WATCH: Are Egg White Omelets Really Better for You?
Yolks are not the enemy.
To quote countless frustrated nutritionists: "People, just eat the whole egg!"
Yes, really. "If you want the most nutrition from your morning omelet, don't cut out the yolk. The yolk is the most nutrient-packed part of an egg," notes nutritionist Maggie Moon, author of The MIND Diet. "The yolk is one of the only common food sources of vitamin D, an immunity-boosting must-have that most Americans happen to fall short on." (Other sources of vitamin D include wild mushrooms, and fortified cereal or oatmeal.)
In general, it's healthiest to eat food closest to how it grew in nature—hence, whole wheat pasta which contains the bran, endosperm and germ being healthier than "white" pasta which is stripped of the bran and germ—and the same applies with eggs. You may even notice that when you consume only egg whites, you eat more than you would if you ate the yolk, too, since your body misses out on the satiating healthy fats the yolk offers.
WATCH: Forget Vinegar, This Is the One Thing You Need for Perfect Poached Eggs
"While egg whites provide protein to our diet, we can't forget about the benefits of the yolks. The yolks contain fat-soluble vitamins A,D, E and K as well as folate, B-12, [and more]," all of which are key for a balanced, healthy diet, shares Hillary Goldrich, a Nashville-based nutritionist. Bonus: The yolk also contains choline, an essential nutrient for brain health, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that protect your peepers and may reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration.
And here's one final reason to eat the whole egg, and it may very well appease both frustrated nutritionists and environmentalists alike: "There's less food waste if you eat the whole egg!" quips Moon.