There are plenty of harmful myths about eggs that may put us off eating them at all. Luckily, we’ve debunked the worst of these myths for you!
Aren’t eggs wonderful? Some may say ‘eggcellent,’ in fact. They’re one of the most versatile foods on the planet; packed full of vitamins, nutrients, and plenty of protein. We’re often told that eggs will keep us satiated for the day, so they make the perfect breakfast dish. Plus, there are so many different ways you can cook them! Fried, poached, scrambled… Even baked into cakes – one of our favorites. However, while many of us have been told by nutritionists to eat more eggs, there’s also some confusing and conflicting information on the internet. We’re bombarded with myths about eggs that can put us off eating them at all.
Is there a healthier type of egg? Should we just be eating the whites and avoiding the yolk? Are there certain people who shouldn’t eat them? How often can you eat eggs? Where do we store them? Should we go organic, free-range, and hormone-free? It’s all so confusing! Luckily, we’re about to debunk some of the most confusing egg myths out there.
The color of the yolk proves the quality of it
How often have you cracked an egg, saw a deep orange yolk, and thought that you’ve got the best egg in the carton? However, the color of the yolk is actually determined by the diet of the chicken. Things like stinging nettles, alfalfa, and corn can all turn the yolk brighter if the hen is eating it often.
A more golden yolk doesn’t mean that your chicken is roaming the field eating this stuff though, as food additives can also have the same effect on the color of it. Dull egg yolks don’t mean the quality is any less, it just means that this particular hen isn’t chowing down on nettles or even additives.
Brown eggs are better than white eggs
When it comes to certain other foods, we’re often told that the brown version is better. Brown bread? Better than white. Brown rice? Better than white. Brown sugar? You get the gist. However, studies have shown that both brown and white eggs are pretty much identical.
They have the same amount of protein, fat, cholesterol, and salt. There really is very little (if any) difference between a brown egg and a white egg. So, if you’re torn between the different colors at the grocery store, just know it won’t make any difference to your meal or the number of nutrients you get!
Raw eggs are healthier than boiled eggs
It seems like every bodybuilder from Arnie to Gaston in Beauty and the Beast likes to guzzle down pints of raw eggs, but are they actually healthier than boiled eggs? Not really. While it is unlikely you’ll get salmonella poisoning from a raw egg (around 1 in 30,000 chance), that doesn’t mean they’re actually as useful as some people make out.
Our bodies can’t absorb raw egg whites as well as cooked ones, and Vitamin B7 can also become blocked. It isn’t recommended to eat raw egg, even to pump up those muscles, but if you have to then opt for those that have been treated to eradicate salmonella.
Avoid egg yolks if you want to lose weight
Egg yolks get a bad rep! Many diet experts will tell you to make food using just the egg whites, such as an egg-white omelet, but will this have a significant impact on your weight loss? Again, not really. While there are fewer calories in the white (around 17) compared to the yolk (approximately 55), it’s very minimal in the grand scheme of things.
Plus, egg yolks contain lots of other useful vitamins, nutrients, and even more protein that our bodies could really do with. For example, the egg yolk contains Vitamin D, which isn’t present in the egg whites.
Pastured hens’ eggs are better than caged hens’ eggs
It may be a controversial statement to say, but it is actually a myth that pastured, or free-range hens’ eggs, are better than caged hens’ eggs. In fact, it’s very much a ‘six of one, half a dozen of another’ situation. For example, free-range chicken eggs contain more of vitamins A, D, and E, along with more omega-3.
However, they are also far more likely to suffer from diseases and injury than caged hens – believe it or not! There’s also a myth about the conditions that free-range chickens live in, but we’ll get to that a little bit later on…
Pregnant women shouldn’t eat eggs
There has been a myth going around for quite some time that soon-to-be-moms can give their child an allergy to eggs, if they eat them while they’re expecting. However, this has never been proven, and so pregnant women are free to eat eggs throughout their pregnancy.
After all, eggs are packed full of vital vitamins, nutrients, protein, and amino acids that make them perfect for those who are growing a tiny human inside of them! Of course, the only danger does come from raw or undercooked eggs, but this is the same rule that applies to everyone – pregnant or not.
