Do you think an egg is just an egg? If so, you’re wrong. Like any food, there’s a wide gap in quality between the eggs you find in the supermarket and the “real thing.”
When I was on vacation in the Dominican Republic, a local chef gave me some eggs straight from his backyard. Yeah, he’s got chickens and ducks roaming around, pecking at stuff and eating their natural diet.
The next morning, I decided to make myself a nice feast of sunny side up eggs. I went to crack the first egg like I normally would, and…. nothing happened. I rapped it a bit harder against the counter. Still no luck. I grabbed a big knife and gave it a tap. STILL nothing… I had to give it a damned hard whack with the knife to get it to crack!
When the egg hit the pan, the yolk was a deep bright orange. Nothing like the pale yellow yolks you normally see from supermarket eggs. The difference between the “health” of free-range eggs and conventional eggs is astounding.
If you can get free-range eggs where you live, don’t hesitate to buy them. It’s definitely worth paying a bit more for the “real thing.” And when you crack ’em open, make sure you eat the whole egg…
Voice from another room: “Are you sure…? Cause everyone knows egg yolks raise cholesterol…”
If you’re scared of the yolk, you’re missing out on most of the benefits this great little superfood has to offer.
You see, the mighty egg was one of the many victims of the low fat “heart healthy” movement in the 80s. A lot of things have changed since the 80’s. The music got worse, shoulder pads got smaller, and we figured out that the low fat craze was based on shady science and misguided dogma.
Unfortunately, many of those myths are still with us today. Every time my mother-in-law pays us a visit, I have to argue with her about the “evils” of butter. She STILL insists that margarine is healthy and butter is bad for you! And if you thought the same thing, I’m not surprised.
You see, most people don’t read the research. And the media does a poor job of giving you the latest information on healthy eating. It’s no wonder nutrition myths stick around for so long!
Take the egg yolk, for example. I can’t believe people still tell me to eat only egg whites. Read this excerpt from my friend Mike Geary’s Fat Burning Kitchen ebook:
Whole Eggs, including the yolk (not just egg whites) are an incredibly good source of usable protein. Most people know that eggs are one of the highest quality sources of protein. However, most people don’t know that the egg yolks are the healthiest part of the egg. That’s where almost all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (such as lutein) are found.
Egg yolks contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and pantothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the yolks contain ALL of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids. Also, the protein of whole eggs is more bio-available than egg whites alone due to a more balanced amino acid profile that the yolks help to build.
Pretty compelling reasons to eat your egg yolks, right?
So yeah, eat your eggs. Just try to get free-range if you can. And make sure you eat the yolks.
Oh, and that reminds me of one final tip I need to share. If you’ve got good quality free-range eggs from a trusted source, try to cook the yolks as little as possible. Heating the egg protein changes the chemical structure. This can lead to egg allergy and intolerance. Over heating the yolk also damages many of the nutrients we talked about earlier.
Some great options are to eat your eggs sunny side up, over-easy but minimally cook the yolk, soft poached or soft boiled. Omelettes aren’t a bad option, as long as you don’t overcook the inside. It should still be runny. Beware of scrambled though. It may oxidize the fats in the yolk—that’s bad…
Maybe you’re wary of salmonella when it comes to eating minimally cooked egg. But that’s really only a problem with conventionally raised eggs—and even then is quite rare. So go ahead, get crackin’…
Okay, all this talk of food is making me hungry. How you like your eggs? Please post it in the comments below. My favorite is poached in homemade tomato soup […don’t knock it ‘till you try it…].