Raw eggs have some serious negative publicity around them, with many people convinced that eating a single raw egg is a guarantee of food poisoning like salmonella. While it’s true that raw eggs may be carriers of bacteria, they’re not the forebringers of digestive woe that you’ve always been taught. So what is the truth behind raw eggs – do they offer health benefits or should they be avoided? It turns out the answer is more complicated than you might think…read on to find out more.
While you may make it a point to avoid undercooking your eggs, you could actually be eating raw eggs without even realizing it. Culinary creations such as Ceasar salad dressing, traditional egg nog, holindase sauce, and certain homemade ice cream recipes all call for raw eggs and can be enjoyed by many people who never experience a hint of the dreaded salmonella.
Health benefits of eggs
Thankfully, eggs are out of the dog house of a decade ago when they were thought to be villainous contributors to high cholesterol and heart disease. Now, scientific research backs moderate egg consumption as a healthy way to boost your protein intake and get critical nutrients…as long as you don’t ruin them with unhealthy ingredients, of course.
Great source of protein
Eggs are one of the best sources of quick, healthy protein that will help you feel full for longer and sustain you till your next meal. Hard-boiled eggs can elevate a salad from a simple snack to a full, filling meal and a single egg provides six grams of essential protein.
Can protect your heart
Eggs are high in phospholipids which contribute to heart health, lower inflammation, and can help protect your ticker from various cardiovascular diseases. Plus, egg yolks, in particular, are rich in choline, a critical nutrient for heart and brain health.
Your body needs good, healthy fat to function and thankfully, more and more mainstream nutritionists and doctors are coming to realize the true nature of a balanced diet. Of course, it is critical that you eat the right kind of fat. Eggs are just that, with omega-3 fatty acids landing them squarely on the “healthy” side of the fat scale.
But what about raw eggs?
Raw eggs share many of the same benefits as cooked eggs, though there is limited evidence to suggest that the protein from raw eggs is not as easily absorbed by the body. There is not any health-related reason to eat raw eggs instead of cooked, especially since they come with the risk of salmonella.
This bacteria could come from a hen that is contaminated or could be due to the egg resting in a dirty environment already home to the bacteria. Cooking your egg to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit will zap that lingering bacteria and make it safe to eat.
Though salmonella is usually more of a discomfort rather than a significant threat to you life, it is not fun and leaves the afflicted person with a few days of brutal stomach cramping, nausea, fever, headache, and diarrhea. Plus, it could have even worse effects on pregnant women, older folks, or young children with compromised immune systems. The United States Department of Agriculture strongly advises people to stay away from raw eggs whenever possible.
However, if you have eaten raw eggs recently, there’s no need to panic, as the salmonella concern is often blown out of proportion. The chances of you contracting this bacteria from a raw egg are incredibly low since experts estimate that only one in 30,000 eggs is contaminated.
Bottom line, raw eggs probably won’t kill you, and they probably won’t make you sick, either. But salmonella is something that you want to try to avoid whenever possible, so it is always a good idea to cook your eggs to a safe temperature before enjoying. Wash your hands before preparing eggs and always store them in the refrigerator to slow bacteria growth.
If you have backyard chickens, be sure to practice proper flock management and collect eggs as soon as possible. The longer they sit in the coop, the higher the chance of them becoming contaminated by salmonella. Avoid rinsing eggs until just before use, as this could drive some lingering bacteria through the porous shell.
Remember, always buy pasture-raised, organic eggs whenever possible.
What do you think of raw eggs? Let us know in the comments below!
-The Alternative Daily