Debunking 20 of the Most Common Myths About Eggs
Posted on: October 18th 2021
For being such a simple food, there sure is a lot of mystery surrounding eggs. What makes certain eggs different colors? Will drinking raw eggs really make you stronger? With so many rumors floating around, it can be difficult to know what’s real and what’s fiction. We pride ourselves on knowing the facts, and we’re ready to get to the bottom of these egg myths once and for all. Below, you’ll crack the case on common egg myths and why they’re not true.
20 Common Egg Myths and Facts
If you’re ready to unwind some fabrications, check out these 20 common egg myths and the facts that debunk them:
Myth 1: Eggs Have High Cholesterol Levels
Although we’ve heard for years that eating eggs is not good for your cholesterol levels, recent research has found that eggs don’t affect your blood cholesterol levels that much. These findings mean that regularly consuming eggs is safe, even for those at risk for heart disease. What really negatively impacts blood levels of cholesterol are trans fats, saturated fats, and simple sugars.
While eggs do contain a notable amount of cholesterol — 211 milligrams per egg, which is 70% of the recommended daily cholesterol intake — this is not a huge health concern. It is far more important for your heart health to stick to a diet low in trans fat and saturated fat.
Myth 2: Eggs Take Too Long to Cook for Busy Mornings
If you tend to be rushing out the door in the morning, you may not have time to cook eggs and clean the pan before leaving. However, you can still work eggs into your breakfast routine. Save precious time each morning by making scrambled eggs in the microwave or purchasing pre-peeled hard-boiled eggs for the week at the grocery store.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you start your day with a healthy, on-the-go meal instead of a sugary toaster pastry is to meal prep something like hard-boiled eggs or mini quiche cups for busy weekday mornings. You can find plenty of breakfast inspiration by checking out these delicious egg recipes.
Myth 3: Brown and White Eggs Are Nutritionally Different
Typically, brown foods are associated with being healthier. For instance, whole-grain bread, wheat pasta, brown rice, and other brown food products are all significantly more nutritious than their white counterparts. However, this trend stops with eggs. Studies have found that white eggs and brown eggs are essentially the same when it comes to nutritional content and health benefits.
Although brown eggs tend to cost more than white eggs, this price difference does not reflect any difference in nutrient quality or nutritional value. Brown eggs are more expensive not because they are better or healthier, but because they usually come from larger chickens that cost more to raise. This lack of nutritional difference means the color of eggs you buy is completely up to your personal preferences.
Myth 4: Brown Eggs Come From Brown Chickens
The color of an egg is indeed related to the color of the chicken it came from, but not the chicken’s feathers. Oddly enough, the color of a chicken’s earlobes is the characteristic that influences the color of their eggs’ shells. Brown eggs usually come from chickens with red earlobes, while white eggs usually come from chickens with white earlobes. Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule, but it generally rings true.
Myth 5: There Are Only White or Brown Eggs
Despite all the talk of white and brown eggs, there are other colors of eggs to consider. Most often, chicken eggs are white or brown, but certain breeds of chickens, such as the Ameraucana or the Araucana, can produce green or blue eggs. The color of the eggshell relies on the pigment known as protoporphyrin, which determines whether a shell turns out brown, blue, or green.
Myth 6: Egg Carton Dates Reflect Food Safety
The sell-by date is one of the most hotly debated topics when it comes to food safety myths and facts. The expiration date or sell-by date on an egg carton serves as a guideline for food quality, not food safety. This distinction means the date on an egg carton indicates when the eggs inside are at their best, not when it is safe to eat them. Eggs will taste fresher the sooner you consume them, but they won’t pose a safety threat if you eat them closer to their expiration date.
In general, you can keep your eggs past their sell-by date as long as you keep the carton cold in the back of your fridge. Most often, eggs are safe to eat up to five weeks after the date printed on their carton. Of course, if your eggs smell rotten or sulfuric, toss them out immediately.
Myth 7: Every Egg Is a Baby Chicken
Whether an egg has been fertilized or not, it is still an egg. You can rest assured that the overwhelming majority of eggs for sale at your local grocery store are unfertilized and could not hatch into chickens even if you wanted them to.
Myth 8: Cage-Free Farming Is More Humane
The terms “cage-free,” “humanely raised,” and “free-range” are not synonymous with one another. Chickens that live on self-proclaimed cage-free farms are most often crowded into pens that operate like big cages. Furthermore, many of these cage-free farmers remove the sharper parts of the hens’ beaks while they are young to keep them from potentially hurting another hen once they’re all crammed together in a pen.
