There are many different ways that eggs can be cooked, including boiling, poaching, frying, baking and scrambling.
One of the main reasons why you should cook eggs is that it makes them safer to eat and also makes some of their nutrients such as the protein and biotin easier to digest.
Studies show that the protein in eggs is easier to digest when it’s been cooked. One study found that the human body could use 91% of the protein in cooked eggs, compared to 51% in raw eggs.
Eggs are a good source of biotin, which is an important nutrient used in fat and sugar metabolism. It’s also known as vitamin B7, or vitamin H.
Avidin a protein in raw eggs binds to biotin making it unavailable for your body to use. When the eggs are cooked the heat causes structural change to avidin, making it less effective at binding to biotin hence making it easier to absorb.
On the other hand, high cooking may damage vital nutrients found in eggs such as vitamin A. It is reduced by 17-20%. Cooking eggs by microwaving, boiling and frying reduces the amount of antioxidants the eggs by 6-18%.
Shorter cooking times (even at high temperatures) have been shown to retain more nutrients.
Eggs baked for 40 minutes may lose up to 61% of their vitamin D, compared to up to 18% when they are fried or boiled for a shorter amount of time.
Though cooking may reduce some nutrients in eggs, they are still a very rich source of vitamins and antioxidants.
The cholesterol in eggs cooked at high temperatures may become oxidized and produce compounds known as oxysterols.
Oxysterols may be a concern for some people, as oxidized cholesterol and oxysterols in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Five cooking tips to eating healthier eggs:
In conclusion, shorter and lower-heat cooking methods cause less oxidation of cholesterol and help retain most of the nutrients in the eggs. Hence poached and boiled (either hard or soft) eggs may be the healthiest way to eat your eggs.
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Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !