The average American eats as much as 279 eggs every year, making it one of the more healthy dietary habits. As a cost-effective, and delicious source of high-quality protein and nutrients, it is hard to beat an egg when it comes to matching it gram for gram, in terms of overall health nutrition. The little powerhouse has as much as 6 to 7 grams of protein, in addition to 13 essential vitamins and minerals, all packed into just 70 calories. However, the downside is that a large number of people are unaware of the healthiest way to eat eggs. So, here’s a little nutritional and dietary assistance to help you get this right.
Nutrition from eggs are delivered best when you follow the healthiest way to eat eggs
Nutrition delivery is a challenge that many fail to understand. Overdo the heat and you are likely to end up with lesser nutrition. Similarly, insufficient heat can prevent the unlocking of nutrients. It is therefore important to strike the right balance to get the nutrients from the source. Let’s look at the nutrients from eggs. In addition to the proteins, eggs are one of the very few dietary sources of Vitamin D. An important nutrient is Choline which is vital for the development of the brain in the fetus. This makes it an important dietary requirement for pregnant women.
Other important nutrients in eggs include Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two important antioxidants that are vital for the well-being of aging populations. Age-related degeneration is responsible for a host of complications and problems experienced by the aged, and regular intake of eggs helps to beat back the problems naturally. However, the most important aspect is the need for ensuring that you follow the healthiest way to eat eggs. The white of the eggs is popular, primarily as the source of high-quality proteins, putting it high on the menu of athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This has received a fillip with studies clearly indicating that an egg a day will not adversely affect the cholesterol levels of patients. Medically recognized guidelines now advise individuals to consume an egg a day without any apprehensions of breaching the cholesterol limits.
Debunking myths associated with eggs
Before we get on to the healthiest way to eat eggs it is important to clearly debunk the myths associated with eating eggs. By virtue of its popularity, it has attracted myths that actually misguide a significant percentage of egg eaters. Here are a few myths that are relevant in this context.
Myth #1 Eating raw eggs is a healthier option
Many individuals prefer to eat raw eggs on the presumption that the nutrients are delivered better with raw eggs. This is far from the truth. With the possible exception of a few nutrients, the main ingredients are not properly absorbed in the body when the egg is consumed raw.
Myth #2 Pregnant women should not eat eggs
As explained clearly above, pregnant women need to consume eggs as this will help the development of the brain of the fetus. Fear-mongering that has been associated with the consumption of eggs by pregnant women is the onset of allergies. This is unsubstantiated and clearly misguiding, with no scientific basis. The only care that needs to be exercised is the need to follow the healthiest way to eat eggs by ensuring that the eggs are properly boiled or cooked.
Myth #3 Regardless of the way you cook, you will get the benefits of eggs
This is perhaps the most damaging myth. Because, if you eat an egg in a manner that is not the healthiest, you will end up with no results to see. Consequently, you are likely to discontinue eating eggs as you do not experience any impact. The way you eat an egg will determine how it helps you nutritionally.
Best ways to eat an egg
There are basically three options for the healthiest way to eat eggs – soft boiled, poached and hard-boiled. However, if you do want a fourth option, then you can choose the sunny side up cooking method, but it needs to be ensured that you do it right. Let’s dive into the options.
This qualifies as the best way to eat an egg. When you soft boil an egg, you ensure that you are maximizing the utilization of protein while removing the avidin. By soft boiling, you are effectively ensuring that the eggs are protected from oxidization.
This method also protects the yolk from oxidization as the egg white covers it while remaining submerged in water. While the protective shell is cracked open, the egg white continues to protect the yolk, ensuring that you get the desired nutrients.
This is good enough option, in case you do not like the taste of a soft boiled egg. Here, it is important to understand that the yolk is put through a higher temperature for it to be hard-boiled. This exposes it to a limited amount of nutrient destroying heat, despite the fact that it does not come into contact with oxygen. It is good enough, but from a nutrient perspective, it is placed slightly lower than a soft boiled egg.
If you need a fourth option, mainly from a taste bud requirement, then you can opt for the sunny side up method. It is important to crack open the egg carefully to ensure that the yolk is protected as much as possible from the direct heat at the base of the frying pan. This will ensure that the heat will not bring down the nutrient value of the yolk.