Egg Yolk: does it have cholesterol? How many to consume per day?

The egg is one of the most controversial and controversial foods in the diet – much is discussed about its nutritional properties, about the adequate amount and the correct way to consume it.

Some people choose to eat only the egg white and completely discard the egg yolk, due to the belief that the calories present in it can put on weight or favor high cholesterol.

But can egg yolk really be harmful to health? Find out in the text below.


What is egg yolk?

The yolk of the egg is the yellow or orange part that is located in the center of the egg, surrounded by the white. It corresponds to about 30.9% of the egg, being the densest portion of the food.

Its color is defined according to the chicken’s diet, so if its diet is rich in foods with yellow-orange pigments, the color of the yolk will be intense.

For example, eggs that are popularly called free-range eggs come from hens that are more free to feed. In this way, the eggs present a yolk with the most intense color.

Regardless of this, in general, it is recommended to consume the yolk because it concentrates proteins , fats (beneficial) and vitamins , however the orange yolks mean a greater presence of carotenoids (substance responsible for coloring) and omega-3 (fatty acids).

Regarding the nutrients and benefits, several researches were made on the advantages and disadvantages that the yolk can cause to the organism.

In most results, the yolk has proven to be a source of numerous benefits, and that contrary to what many people thought, the fact that it is caloric is not an indication that it causes harm to health.

What are the properties and nutrients of egg yolk?

Egg yolk is a source of several nutrients.

The egg is considered by many people to be the second best food in the world, because its primary function is to house and promote the development of an organism, thus it contains almost all nutrients and properties essential for life.

In relation to its components, the Department of Agribusiness, Food and Nutrition of the University of São Paulo prepared a nutritional table that shows the percentage of each substance present in the yolk.

Components (edit) egg yolk (%)
Water 50,93
Protein 16,06
Lipids 31,7
Carbohydrates 13
Calcium 0,13
Ferro 0,086
Magnesium 0,13
Match 0,59
Potassium 0,11
Sodium 0,07
Cholesterol 97

As it was possible to see, the yolk is largely made up of water, proteins, and lipids – it is more concentrated than the white, having a greater amount of proteins and also of fats.

In addition to these components, we also find vitamins (A, D, E, B1, B2, B6, B7, B9, B12), essential amino acids and carotenoids.

Within these groups, we can highlight the substances:


Lutein is part of the class of carotenoids, which are responsible for the natural pigmentation of food. Like all others belonging to this group, lutein is not produced in the body.

Its action occurs in the eye cells, preventing diseases that can affect the vision – that is why it is necessary to eat foods that contain this component.

Hill (B8)

Choline is one of the vitamins that are part of the B complex , produced by the body, but not in sufficient quantity.

In this way, egg yolk is an excellent food to obtain this nutrient. In the body, it contributes to the performance of neurotransmitters (essential for cognitive activities), muscle contraction and coordination of movements.

Biotin (B7)

Also belonging to the B complex, Biotin is supplied to our body only through food.

It works by assisting in the digestion and conversion of carbohydrates ( potatoes , pasta, cereals, sugar, etc.) into energy for the body.


DHA is a fatty acid present in the Omega 3 chain, which provides several benefits necessary for learning and also for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, as it works to combat harmful substances to the nervous system.

We can identify it as the oil that some fish have, it is also found among the fats that are in the egg yolk.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D acts on the absorption of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which are very important for bones and teeth.

The best way to acquire it is through exposure to the sun, but a balanced diet helps in obtaining it.

Does it have benefits?

Yes, and many! The yolk of the egg, also called calf, is the first and only source of nutrients that a chick finds to feed itself when the egg is hatched.

Therefore, the yolk provides properties capable of acting throughout the body, promoting several benefits and improving the performance of organs and tissues.

Some of the benefits are:

Improves the nervous system

The DHA and choline found in the yolk provide an improvement in brain activity. Especially the hill, because it participates in the formation process of acetylcholine, a very important neurotransmitter for memory and learning.

For this reason, adding the yolk to the food routine is very beneficial, especially for children, as they are in the process of developing their cognitive abilities.

