Public health organizations have been unanimous in their recommendation of cooking eggs and egg products to lower the risk of illness due to contamination. Despite this, some people still advocate the health benefits of eating raw eggs. Here are the pros and cons of consuming raw eggs to help you become better informed if you are thinking of adding raw eggs to your meal plan:
List of Pros of Eating Raw Eggs
1. Raw eggs retain nutrients.
Eggs lose nutrients when they are cooked, and this loss of nutrients is true regardless of whether the eggs was cooked without the shell of cooked with the shell. According to data from the nutritional database of the US Department of Agriculture, you’ll find 36% more vitamin D, 33% more omega-3s, 33% more DHA, 30% more lutein + zeaxanthin, 23% more choline, 20% more biotin and 19% more zinc in raw eggs compared to hard-boiled eggs.
2. Raw eggs contain a rich amount of vitamins.
About 0.3 milligrams of riboflavin is present in one egg which is needed by the body to break down fats, carbohydrates and protein as well as keeping the blood and nerve cells working as planned. Folate, which maintains and makes new cells, is found in eggs – particularly the yolk. Choline, which is associated with memory preservation, is also contained in eggs.
3. Raw eggs are rich in protein and minerals.
Eggs are good sources of protein and one egg contains around six grams of protein. Your body needs protein in order to repair cells and make new ones.
A number of minerals are also found in eggs. For instance, an egg yolk contains 66 mg of phosphorus and 2 mg of calcium. One whole egg also has 16 mcg of selenium. Your body needs phosphorus in order to function normally while calcium helps build stronger teeth and bones. Selenium, which is incorporated into proteins, create antioxidant enzymes called selenoproteins. Lastly, eggs also have small amounts of copper, iron and zinc.
List of Cons of Eating Raw Eggs
1. Raw eggs can be contaminated.
This is the biggest drawback to eating raw eggs. In particular, we are at risk of Salmonella enteritidis. Other than that, different bacteria are also present on the shell but also inside the cell and these include Campylobacter, Enterococcus and Listeria.
The bacteria stays in balance when the hens are healthy. However, they do pose a threat to humans. In 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration recalled more than 500 million eggs due to salmonella contamination after many people reported sickness.
Although the Congress passed the Egg Products and Inspection Act which required egg producers to follow safety procedures when handling and processing eggs and egg products, it has not completely eliminated the chances of contamination. Even if contamination cases have been low, the presence of salmonella inside the shells is harder to control as it can get into a hen’s ovary and establish itself in the egg before the shell is formed. As such, even cleaning the shells won’t lower the risk for salmonella.
So when you’re considering the addition of raw eggs to your diet, weigh the pros with the cons. Apart from that, always buy eggs from reputable sellers and always check the quality before making a purchase.