If you want to be certain your eggs are coming from happy and healthy chickens, look for egg cartons with the Certified Humane label, or get your eggs from a local small farm.
Myth 9: Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat Eggs
Many pregnant women have heard the rumor they should not eat any eggs because it puts their baby at risk of being born with an egg allergy. There is no scientific evidence or research to support this misconception. In fact, health care professionals recommend that pregnant women work eggs into their diets.
Because eggs are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, protein, and amino acids, they are an extremely beneficial food to consume when pregnant. The only thing pregnant women should be cautious of is making sure they don’t eat raw or undercooked eggs — but this guideline applies to all people.
Myth 10: Eggs Have to Go on Your Fridge Door’s Egg Shelf
Nearly every refrigerator has a special shelf located on its door that’s designated for holding eggs. However, unless your family goes through eggs incredibly fast, the egg slots on the fridge door are not the best place to keep them. Eggs should be stored at a consistent temperature. The temperature around the fridge door is always shifting as the door gets opened and closed.
The ideal place to store your carton of eggs is toward the back of your fridge’s middle shelf. Tucking your carton there will shield it from temperature fluctuations and help the eggs inside stay fresh longer.
Myth 11: All Eggs Need to Be Refrigerated
You might be surprised to learn that not everyone needs to refrigerate their eggs. Depending on where you live in the world, you can leave your carton out of the fridge. For instance, in Britain, not even the grocery store refrigerates the eggs.
On the other hand, egg producers in the U.S. that have a certain amount of chickens are most often required to wash their eggs to prevent illness-causing salmonella. This washing process includes enzymes and soaps that can strip the egg of its outer protective cuticle that keeps it safe from bacteria. Without this extra layer of protection, the washed eggs need to be chilled in fridges to keep bacteria at bay.
Britain and many other countries around the globe avoid the need to refrigerate eggs by not washing them in the first place. Many places prohibit washing eggs because careless washing procedures have the potential to do more harm than good. Because unwashed eggs keep their outermost shells intact, refrigerating them is optional.
Whether you refrigerate your eggs by choice or out of necessity, the United Egg Producers Association advises to ensure eggs remain chilled by not leaving them out for more than two hours. Leaving a cold egg at room temperature for too long will cause the egg to sweat, which facilitates the growth of potentially harmful bacteria or, in some cases, mold.
Myth 12: You Can’t Freeze Chicken Eggs
Contrary to popular belief, you can freeze chicken eggs as long as you go about it the right way. You can’t just put a carton of shelled eggs straight into the freezer because the eggs will expand and burst. Instead, crack the eggs, lightly beat them, then pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container, such as an ice cube tray.
Once you’re ready to use your eggs, take them out of the freezer to defrost, then cook with them just as you would normally. As long as you’re careful about the eggs’ exposure, there are no food safety concerns with this technique. So next time your carton of eggs is on the brink of going bad before you get the chance to use it, save your eggs for future recipes by freezing them.
Myth 13: Bad Eggs Always Smell Bad
Anyone who’s ever smelled a rotten egg has had that rancid scent seared into their memory. Unfortunately, we can’t rely solely on our sense of smell to tell us whether an egg has gone bad or not. An egg may smell and taste fine but still have salmonella. Avoid salmonella and sickness by discarding any cracked or dirty eggs immediately. In addition, keep your hands, utensils, and cooking surfaces clean and dry.
Myth 14: Raw Eggs Are Healthier Than Cooked Eggs
There are many theories about the health benefits of raw eggs. Some people consume raw eggs in an attempt to grow more muscle, reduce stomach acid or even improve their voice. While the risk of getting sick from salmonella is low — just 1 out of 30,000 eggs is usually infected — the advantages of eating raw eggs are unconfirmed and overrated.
The body does not digest raw egg whites as well as cooked egg whites. In fact, the absorption of raw eggs’ biotin (vitamin B7) can even be blocked. Although the cooking process often alters the nutrient content of eggs, it also nearly eliminates the risk of salmonella altogether. In this way, cooked eggs are far safer to consume than raw eggs.