Healthier skin, hair and nails

Biotin is an excellent nutrient to fight sagging, dandruff and hair loss , and also to keep nails strong and beautiful.

There is no clear evidence of how it works in our bodies, however, it is believed that it stimulates the absorption of nutrients, the production of keratin and blood circulation.

Protects eyesight

Egg yolks can help you see better for a long time, as it minimizes damage caused by the passing of our vision over the years.

This is due to the fact that the yolk is a source of lutein, which acts mainly on the retina and macula, parts of the eye responsible for vision.

People who are deficient in this nutrient, for example, are more likely to suffer from diseases that can cause loss of vision, such as cataracts .

Strengthens muscles

Some people who wish to gain muscle mass usually dispense the yolk and consume only the egg whites, as a way of providing low-fat proteins to the body that assist in this goal.

However, it is possible and more practical to ingest the whole egg and further enhance muscle activity.

Recent studies have shown that the essential amino acids present in the yolk help in the synthesis of proteins made by our body, which is very beneficial for the regeneration of muscle cells.

Assists in pregnancy

Egg yolk helps to enrich the diet of women who are pregnant, as it is a source of essential nutrients for the development of the baby.

The B vitamins, especially folic acid (B9), which is very important to prevent megaloblastic anemia , defects in the formation of the fetus’ neural tube and also risks of premature birth .

Minerals such as iron and selenium found in the yolk, also promote increased immunity and energy during this period, and help to reduce problems such as anemia and  gestational diabetes .

In addition, choline helps in the formation of phospholipids, which are important for the structuring of the membranes that protect the cells and consequently guarantee the healthy development of the baby.

Prevention of osteoporosis

Because it is a source of Vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption, and also contains magnesium, adding the yolk to the diet helps prevent possible damage to the bone structure, such as osteoporosis .

This disease occurs when the bone tissue is unable to reconstitute, becoming fragile and predisposed to fractures.

Therefore, the consumption of egg yolks helps to replenish nutrients to maintain the health of the skeletal system.

How many egg yolks can you eat per day?

In general, people with good health conditions and no medical contraindications do not find restrictions on the consumption of egg yolk. There is no well-defined limit, but including 1 or 2 twins (preferably consumed as a whole egg) may be ideal for enjoying the benefits of the food without causing harm.

Those who follow a diet to control blood fat levels, due to cardiovascular disease, or also to lose weight should seek nutritional guidance.

It is worth remembering that each person may have a different response to food, and there must always be medical and nutritional monitoring before defining a daily menu.

Is egg yolk bad? Do you have cholesterol?

Although studies prove that egg yolk in general and in moderation is not harmful to health, many people still believe in this myth.

This belief is due to the fact that it is the part of the egg that concentrates the largest amount of lipids (fats), especially cholesterol – for every 100g of yolk, 1,085mg of this fat.

In general, the cholesterol present in natural foods, such as egg yolks, milk, meats, are not as harmful to the body as foods with saturated fat.

However, there are restrictions in relation to the amount of consumption, varying according to the dietary routine and clinical condition of each person.

In addition, although it is rare, the yolk can also cause allergy . Because the immune system interprets some proteins as aggressive components.

Other immunological reactions can also happen due to the ingestion of raw food (not only the yolk, but also the whole egg), as there may be a risk of contamination by bacteria such as Salmonella – this way it is always recommended to consume boiled eggs.

Therefore, in moderation and part of a balanced diet, the egg yolk does not hurt , unless there is a specific contraindication.

Egg yolk is fattening?

Not necessarily. Egg yolk, as well as other foods, should be included in the diet in a balanced way, because if it is consumed in excess it can contribute to weight gain.

For example, a whole egg contains 70Kcal, 53 of which in the yolk alone. Thus, the amount to be consumed in order not to put on weight depends on the other foods present in the diet and also on the established calorie limit (per day) in your case.

For the avoidance of doubt, consult a nutritionist who can help you include egg yolk correctly in your routine.

Egg yolk, in general, does not bring any harm to health, just add it to the food routine in a balanced and healthy way.

Are you curious to know about other foods ? The Healthy Minute can help you!