Eating Raw Eggs – Good Nutrition or Unnecessary Risk?

by Kelly Fitzsimmons

Eating Raw Eggs Image

There are some common concerns for those considering eating raw eggs as a regular source of nutrients.

The first thing that comes to mind for the majority of people is the risk of salmonella poisoning.

This fear is followed closely by the belief that eggs have too much cholesterol; a concern that is understandable for those trying to eat nutritiously while shedding extra baggage.

Finally there is some confusion over the benefits and risks associated with eating raw versus cooked eggs, which makes it seem like more trouble than it’s worth for most people.

This applies two-fold when one considers the prospect of guzzling down a lukewarm, slimy egg.

Is eating raw eggs good or bad?

Many of these concerns are based on a misunderstanding of the facts (aside from the aversion to the lukewarm, slimy egg, which may take a little getting used to).

Benefits of eating raw eggs

Eating raw eggs provides the body with rich, essential nutrients that have not been denatured by heat from cooking.

These benefits can, in most cases, far outweigh any negative effects associated with the consumption of raw eggs.

Is eating raw eggs safe?

Salmonella poisoning can be a serious health concern for children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

It can also be a huge discomfort even to a healthy adult. However, a study in 2002 by the USDA found that out of 69 billion eggs produced annually in the United States, only 2.3 million were found to be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.

This is a remarkably low number, roughly 0.003%. There will always be a very small chance that you could come across salmonella poisoning from eating raw eggs, but the chances are far lower than what many people have been led to believe.

There have been claims that eggs have too much cholesterol, too much protein, and too many calories.

Some have claimed that it is only healthy to eat the egg whites, while others insist that the yolk is the only safe part of the egg to consume.

The fact is that the whole egg is a nutritionally balanced package.

To learn more about the nutritional facts of the egg white, check out this article: Egg White Nutrition.

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The protein in the raw egg white is unaltered and complete, aiding in muscle generation and immune system health, while the yolk is rich in both choline and biotin, essential B vitamins for cognitive health and metabolic function, respectively.

As far as concerns of eggs clogging your arteries, most of the cholesterol found in eggs passes through our digestive system without being absorbed. And when combined with regular exercise and an active lifestyle, the cholesterol is easily converted by the body into HDL rather than the artery-clogging LDL.

Image: nixxphotography

The Biotin Debate

Critics of eating raw eggs often point the egg whites high concentration of avidin as a cause of biotin deficiency.

Avidin, a glycoprotein that is an expert at binding to biotin making it nutritionally useless, is deactivated when eggs are cooked.

This is why there is never an issue with biotin deficiency with cooked eggs.

While eating the egg white alone could certainly lead to biotin deficiency, the yolks pack in more than enough biotin to compensate.

Also, avidin binds to biotin only at the time when the raw egg is consumed, so one could avoid this problem simply by eating biotin rich foods at other times of the day.

Typically this should not be an issue if the yolk and the egg white are consumed together.

How Do I Eat Raw Eggs?

Eggs provide a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals, and are an important part of any healthy diet.

Eating raw eggs provides these nutrients in their most natural, easily absorbed state.

The best way to consume raw eggs is to have them on their own, with the yolk still intact.

It is not advised to blend, whip, mix or alter the eggs in any way as any of these things could denature the molecular structure of the ingredients that hold the best positive effects for your body.

As long as the eggs are uncracked, fresh and from a trustworthy source, crack them into a glass two at a time, chug them down and enjoy the boost of energy, sharper brain function and healthier immune system.

*This article was written by professional blogger and fitness enthusiast, Josh Henningsgaard.

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