Eggs shouldn’t be washed
Well, this is a myth, but only if you live in certain countries. In some places, it’s advised that you do wash your eggs and store them in the refrigerator. In others, it’s prohibited to wash the eggs! So, where do you stand? Well, if you live in America, Japan, Australia, and some Scandinavian countries, then the general rule is that you have to wash your eggs to avoid salmonellosis.
However, in most European countries, most hens are vaccinated, and it’s advised not to wash the egg to prevent washing off their natural protective layer. If in doubt, check the food regulatory body’s advice for your country.
The way you cook eggs doesn’t matter
Fried, boiled, scrambled… It’s all the same as long as you’re eating eggs, right? Well, unfortunately, not. The way you cook your eggs can make a big difference when it comes to the nutritional value of them. For example, if you whip your eggs up and bake them in the oven at 355° F, they’ll lose around 45% of their Vitamin D within just 40 minutes.
However, eggs that are fried and boiled will keep approximately 90% of their Vitamin D. You can use apps like MyFitnessPal to see the nutritional values of eggs cooked in different ways. Of course, adding things like oil when frying will also add more calories.
Quail eggs are better for you than other eggs
Some people may tell you that quails’ eggs are better for you than hens’ eggs… But is it true? It is and it isn’t. You will find more vitamins, nutrients, and protein in quail eggs than chicken eggs. However, it’s by such a minute amount that it would be difficult to notice much difference unless you ate them every single day.
With the significant price difference between the two, you’d be better off eating more chicken eggs and saving yourself a big wad of cash. Plus, quail eggs are a lot smaller, so you’d likely have to eat more of them to get the same satiated feeling that you would from eating regular hens’ eggs.
There are only white or brown eggs
It’s very unusual to see eggs in any other colors than brown or white – that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, though! We usually see leghorn chickens producing white eggs and Rhode Island chickens producing brown eggs, and that’s about all we see in a typical grocery store.
However, you can also spot green and blue chickens’ eggs if you know where to look. Some breeds of chicken, such as the Ameraucana or Araucana, produce different colored eggs. Whatever the color of the shell, it doesn’t have an impact on the quality of the egg inside. See if you can hunt down a green or blue egg!
Egg whites can help you get rid of wrinkles
If you regularly peruse YouTube or Pinterest, then you may have seen the latest craze sweeping the beauty world – egg white face masks. It seems as though everyone has tried making their own face masks to try and get rid of wrinkles, but does it really work? Yes and no.
The whites can form a thin membrane on the surface of the skin that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but it can also be easily washed away. This means that it really is only a very temporary solution. Instead, eating eggs will give you much-needed vitamins and nutrients that are much better at keeping you feeling young and healthy.
You should store eggs in the fridge door
Why would manufacturers create an egg compartment in the refrigerator door if it wasn’t supposed to be used for eggs? While we don’t know the answer to one of life’s biggest mysteries, we do know that you shouldn’t store your eggs in the fridge door!
It’s best to store eggs at a consistent temperature to keep them fresher for longer. However, the door of your refrigerator tends to be the warmest place that sees constant changes in temperature whenever you open and close it. Therefore, it is actually better to store your eggs in the middle shelf of your fridge.
Children under a year old shouldn’t eat eggs
It is estimated that around 2% of children are allergic to eggs, although many parents are worried that their little one will be part of that percentage. While very young babies shouldn’t be given egg or egg-based products, it doesn’t mean that all children under a year should avoid them.
The general rule of thumb is that babies from seven months and above can be started on two tablespoons of egg to see how they get on. This can then be slowly increased to ensure they do not have an allergy. If you are ever worried about what your baby can and cannot eat, it’s recommended that you talk to a pediatrician.
People with high cholesterol should avoid eggs
It has been long thought that those with high cholesterol should avoid certain products that were believed to increase it even more. Eggs were on the list of banned foods for a while, but new research shows that they might not be as bad as once thought.
While yolks may contain more fat and cholesterol than the whites, not all fats are bad, and the cholesterol in yolks also doesn’t necessarily increase levels of it in your blood. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor first, but it’s thought that one egg a day won’t do any harm.
You can pasteurize eggs at home
If you have ever seen any guides or videos showing you how to pasteurize eggs at home, we’re afraid it may not be as simple as they make it seem. The basics of pasteurizing an egg involves heat, which is why some people think you can do it just by boiling them at a specific temperature.
