Reader Maggie (nice coincidence!) writes that she’d love to make Gold Cake but that she’s in the habit of avoiding egg yolks because they’re fatty and contain cholesterol. Can I talk her down off the ledge? Maggie, I blogged about egg nutrition not too long ago, but this is a subject that bears repetition. So hear goes!
It’s very true that the yolk of an egg contains 75% of the egg’s calories, 50% of the protein and all of the fat. However for all that, the vast majority of the yolk is composed of water. A myth about egg yolks is that they’re very fatty. That’s not the case, as eggs are actually quite lean. Or lean-ish. A yolk contains just five grams of fat, about as much as a small pat of butter you’d put on your toast, but only a fraction of that fat is saturated (the so-called “bad fat”).
True, egg yolks have gotten a bad rap in the past as a result of the relatively high amount of low density lipoproteins (LDL’s) they contain, and those structures have cholesterol within them. Lately the reputation of egg yolks has been rehabilitated, however, as more studies are showing that high cholesterol levels are more a factor of the way our bodies work than the food we eat. Which is to say, the human body produces quite a lot of cholesterol as part of normal metabolism. When that system starts over-producing that’s when you’ve got a problem. The cholesterol we eat, more studies are revealing, adds only a little to what we make ourselves.
All that said, a cake that contains lots of yolks — even twelve — looks pretty darn healthy, especially when you consider there’s no more added fat in the form of either butter or oil. Eat, Maggie…eat!