When it comes to cooking eggs, less is definitely more. Eating raw eggs, which obviously involves the least amount of preparation, is becoming more popular and more advocated by some of the leading nutritionists and health experts.
Eggs are nearly a perfect food. Not only do they contain significant amounts of protein, they also are high in more than a dozen essential nutrients. They’re also rich with antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for long-term eye health and not readily available in many foods. In order to preserve these health benefits 100%, you’ll want to eat your eggs raw.
As I discussed earlier this week in Tips for Preparing and Storing Organic Free Range Eggs, consuming raw eggs isn’t as risky as once thought—at least if those eggs are from organically raised free-range chickens. Your risk of contracting salmonella from these eggs is relatively low, and many believe that the health benefits far outweigh the risks.
For some, raw egg consumption can be a bit intimidating. If you’re interested in trying raw eggs, you could start out with just a small amount daily. Or, even better, use a blender to mix an egg or two with some whey protein powder, water, ice, and a banana or other fruit (berries work well). The resulting smoothie is both tasty and highly nutritious.
If you must cook your eggs, keep the heat and cook time to a minimum. If you like fried eggs, for example, try over easy instead of over medium. Or even transition to sunny-side up. If you’re used to hard boiled eggs, try soft boiled eggs instead. Poach your eggs for a shorter amount of time or try steaming them instead.
What you don’t want to do when cooking your eggs is break the yolk. Scrambling eggs, for example, requires you to break the yolk during the cooking process. Omelettes and frittatas also require that you break the yolk while cooking the egg.
If the way you cook your eggs requires that you break the yolk before the egg starts to cook or while the egg is cooking, consider other options. Boiled eggs are easy to prepare, and they make a great breakfast, snack, or post-workout meal.
Now, it’s clear that the egg yolk must be broken after it’s cooked in order for you to eat it. The key point is that you don’t want to break the yolk while the egg is cooking. This causes the cholesterol in the egg to oxidize, which can lead to inflammation. A subject for a later post, inflammation is believed by many physicians and researches to be the #1 killer in America and the basis of most disease, including heart disease.
If free-range organic eggs sound like something you’d like to try, I highly encourage you to seek out a local farmer or farmer’s market. If you’re having a hard time finding them, I’ve previously suggested and highly recommend using Local Harvest as a resource. You can also try Eatwild if none of the other options I suggested in Why You Should Eat Organic, Free Range Eggs are working for you. Then there’s always two of my favorites: Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. If the options are really limited in your area, try your local grocery store. Many major supermarkets in several states are starting to carry organic free-range eggs.