Eggs – a breakfast staple!
However, when it comes to eating eggs, there are all sorts of myths and confusions. You’ll hear some people say to only eat egg whites. Others will tell you to avoid egg yolks because they have fat in them and they raise your cholesterol. Some say to wash eggs before you crack them open, and others don’t. And furthermore, how do you know if you’re eating an egg from a healthy chicken or not?
So what’s the truth?
Well, first off…the yolk is the healthiest part of the egg; that’s where all the nutrition is.
The yolk is nutrient dense, anti-oxidant rich, and vitamin and mineral loaded. It contains more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, B12, and pantothenic acid of the egg, and it also contains choline, lutein, trace minerals, and all the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Unfortunately, the egg white has very little nutrition compared to the yolk. Although the egg whites have protein, they still aren’t as nutritious as the yolk.
Second, one of the biggest fears is that yolks raise your cholesterol. This isn’t true.
When you eat a food that has a high level of dietary cholesterol like egg yolks, your body decreases its internal production of cholesterol to balance your cholesterol level. If you don’t eat enough cholesterol, then your body increases its production. There are also some indications that eating whole eggs raises your good HDL cholesterol level.
Third, washing your egg is actually eliminating a natural outer coating that is called “bloom” that helps keep water and oxygen in and bad bacteria out. Washing eggs increases the chances for bacterial invasion through the pores in the shell.
In America, we like everything super clean. So the first time you saw the eggs here in Rocky Point, you probably frowned upon the fact that they are not refrigerated and come with feathers and feces on them. But in a lot of places, a dirty egg with poop on it is no big deal and actually considered a good egg.
Speaking of good eggs, here are some pointers for recognizing a healthy egg:
The richer a chicken’s diet and the greater its overall health, the stronger the shell is. An egg should be difficult to crack open if it’s really healthy.
Chicken egg yolks should be orange in color, not the bright or light yellow yolks that we’re used to in the US. The deeper the color, the better.
Yolks from healthy chickens tend to be thicker and rounder – implying better taste and more nutrients.
I can honestly say I’ve seen healthier eggs here in Rocky Point than in the states, unless I was buying the eggs direct from the farmer, and the chickens were raised in a true free-range environment where they have access to fresh air and can eat anything in sight, including bugs, snakes, rodents, etc.
So there you have it – indulge in your eggs! They’re not as bad for you as you might have thought!