Last updated on November 2nd, 2022 at 11:17 am
It’s something that many of us want to know, “Can I Eat Whole Eggs While Cutting?”
We’ve had a weird relationship with eggs over the years, especially the yolk.
I guess that pretty much everyone knows that eggs are considered one of the highest quality forms of protein.
And this is why they’re typically seen as a bodybuilding staple.
If you want to build muscle, you eat eggs.
However, this is all well and good if you’re bulking, but what about when you’re on a cut?
Are egg yolks really that bad for you, especially when you’re eating at a calorie deficit?
Allow me to reveal all.
Can I Eat Whole Eggs While Cutting?
Yes, you can eat whole eggs while cutting. Egg whites are typically viewed as the “healthy” part of the egg as they have a higher protein content and almost no fat whatsoever. However, the main fat content of egg yolks are healthy fats, many of which the body requires to function efficiently. Furthermore, egg yolks once received a bad rap due to their cholesterol content. But, dietary cholesterol doesn’t have very much impact on blood cholesterol. In fact, up to 85% of cholesterol is naturally made by the liver.
1. Egg Whites vs. Egg Yolks
First things first, eat the WHOLE egg.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re cutting, bulking, or maintaining, please eat the whole egg.
Egg yolks have received a bad rap over the years, and I shall explain in a moment why this is nothing more than a misconception.
However, initially I’d like to do a comparison of the nutritional content between egg whites and egg yolks.
I guess this will go some way to explain why egg yolks are often viewed as “bad”.
The best place to start would be the calories and macronutrients. I’ll base these on one standard-sized egg.
|Calories & Macronutrients
So, at first glance egg whites come out on top in terms of cutting and building lean muscle.
Egg whites contain most of the protein, whereas egg yolks contain most of the calories and fat.
It’s also interesting to note that egg yolks have a total of 210mg of cholesterol.
I shall get to these specific points in a moment, but what you don’t get to see here is the number of micronutrients that both portions of the egg contain.
In fact, egg yolks are definitely the winner here.
Egg yolks contain the fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K.
There are also significant amounts of vitamins B2, B12, and folate.
It’s true that these B vitamins can be found in egg whites, although in much smaller quantities.
Additionally, egg yolks contain various essential minerals that the body requires to function properly.
These include iodine, phosphorus, and selenium.
Once again, egg whites do contain these minerals, but in far smaller quantities.
So, in effect, if you are looking at eggs solely from a calorie and macronutrient stance then it’s easy to see why you may wish to avoid egg yolks.
However, the fact that your body needs to function efficiently must be considered more important than eating purely for aesthetic purposes.
2. The Egg Yolk Fat “Myth”
Okay, I guess the number one reason that many of you wish to avoid egg yolks while cutting is the calorie and fat content.
Basically, you’re trying to eat at a calorie deficit, while keeping dietary fat to a minimum.
Well, in truth, your aim should actually be to keep the unhealthy fats, such as hydrogenated and trans fat, to a bare minimum.
In fact, you should try to avoid these fats altogether.
Plus, you don’t want to overdo it on saturated fat either.
However, it’s important to remember that there is such a thing as “good fats”.
And once more the body requires these to function normally.
Admittedly, there is very little fat in egg whites.
In fact, it’s hardly noticeable.
However, the fat content of one egg yolk is approximately 7-10% of your entire fat intake if you’re eating 2,000 calories a day.
So, if you’re eating 3-4 eggs in one meal you’re consuming a big chunk of your daily fat content in one sitting.
With that being said, when you break down the fat content of egg yolks it’s not as bad as you would initially think.
There are no trans or hydrogenated fats in egg yolks.
In other words there are none of the terrible fats that you would generally avoid.
But, there is 1.6g of saturated fat.
What this actually means is that there is 2.9g of “good fats”.
This translates to over 64% of the fat content of an egg yolk being good for you.
These are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids) that help to maintain blood cholesterol levels and promote normal brain function.
So, realistically the fat content of egg yolks is something that the body and the brain requires.
3. The Egg Yolk Cholesterol “Myth”
The other big reason that people tend to avoid eggs is because of the cholesterol content.
However, in reality, this isn’t that big a deal unless you already have high cholesterol levels or risk factors for heart disease.
Cholesterol is a substance that is found naturally in all the cells in the body.
Plus, cholesterol is required to create vitamin D in the body, as well as various hormones and substances for digestive purposes.
With that being said, approximately 85% of cholesterol in the blood is produced in the liver.
So, realistically only around 15% of cholesterol in your blood comes from the foods you eat.
These include eggs, as well as meats, shellfish, dairy, and organ meat.
What this means is that dietary cholesterol doesn’t have as big an impact on blood cholesterol as you would think.
However, it is recommended that if you either have high cholesterol or are trying to reduce your cholesterol then you shouldn’t consume more than 200mg a day.
So, it obviously makes sense to avoid egg yolks (210mg of cholesterol per yolk) in this situation.
But, then again, 100g of beef or lamb contains around 90mg of cholesterol.
So, you’ll also have to be wary of meats, dairy, etc.
The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your cholesterol intake to less than 300mg.
But, in truth, many people regularly exceed this, and live a perfectly long and healthy life.
In other words, you won’t really have to worry about the cholesterol content of eggs unless cholesterol or heart disease is already a problem for you.
Debunking Cholesterol Myths
4. Are You Only Eating Eggs While Cutting?
Something that always surprises me is that it’s egg yolks that get all the flak.
This is especially true in terms of their calories and fat content.
Now, unless you’re simply living off a diet of eggs and nothing else, I can’t really see how this is an issue.
In fact, he had his bodybuilders eating up to 36 raw, fertilised eggs a day.
However, in the main, we all typically have a bit more variety to our daily nutrition.
So, the 55 calories and 4.5g of fat in an egg yolk has a minor role in the grand scheme of things.
In other words, if you’re trying to control calories and fat while cutting, there are better places to be looking than egg yolks.
Personally, I would increase your intake of eggs and look to decrease certain carbs from elsewhere in your diet.
Basically, it’s all relative.
The protein content and good fats in whole eggs will help you feel full, while keeping hunger at bay.
Can you honestly say the same for all the other foods you’re eating while cutting?
So, as you can see, it’s perfectly fine to eat whole eggs while cutting.
Egg yolks have often been viewed as “bad” due to their calorie, fat, and cholesterol content.
However, in truth, much of this has been blown out of proportion.
The cholesterol content of egg yolks is only ever really a problem if you have cholesterol or heart issues.
Plus, the majority of fat content in an egg yolk is the good fat that your body needs.
Finally, there are probably other calorie-dense foods that you would be far better off losing from your diet than egg yolks.
Therefore, eat the whole egg.
Next, discover what I had to say about eating peanut butter while cutting.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.