Myth busting alert! First myth buster: eating eggs causes high cholesterol...nope. Second myth buster: eating only egg whites will make you healthier and skinnier...nope.
Truth? Enjoy the entire egg (unless, of course, you have an allergy) and know that it is full of healthy goodness. But let’s talk about the flavor first....
Having consumed eggs mostly from supermarkets my whole life, I was completely unaware that eggs actually had variations in flavor. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to eat farm fresh, straight from the chicken, and various kinds of chickens at that, that I realized there was way more to this egg thing than I originally thought.
Fresh eggs generally have a deeper golden, almost as golden as a sunset, hue to their yolk. They taste much more complex; meaning there are more nuances to the actual flavor of the yolk and white. The flavor of a fresh egg is impacted by the terroir of the chicken so sometimes it might taste earthier or sometimes sweeter. Either way, if you can get your hands on fresh eggs; I highly recommend it! If not, you can still appreciate the flavor of market eggs. For me, it’s more about the texture than the flavor when it comes to market purchased eggs and I definitely leave the yolk as runny as possible for better mouthfeel. Interestingly, runny yolks are healthier as well. Today’s breakfast was two 7 minute steamed soft eggs and they were delightfully perfect with fresh arugula and spinach. I also love them with peas.
So now, back to the mythbusting!
Medicinally, eggs are a little treasure of delicious health. So...why the cholesterol reputation? It all comes down to poor science; or rather poor delivery of science by the pop culture media. Yes, eggs have a high cholesterol content, but the actual empirical data does not support that consuming them impacts your blood plasma and cholesterol counts, in fact, quite the opposite. When most of the surveys and studies were done back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, no one was looking at the entire breakfast content being consumed. They were simply looking at cholesterol levels, looking at an egg’s cholesterol under a microscope and somebody decided 2 + 2 = 4. Unfortunately, in this case, it didn’t and it doesn’t. So, what’s the major contributor to cholesterol impact and blood serum wackiness? The combination of breakfast items that tends to include saturated fats with simple carbs such as white bread and sugary items like jams and jellies. Who’s the real villain in those old research studies? Sugar! Not egg yolks.
Eggs are a great source of quality protein. They are full of lutein and choline, both of which are required nutrients for brain and body health. They are also packed with B vitamins and even omega 3 fatty acids. All of which support reduction of oxidative stress and systemic inflammation, while supporting healthy neural networking and immune function support.
A couple of caveats:
Eggs carry the stress of the chickens that laid them. Research demonstrates that eggs from conventional facilities where the chickens are highly stressed, also carry stress chemicals in their yolk and white. This actually contributes to inflammation and system upset. So, choose range free or pasture raised whenever possible. Also, if you’ve ever actually seen a chicken lay an egg, it’s definitely a process worthy of respect...ouch! So, eat with appreciation and purchase so that your dollar provides the best living arrangement possible for these little treasures.
Also, cooking the yolk with high heat changes the protein composition and can contribute to digestive issues and poor nutrient assimilation. Notice that I wrote “high heat” so the focus is on how you cook the yolk, not necessarily that you cook it. Low and slow will produce a better taste as well as a healthier meal. Top ways to cook eggs:
- Soft boil slowly with steam
- Fry - low and slow
- Scramble - low and slow
- Hard boil – you guessed it, low and slow
7- Minute Steamed Egg
Put about ½ inch of water in a sauce pan with a lid and bring to boil. Lower the heat to simmer and place eggs in the pan. Put on the lid, set the timer for 6-7 minutes (depending on how cooked you want the yolk). Prepare for perfectly cooked whites and nice runny yolks. Once the timer sounds, quickly run the egg under cool water so you can handle it to crack and also so it will stop cooking. Enjoy!