This is a fact.
Scrambled eggs are the worst way to eat eggs.
Despite what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other public health organizations may tell you, a well-cooked, scrambled egg is not the healthiest option.
The yellow center of the egg, or the yolk, is full of living nutrients that sustain and fortify our cells and organs. But when you cook an egg, exposing it to air and heat at the same time, you are chemically altering its structure. These ingredients are depleted of their life-nourishing properties.
Nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, whose many benefits include warding off age-related macular degeneration –a common cause of blindness –, perish in the cooking process.
Consider how much we rely on body heat to connect us to body awareness. When our temperature raises above 105 degrees, the alarm bells sound, signaling serious health conditions that need immediate attention. Likewise, when we heat an egg above 105 degrees we are chemically altering the content of the yolk and essentially crossing the line between healthy and harmful.
Scrambling your eggs also causes cholesterol oxidation. What in the world is that?
When you cut an apple open and leave it out, what happens to it? It turns brown. That’s oxidation, and the same process occurs inside our bodies! When the cholesterol in egg yolk oxidizes, our bodies suffer the consequences.
The Cholesterol Myth
Eggs are typically associated with the word cholesterol. Let’s debunk this myth.
Cholesterol is necessary. Your cells need cholesterol to form cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that digest fat. Cholesterol strengthens our cognitive function and protects our memories. And what’s more, numerous studies have shown that eggs do not actually raise your cholesterol levels, so cholesterol oxidation is harmful to us.
One such study published in the International Journal of Cardiology found that a daily dose of egg did not increase your cholesterol levels and had no effect on your cardiac risk.
The first studies linking eggs to high cholesterol were conducted decades ago and tested on dried egg yolk of a significantly different composition than that of a whole fresh egg. Studies since have refuted this link. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and conducted by researchers at Kansas State University has even uncovered an ingredient in eggs called phosphatidylcholine (PC) that actually prevents cholesterol from entering the bloodstream.
It is not cholesterol we need to avoid, but the oxidized cholesterol in scrambled eggs that is best dodged. Our blood vessels don’t have receptors for cholesterol – a beneficial arrangement that protects us from collecting too much cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Our blood vessels do have receptors for oxidized cholesterol, and therein lays the danger.
Cholesterol oxidation leads to sticky cholesterol that gradually forms plague around the artery walls, the major precursor to heart disease.
So what is the best way to eat eggs? Raw. This advice may seem contrary; we are forever warned against the dangers of salmonella, but we should only avoid eating raw eggs when they come from large commercial egg facilities, all of which engage in confined animal feeding operations, or CAFO’s. Keep in mind that the wide majority of commercially available eggs are produced by CAFO’s.
Even eggs labeled “free-range” are not truly free-range. An accurate definition of free-range chickens are chickens who are able to roam free in a pasture and forage for their natural diet of green plants, insects, seeds and worms.
The United States definition of “free-range” is merely a chicken that has access to the outside for a couple of minutes a day. This access is often bare concrete, and “access” simply means that the chickens can go outside if they want, but many are cooped up with tens to one hundred thousands of other chickens and never find their way out the door.
Free-range does not necessarily mean pasture fed. To make sure you are not eating eggs that come from CAFO’s, purchase organic, free-range eggs from your local health food store or farmer’s market. Remember, eggs from pasture-fed hens have 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega fats and 7 times more beta-carotene than eggs from non-foraging hens.
How to Eat Raw Eggs
One option is to blend a whole raw egg into a breakfast smoothie. It is healthiest to eat the egg white and yolk together. If consuming a raw egg is unpalatable, or you are pregnant, eating a soft-boiled egg is the next best option.