesterol, and most people eat more than one egg at a time.

Historically, there were significant concerns about consuming a lot of dietary cholesterol, but as subsequent research has come out, it does not seem that dietary cholesterol is as bad for you as nutrition professionals once thought. 

However, there is still some evidence pointing to an association between cholesterol intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Hard boiled eggs on a plate.

For example, a huge prospective study published in 2021 followed a whopping 521,120 participants over the course of 16 years.

Results demonstrated that the cholesterol intake associated with eating whole eggs (egg yolk and egg white) was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality.

Each additional 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day was associated with a 24% higher risk of cancer mortality, a 16% higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and a 19% higher risk of all-cause mortality.

When looking at the relative contribution of cholesterol consumption on disease risk and mortality, researchers found that cholesterol intake contributed to 49.6% of the risk of cancer mortality, 62.3% of the increase in cardiovascular disease risk, and 63.2% of the increase in all-cause mortality.

Another massive study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2019 looked specifically at whether consuming dietary cholesterol from eggs is associated with an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. 

Two poached eggs.

This reviewed pooled data from six prospective cohort studies in the United States that involved a total of 29,615 adults and a median follow-up of 17.5 years, demonstrating that this was indeed a long-term and huge study.

Results from this study found that egg consumption was indeed associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in a dose-dependent manner, such that each additional half an egg eaten per day was associated with a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Despite the fact that these are relatively recent studies and enormous prospective studies at that, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), dietary cholesterol doesn’t necessarily increase cholesterol levels since the body already manufactures cholesterol endogenously. 

In general, an increasing number of nutrition and health professionals are in agreement with this notion from the AHA that dietary cholesterol doesn’t seem to be a major concern in terms of increasing serum cholesterol levels in the body.

A fried egg.

Are Egg Whites Healthy? Nutrition Facts for Eggs

Part of evaluating whether eggs are healthy or if eggs are unhealthy comes down to analyzing egg nutrition facts.

According to the USDA’s FoodData Central, one large, whole, hard-boiled chicken egg provides 78 calories, 6.3 grams of protein, 5.34 grams of fat, negligible carbohydrates and sugar, and small amounts of minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and selenium.

Whole eggs also provide beneficial nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D, and folate, as well as the antioxidants choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which support eye health.

As mentioned, the main nutritional debate about whether eggs are bad for you is centered around the amount of cholesterol in an egg. One whole large egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, all of which is found in the egg yolk.

But, how does egg white vs egg yolk nutrition compare? Are egg whites healthy?

A bowl of eggs.

The following table shows the nutrition facts for egg whites vs egg yolks, both in terms of the nutrients found in the egg yolk from one medium-sized egg vs the nutrition facts of the egg white in one medium-sized egg as well as 100 g of egg yolks vs egg whites.

This egg nutrition comparison table can therefore help you understand the exact egg nutrition facts for the egg yolk vs egg white from a single egg as well as an apples-to-apples comparison with an equal volume of egg yolks vs egg whites since the egg white constitutes a more significant portion or greater volume of an egg than the egg yolk.

Nutrition InformationPer White from Medium Size Egg (58 grams)Per 100 grams of Egg WhitesPer Yolk from Medium Size Egg (58 grams)Per 100 grams of Egg Whites
Energy kcals (calories)154352347
Fat (g)tracetrace4.731.3
Saturated Fat (g)tracetrace1.38.8
Monounsaturated Fat (g)tracetrace1.812
Polyunsaturated Fat (g)tracetrace0.85
Carbohydrates (g)0000
Sugar (g)0000
Protein (g)3.810.82.516.4
Salt (mg)16046020130

As can be seen, the egg yolk contains more total fat, saturated fat, and calories than the egg white. 

Egg whites contain more sodium and protein than egg yolks.

The other difference between whole egg nutrition vs egg whites nutrition is in the micronutrients. Egg whites contain very few vitamins and minerals.

The table below compares the differences in egg white and whole egg nutrition in terms of micronutrients for one regular large chicken egg:

Scrambled eggs.
NutrientEgg WhiteWhole Egg
Vitamin A0% of the DV27% of the DV
Vitamin B120% of the DV19% of the DV
Vitamin B211% of the DV18% of the DV
Vitamin B51% of the DV15% of the DV
Vitamin D0% of the DV19% of the DV
Choline0% of the DV27% of the DV
Selenium8% of the DV27% of the DV

However, when looking at the egg nutrition facts for 100 grams of egg whites vs egg yolks, you will notice that egg yolks actually contain more protein per gram than egg whites, even though most people associate the egg white as the protein portion of the egg. 

According to the British site Egg Info, the average protein content of egg yolk vs egg white per 100 grams is 16.4 grams of protein in egg yolks vs 10.8 grams of protein in egg whites. 

Sliced hard boiled eggs.

The main reason that people consume egg whites for protein is because the egg white is a very lean source of protein.

For example, there are about 18 calories and 4 grams of protein per egg white in a large egg.

Plus, from a volume standpoint, because the egg white is a bigger portion of the whole egg, egg whites contain about 67% of the protein found in an egg

Overall, eggs can be a great, healthy breakfast food. 

Choosing whether to eat whole eggs or egg whites depends on your caloric needs, nutritional goals, and concerns about cholesterol and the potential cardiovascular disease risk.

If you are looking for other options for low-carb healthy breakfast ideas, check out our guide here

An egg, avocado, bacon and tomato breakfast on a plate.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

1 thought on “Are Egg Whites Healthy? Nutrition Facts: Egg Whites vs Whole Eggs”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.