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Healthiest Way to Cook and Eat Eggs

eggs healthy ways to cookEggs are a cheap but incredibly nutritious food.
They contain relatively few calories, but they're packed with proteins, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and various trace nutrients.

That said, the way you prepare your eggs can affect their nutrient profile.

Cooking Makes Some Nutrients More Digestible

Cooking eggs makes them safer to eat, and it also makes some of their nutrients easier to digest.
One example of this is the protein in eggs. Studies have shown it becomes more digestible when it's heated. In fact, one study found that the human body could use 91% of the protein in cooked eggs, compared to only 51% in raw eggs. This change in digestibility is thought to occur because heat causes structural changes in the egg proteins. In raw eggs, the large protein compounds are separate from each other and curled up in complex, twisted structures. When the proteins are cooked, heat breaks the weak bonds that hold them in shape.

The proteins then form new bonds with the other proteins around them. These new bonds in the cooked egg are easier for your body to digest. You can see these changes occurring as the egg white and yolk change from a thick gel to rubbery and firm. The protein in raw eggs can also interfere with the availability of the micronutrient biotin.

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. In raw eggs, a protein in the egg whites called avidin binds to biotin, making it unavailable for your body to use. However, when eggs are cooked, the heat causes structural changes to avidin, making it less effective at binding to biotin. This makes biotin easier to absorb.

Although cooking eggs makes some nutrients more digestible, it can damage others. This isn't unusual. Cooking most foods will result in a reduction of some nutrients, particularly if they are cooked at high temperatures for a long period of time. Studies have examined this phenomenon in eggs.
One study found that cooking eggs reduced their vitamin A content by around 17-20%. Cooking may also significantly reduce the amount of antioxidants in eggs. One study found that common cooking methods, including microwaving, boiling and frying eggs, reduced the amount of certain antioxidants by 6–18% .
Overall, shorter cooking times (even at high temperatures) have been shown to retain more nutrients.

Egg yolks are high in cholesterol. In fact, one large egg contains about 212 mg of cholesterol, which is 71% of the previously recommended intake of 300 mg per day. There is now no recommended upper limit on daily cholesterol intake in the US. However, when eggs are cooked at high temperatures, the cholesterol in them may become oxidized and produce compounds known as oxysterols. This is a concern for some people, as oxidized cholesterol and oxysterols in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Foods containing oxidized cholesterol and oxysterols are thought to contribute to the blood levels of these compounds. The main dietary sources of oxidized cholesterol may be commercially fried foods such as fried chicken, fish and french fries.

Tips to Cook Super Healthy Eggs

Eggs are nutritious, but you can make your eggs even healthier. Here are five tips to cook super healthy eggs:
1. Choose a Low-Calorie Cooking Method. If you are trying to cut back on calories, choose poached or boiled eggs.
2. Combine Them With Vegetables. Eggs go really well with vegetables.
3. Fry Them in an Oil That’s Stable at High Temperatures.
4. Choose the Most Nutritious Eggs You Can Afford
In general, pasture-raised and organic eggs are thought to be nutritionally superior to caged and conventionally-produced eggs.
5. Don’t Overcook Them. The longer and hotter you cook your eggs, the more nutrients you may lose.


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