Whether as an omelet, “Eggs Benedict”, or a classic breakfast egg: Eggs can be prepared countless ways. These differ in taste and consistency and terms of their nutrient density and number of calories. But what is the healthiest way to cook eggs?
They were demonized as cholesterol bombs for a long time but recently praised more like a protein booster: Hardly any other food is discussed as controversially as chicken egg. One thing is sure: Egg contain many essential nutrients such as high-quality protein, vitamins A and D, B vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus and iron. But it’s not just the quantity that counts. The way the egg is prepared also determines its effect on the body.
Common Egg Preparation Methods
The eggs are placed in boiling water with their shells for about 5 to 10 minutes. The longer the cooking time, the more complex the egg will be. The consistency ranges from waxy soft to complex.
Oil or fat is first heated in a pan for the perfect fried egg. Then the egg is allowed to slide carefully and whole into the pan. If it is only fried on one side, the fried egg is “sunny side up”. In the “over easy” variant, the egg is fried on both sides.
The eggs are first cracked into a bowl and whisked to prepare scrambled eggs. Sometimes some water or milk is added to the liquid scrambled eggs. The whisked egg is then placed in a pan with hot fat. As soon as it starts to set, it is pushed around with a spatula to form small pieces.
Poached egg, also known as “lost eggs”, are placed without the shell in boiling water (about 70 to 80 degrees) and cooked there for two and a half to five minutes. Then they are skimmed out of the water. A popular form of poached eggs is Benedict. The American breakfast classic features a poached egg on a slice of toast with fried bacon and hollandaise sauce.
The omelet is prepared in a similar way to the scrambled eggs. The only difference: while the scrambled are torn into pieces, the omelet remains whole. Often chopped vegetables, fresh herbs or diced ham or cheese are added.
Can You Eat Raw Eggs?
The same for all preparation methods: The eggs are heated before consumption. This is also recommended because raw ones harbor the risk of salmonella and other bacteria. At worst, eating raw eggs can lead to food poisoning. Therefore, that raw eggs are perfect for building muscle is a myth. When heated, the protein is broken down and can thus be better absorbed by the body, as a study has shown.
Raw eggs also contain the glycoprotein avidin. Excessive consumption of natural protein can impair biotin absorption in the intestine. Whether you can eat raw eggs also depends on the origin of the egg. The nutrient and calorie content also depends on how the chickens are kept and fed. Rinsing the shell with hot water can partially reduce the risk of salmonella.
What Happens When You Heat The Eggs?
The protein molecules are broken down by heating and can thus be digested more easily. According to a study by the University of Leuven in Belgium, the utilization rate of egg proteins is over 90 per cent when cooked and just under 50 per cent when raw.
The situation is different from the other nutrients in the egg. For example, the vitamin A content can be reduced by up to 20 per cent when heated. 3 The vitamin D content also decreases when the eggs are heated. One study looked at the role of heating duration in vitamin D loss. The result: Eggs baked for more than 40 minutes lost 61 per cent of their vitamin D content.
In comparison, if they were cooked for only a short time, the loss was 18 per cent. However, an egg should not be boiled for more than ten minutes. Because then a blue-black edge forms on the yolk. A sign that the iron in the yolk has reacted with the protein.
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