Here's my quick take on what seems to be the current status of egg yolk (ie cholesterol) research. Does anyone know of recent definitive studies that can help us make decisions about whether to separate the whites from the yolks, or to keep them whole?
Bottom line: we (or, the growing data-centered clinical trial based research community that represents us) just don't know yet, for sure.
Dean Ornish epitomizes one pole of the debate, the cholesterol-free extreme, where they demonstrated 20 years ago that reversal of blood cholesterol was possible with virtually total abstinence from animal cholesterol (and other fats, with total vegetable fat being limited to 10% of calories). Interested parties should consult those findings. Ornish today is living, breathing, lean, active, and vital, and misses out on lots of fun foodstuffs. Dr. Atkins, the polar opposite, is dead from coronary disease.
Research has exploded since then, separating the role of fats from cholesterol, separating saturation features of fats, separating plant sterols from animal sterols. In a premature clamored for attempt to set a "guideline", the Feds came up with 300 mg cholesterol daily intake: one egg yolk.
Then the buzz about Omegas entered the popular mainstream, and the restoration in popular culture and advertising that it was time to absolve and re-sanctify the egg (and yolk) as the Perfect Food with its omegas and vitamin E.
Genetic predisposition is also a hot research topic: are some of us doomed to produce more LDLs than HDLs? Seems so. (We MAKE cholesterol, whether we consume it from animal sources or not).
As to the question: Well, since an egg is the 'perfect storage package' to bring forth the next generation... and the corollary supportive argument for full fat milk, we must consider the differences between early development, where fatty sheaths are being laid down around nerve cells, versus the later life where those sheaths are already established. Thus the "feed the kid whole milk up to the age of two" recommendation.
My personal choice is to use the 300 mg cholesterol per day as a mental monitor. There are days when I delight in the beauty of a perfect soft-boiled egg to my taste, or a deviled egg, but I allow myself also to revel in the beauty of an egg-white omellet, prepared only with sprayed Pam or olive oil.
Wish I had a clearer picture, but at this point it seems that even the experts haven't reached a firm, hard-boiled consensus. Does anyone know of new studies that can assist the cholesterol-conscious egg lovers?