Egg whites can be a healthy alternative to eating the entire egg or egg yolk. The egg white is lower in calories and still provides an excellent source of protein, making it a great option as part of a healthy diet. The majority of the calories and fat in an egg are found in the yolk.
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To achieve a healthy weight, you must start by eating healthy. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, a healthy diet should focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins such as egg whites. A healthy diet should not exceed your caloric needs. The healthy eating guidelines also encourage you to limit your intake of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.
Calories in Egg Whites
One egg white from a large egg provides 17 calories. To put it in perspective, one large egg contains 72 calories, egg whites make up 24 percent of the total calories. Protein makes up 84 percent of the total calories found in egg whites. The protein found in eggs is such high quality that researchers use it as a standard in measuring protein of other foods.
Albumen is another word for egg white; it doesn't appear white until it is beaten or cooked. The albumen makes up 66 percent of an egg's weight but has fewer calories than the egg yolk. The majority of an egg's magnesium, niacin, potassium, riboflavin and sodium are in the albumen, making egg whites a nutrient-dense, low-calorie option.
Cooking Egg Whites
Egg whites can be used in place of the whole egg to make your food healthier. When substituting egg whites for the whole egg, you will need two egg whites per egg that the recipe calls for. Egg whites are good for making omelets or just scrambled. By substituting egg whites in your recipes, you reduce not only your caloric intake but the bad fats known as saturated and trans fats. When egg whites are beaten vigorously, they begin to foam. Foamed egg whites are crucial when making soufflés, sponge cakes, meringues and puffy omelets.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Egg, White, Raw, Fresh
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Egg, Yolk, Raw, Fresh
- Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation on Energy and Protein Requirements: The Use of Biological Value of a Protein in Evaluating Its Quality for Human Requirements
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Egg, Whole, Raw, Fresh
- American Egg Board: Albumen
- American Heart Association: Smart Substitutions
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight