Why did the chicken cross the road? To deliver a yolk to the other side — and yolks are no joke. We recently reported on the JAMA study that found eating 300 mg of dietary cholesterol daily from eggs was associated with a 17% increase in your risk of cardiovascular disease.

One egg has around 187 mg of cholesterol, all of it from the yolk. Well, here’s another big reason to stick with egg whites (we love them):

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Research recently revealed that egg yolks not only elevate levels of lousy LDL cholesterol and wreak havoc on your cardiovascular system by causing accumulation of artery-clogging plaque, they also can affect the good/bad bacteria balance in your gut biome. When the cholesterol bomb disrupts the biome, you end up with bodywide inflammation, which is another cause of cardiovascular disease and stroke, as well as a contributor to some cancers and dementia.

Plus, your yolk-induced gut biome distress can hurt your intestines themselves. Mice studies found that elevated LDL levels lead to the rapid expansion of colon tumors. Other studies have shown that the high-fat, low-fiber Western diet creates a pro C. difficile environment. When it’s not kept in line by good gut bacteria, C. diff is a life-threatening infection; it affects more than 500,000 Americans every year.

So ditch yolks, for your heart and your gut; stick with egg whites. You’ll love Dr. Oz’s delicious all-day-egg-white omelet at www.doctoroz.com/recipe/all-day-egg-white-omelet. If anyone asks you, “Why did the smart and healthy consumer cross the road?” you’ll know the answer.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chairman of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.