There are so many ways to cook eggs: you can scramble them, poach them, hard boil them, and more. There are also many myths about eggs’ usefulness and the harm they can cause. Some people believe that we shouldn’t eat eggs because they contribute to high cholesterol. Others think that only pastured hens’ eggs are useful.
Modernismo wants to sort everything out and understand which myths about eggs are true and which are fake.
1. People with high cholesterol shouldn’t eat eggs.
For a long period of time, people with high cholesterol had been recommended to exclude certain products that could continue to increase it. Eggs were on the list of prohibited foods. Yes, yolks contain more fat and cholesterol than the whites do. But not all fats are bad and so-called good cholesterol doesn’t always increase the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Of course, it’s not a good idea to have 3 eggs for breakfast every day, but having 1 egg a day won’t harm you. Those who suffer from diabetes and cardiovascular diseases should be more careful and eat no more than 3 eggs a week.
2. You shouldn’t eat yolks if you want to lose weight.
Some people don’t eat yolks because they’re afraid of getting fat. In fact, yolks contain additional protein and other useful substances such as vitamin D that contribute to calcium absorption. They also contain choline that ensures good liver function.
These substances, as well as lutein which is useful for our eyes, are absent in egg whites. The American Heart Association claims that 1 egg a day can easily be a part of a healthy diet. Experiments prove that eating 1 egg for breakfast (instead of a pastry) reduces the amount of food you eat and thus, the number of calories you ingest.
3. Raw eggs are healthier than boiled ones.
Some people eat raw eggs to grow muscles, improve their voice, or reduce stomach acid. The risk of getting salmonellosis is really low: only 1 egg out of 30,000 is usually infected. But a raw egg’s usefulness is rather overrated. Raw egg whites aren’t absorbed as well as cooked ones and biotin (vitamin B7) absorption can become blocked.
Thermal treatment reduces a certain amount of useful substances such as potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and B5. It’s not recommended to eat raw eggs, but if you need them as an ingredient, choose those that were treated to destroy salmonella.
4. There are only white or brown eggs.
Chicken eggs can be different, but we usually only see brown and white ones. The color of the shell depends on the breed: leghorn chickens have white eggs and Rhode Island chickens have brown eggs. Some breeds (like the Araucana, Ameraucana, and others) have blue or green eggs.
The color depends on the pigment: protoporphyrin makes the shell brown and biliverdin makes it blue and green. The chickens’ diet also matters: if a hen doesn’t get enough amino acids, the shell will be dull. But it doesn’t affect the quality of the egg.
5. Brown eggs are better than white ones.
We often hear that brown or black products are healthier than white ones (for example, bread or sugar). But it’s not about eggs. Studies have shown that brown eggs are almost the same as white eggs.
Eggs are more useful depending on other factors as well. For example, the eggs of a hen that spent a lot of time in the sun contain 3-4 times more vitamin D. Chickens that eat food rich in omega-3 have eggs containing more omega-3.
6. Pastured hens’ eggs are better.
This is a controversial statement. Though pastured hens’ eggs contain more of vitamins A, E, D and omega-3, they suffer from diseases and get injured more often than caged hens. For example, in Great Britain, the levels of mortality by the end of lay in pastured hens is higher than in caged hens.
7. The color of the yolk determines the quality of an egg.
At first glance, this statement looks logical. In fact, the color of a yolk depends on a chicken’s diet: the more carotenoids it has, the more saturated a yolk produces. It doesn’t matter whether hens walk in fields or stay in cages.
Corn, alfalfa, stinging nettle, and some other plants make yolks brighter. If hens spend more time in cages, the tone of their yolks can be changed with food additives such as canthaxanthin. But all these phenomena influence the color only (customers usually prefer bright colors). If yolks are dull, it doesn’t mean the eggs are of bad quality or rotten.
8. Pregnant women shouldn’t eat eggs.
Is it true that if a future mom eats eggs, her child will suffer and face an allergy? This is, in fact, just a myth. An egg is a universal source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. So it’s recommended to eat eggs as well as berries, fish, beans, and grains. You should only avoid eating raw or undercooked eggs, but this rule applies to all people.
9. Children under 1 year shouldn’t eat eggs.
2% of children are allergic to eggs. It’s okay to give babies protein-rich foods as soon as they turn 7 months. You may start with 2 tbsps of it. Add products one by one and observe your child’s reaction. If the allergy doesn’t occur within 4 days, everything’s fine. In other cases, it’s better to see a pediatrician.
10. Fertile eggs are more useful.
It appears that a hen can have eggs without a rooster. But such eggs don’t turn into chickens. There’s a belief that unfertilized eggs are less useful than fertilized ones. But there’s no significant difference between them. It’s the eggs’ freshness that matters.
11. Eggs can be pasteurized at home.
Yes, eggs are pasteurized with the help of heat. But it’s more difficult than just lowering them into the boiling water. To pasteurize eggs, you’ll need certain equipment that can’t be used at home.
12. Eggs shouldn’t be washed and stored in a fridge.
This depends on the country. In some countries, people prefer not to put eggs in the fridge and leave them in a room. American manufacturers (as well as Japanese, Australian, and Scandinavian ones) must wash eggs to prevent salmonellosis.
When an egg gets washed, it loses its natural protective layer. To keep a product fresh and prevent bacteria, it’s important to keep it in a cool place. This method helps to increase its shelf life by almost half. In European countries, it’s prohibited to wash eggs as not to destroy their natural protective layer. To prevent salmonellosis, hens are vaccinated.
13. The refrigerator door is the best place to store eggs.
Almost all fridges have a special shelf located on the door. But it’s not recommended to store eggs there. Eggs are stored best at a consistent temperature. The door is the warmest place and the temperature always changes there. The best place to store eggs is on the middle shelf.
14. The way you cook eggs has no impact on nutrient digestibility.
Eating eggs isn’t enough, you have to cook them right. Whipped eggs baked in the oven at 355° F lose around 45% of their vitamin D within 40 minutes. Fried and boiled eggs save almost 90% of this vitamin. Take this fact into consideration before cooking.
15. Whites help us get rid of wrinkles.
Homemade egg white masks are really popular today: they make our skin look smoother and help us get rid of wrinkles. But how does it really work? When water evaporates from the skin’s surface, the whites form a thin membrane that can be easily washed away.
Eggs contain a lot of protein, vitamins E and B, and biotin. The deficiency of these substances makes our hair and nails weak. Eggs help these body parts stay safe and sound only if we eat them.
16. Quail eggs are more useful than others.
Quail eggs actually contain more protein, vitamins, and useful elements than chicken eggs but the difference isn’t that significant. To see the effects, you have to eat a lot of quail eggs on a regular basis. It’s worth noting that quails also suffer from salmonellosis, so it’s not recommended to eat their eggs raw.
Did you believe in any of these egg myths before reading this article? Tell us about it!