Who would have thought that the simple table egg—be it white or brown—could hatch so much controversy? Please don’t tell this to the more than 300 million commercial hens in the U.S. who produce almost 93 billion eggs each year. It is also a good idea not to raise a ruckus with egg-loving Americans, who consume almost 300 eggs annually per capita. But there is no escaping the controversy and concerns swirling around eggs. Some believe they present literal heart-stopping concerns, despite research that shows eggs are pretty nutritious and not dangerous. Don’t worry. WellWell is here to crack open some of the myths and worries and see what’s inside.
High Cholesterol Makes Eggs Unhealthy—MYTH
There is no doubt that eggs contain lots of cholesterol. In fact, each one holds about 210 milligrams, which amounts to about 70 percent of the recommended daily cholesterol intake. But munching on eggs regularly isn’t a worry, even for those at risk for heart disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Services. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans don’t put a cap on dietary cholesterol. It is more important for heart health to avoid trans and saturated fats and simple sugars.
Dieters Should Avoid Egg Yolks—MYTH
Sure, those on a diet can still order egg white omelets, which are embraced because eggs are lower in calories, fat and cholesterol. But chances are these dieters are not doing themselves any favors. Whole eggs are better for dieters from a nutritional standpoint because they contain most of the egg’s water- and fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. They also hold about half of the egg’s protein, plus iron, folate and vitamin D.
Eggs Are A No-Go For Expectant Moms—MYTH
Eating eggs does not increase the risk of babies being born with food allergies. There is no research to support this concern. The nutritional value of eggs, in fact, means they should be a part of any diet.
Brown Eggs Are Better Than White Ones—MYTH
There is no added benefit to eating a brown egg over a white one based solely on color. The shade of an eggshell depends on the breed of the hen alone, Nutritionally, these eggs are identical. Concerns and benefits about organic eggs or free-range chickens may differ, however, which means these eggs are more likely to be brown.
The Easter Bunny Makes Blue or Green Eggs—MYTH
There are some chickens that actually lay green or blue eggs, such as those from the Ameraucana. Color aside, they are virtually identical in nutritional value and cholesterol levels to their white and brown counterparts.
Raw Eggs are Healthier—MYTH
Raw eggs are not healthier than cooked eggs. The opposite is actually true. Raw eggs are potentially dangerous and nutritionally inefficient. By cooking eggs, their inherent proteins are broken down, making their vitamin B7 more absorbable. In addition, cooked eggs have protein that is 91 percent bioavailable compared to just 50 percent in raw eggs. Raw eggs also hold a risk of salmonella poisoning, although that risk has shrunk in recent years. Infection rates are now believed to be one out of every 30,000 eggs.
You Shouldn’t Freeze Eggs—MYTH
There are limitations to freezing eggs. But it can be done. Admittedly, raw or hard-boiled shouldn’t be frozen. However, raw egg whites can be frozen in ice cube trays. Egg yolks can also be frozen if they are mixed with 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar or corn syrup per 1/4 cup of egg yolks. This is about four yolks. They should be kept for up to one year frozen.
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