Myth 15: Raw Eggs Have More Protein Than Cooked Eggs
Even though raw eggs don’t offer the same nutrients as cooked eggs, can the protein in raw eggs help you gain more muscle faster? The movie scenes of ripped bodybuilders downing glasses of raw eggs every morning would certainly have you think so. However, like many things in Hollywood, this is fake.
Cooking your eggs will provide your body with more protein than eating them raw because the cooking process changes the protein structure in eggs to make it more accessible for our digestive enzymes and easier for our bodies to absorb. The protein in cooked eggs is 91% bioavailable, whereas the protein in raw eggs is only 50% bioavailable. This data means that eating cooked eggs will work more grams of protein into your diet than adding raw eggs to your post-workout smoothie or shake.
Myth 16: Eating Egg Yolks Makes People Gain Weight
Many people avoid eating egg yolks because they don’t want to gain weight. But without the yolk, an egg is missing almost all of its fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins and minerals. Despite their poor reputation, egg yolks offer additional protein, along with other useful nutrients for healthy weight management. For example, egg yolks are full of vitamin D, which contributes to calcium absorption.
The yolk also contains nearly half of an egg’s protein, which is the nutrient that helps you to feel full all morning after having eggs for breakfast. Research has shown that having a whole egg for breakfast, as opposed to a pastry, reduces the amount of food you eat throughout the day, which reduces your total calorie count and leads to losing weight.
Myth 17: Egg Whites Are Healthier Than Whole Eggs
Even though egg yolks won’t make you gain weight, is sticking with just egg whites still healthier? In the past, egg whites have dominated the “light breakfast” menu listings for their low calorie, cholesterol, and fat content. However, further research has revealed that there’s much more to the story than meets the eye.
Scientific data shows no cause for concern about egg consumption, including the yolk, when it comes to heart health because dietary cholesterol doesn’t directly translate to high levels of blood cholesterol. In fact, the yolk offers most of an egg’s good stuff. The yolk is where you’ll find the majority of an egg’s iron, folate, and vitamins. The yolk is also home to the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which support your eye and brain health.
Along with the beneficial nutrients and minerals, the fats within an egg yolk are actually good for maintaining a balanced diet. Consuming a bit of fat with your breakfast will keep you more satisfied throughout the day and less likely to overeat later. The type of fat found in egg yolks may also offer your body additional benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and healthy, glowing skin.
Myth 18: Accidentally Eating a Small Piece of Eggshell Is Dangerous
While experiencing the crunch of an eggshell in the middle of enjoying your cupcake or omelet is an unpleasant surprise, that’s about all it is. Although a large piece of eggshell could have the potential to injure your throat or esophagus, consuming a small piece of eggshell is not known to be a health danger.
Along with large pieces of eggshell, you’ll also want to avoid eating uncooked eggshells. Just like raw eggs, uncooked eggshells can be contaminated with the harmful type of bacteria that cause sicknesses, such as salmonella.
Myth 19: Eggs Should Rarely Be Eaten
Somewhere along the line, eggs got a bad rap, and many people think they should rarely be eaten. This myth is simply untrue and harmful to those trying to follow a balanced diet. Eggs are an excellent source of nutrients and should be regularly included in your diet, not avoided. Specifically, eggs contain 13 essential vitamins and minerals, making them a great choice for those of all ages trying to eat well.
Myth 20: Eating Eggs Every Day Is Bad for You
While you don’t have to avoid eating eggs on a more regular basis, can you really eat them every single day? Yes! It is perfectly safe to have an egg each day as long as you’re also consuming an adequate amount of other vital food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
In fact, the important vitamins and other key nutrients found in eggs, such as omega-3 fatty acids, make eating eggs every day acceptable and beneficial. Along with helping you lead a healthy lifestyle, making eggs a part of your normal process each morning can benefit your taste buds and wallet. Eggs are an inexpensive, cost-effective food that tastes amazing as an omelet, stuffed into a breakfast sandwich, mixed into baked items, or scrambled on their own. Regardless of how you enjoy your eggs, start your day off right with this delicious, nutrient-dense food.
Get Top-Quality Eggs From Sauder’s Eggs
Now that you’ve cracked the most common egg myths, it’s time for you to get cracking on some tasty egg recipes. Make sure you’re benefiting from all that eggs have to offer by using Sauder’s Eggs. We offer a variety of brown and white eggs so you can stock up on high-quality, farm-fresh eggs for making all kinds of healthy meals.
Use our online store locator to find Sauder’s Eggs in the store nearest you today.