However, the reality is that you’ll require some pretty specialist equipment to be able to pasteurize your own eggs at home. It’s not advised to try and do it yourself in order to make eggs safe, say for those who can’t eat unpasteurized egg, as it may not be enough just to apply heat. Instead, always opt for store-bought ones.
Eating eggs every day is bad for you
There seems to be so much conflicting advice out there about how often we should eat eggs, and whether eating them every day is bad for us. However, various studies have shown that those who eat eggs every day tend to have a better diet than those who don’t.
Eggs are great as a filling breakfast as they ensure we’re not ravenous mid-morning. Staying fuller for longer can ensure we don’t snack on unhealthy food later in the day. Of course, some people should try to avoid eggs every day, but only if they have certain medical conditions. Otherwise, studies have shown that around 4-5 eggs daily is fine!
Cage-free hens are roaming around in a field all day
It’s one of the most common misconceptions about free-range, cage-free or pastured hens that they’re simply left to roam around a field all day. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires cage-free hens to have access to outdoor areas, it doesn’t actually specify how much space or time they should be given.
This means that free-range hens tend to spend a lot of their time cooped up in sheds or pens, just like caged hens. Of course, some outdoor space is better than absolutely no outdoor space, but it’s something to bear in mind if you think these chickens have free-range of a field all day.
You should throw away your eggs by the sell-by date
There is a lot of confusion about the different dates that come on food packaging, particularly when it comes to eggs. On most egg cartons, you’ll find two dates. One is the sell-by date, and the other is the use-by date. The sell-by date simply means when a store has to have sold the product before it goes to waste.
However, that doesn’t mean that the eggs will have gone off in this time. Instead, you should look at the use-by date, which tells you when it’s safe to eat the eggs. There are other ways you can test how fresh an egg is, too. We’ll get onto that a little bit later!
You can’t freeze chicken eggs
If you’re worried that your eggs are going to go off before you’ve had a chance to eat them, then did you know you can freeze them?! A lot of people don’t realize you can freeze chicken eggs, because it’s not a common thing to do.
However, if you want to extend the life of your eggs, then you can put them in the freezer. You can’t put them in as they are, though, as the shells will crack when frozen. Instead, crack your eggs and lightly beat them into an ice cube tray and freeze them like that. Just make sure you defrost them thoroughly before cooking.
Every egg is/was a baby chicken
Some people are put off by eating eggs because they believe that every egg is (or was going to be) a baby chicken. However, that just simply isn’t the case. Put simply, an egg is an egg, whether it has been fertilized or not.
Most egg-laying hens aren’t given any access to a male chicken, and therefore, it would be physically impossible for their eggs to become chicks. It doesn’t matter how long you keep your store-bought eggs in an incubator, they’re not going to become a baby chicken! However, that doesn’t mean you can’t buy eggs that have been fertilized…
Fertilized eggs have more protein
In fact, some people actually seek out eggs that have been fertilized in the hopes of upping their protein intake. However, there is no proof that these eggs are any better or worse for you than normal hens’ eggs.
There is a way to tell if the egg you’re eating has been fertilized, though – if you want to seek them out or avoid them entirely. Fertile eggs will have a dark spot around the middle, with almost spider-like veins coming out of it. You can do this without cracking the egg by holding a torch up to it, which will enable you to see through the shell.
It’s impossible to poach an egg properly
Poached eggs are one of the most popular ways to eat eggs in a restaurant… But most of us will avoid making them at home. Why? Because it seems almost impossible to poach an egg properly without some kind of gadget to do it for you. However, we’re here to tell you it IS possible.
First, start with the freshest eggs you can find. Next, boil some water in a large casserole pot and add in a little bit of white wine vinegar. This will help keep the whites stuck together! Decant your egg into a cup and gently tip it into the boiling water, before swirling away to help the egg stick together further. After two minutes, you’ll have a perfect poached egg!
You can’t tell if an egg is old without the carton
Whether you’re getting fresh eggs from hens at home or you’ve just lost the carton, it can be a nightmare trying to work out how fresh they are. Instead of cracking them open and hoping for the best, there is a smart method that shows how old your eggs are. Simply float them in a glass of water and see what they do.
If they sink to the bottom and lay flat, they’re really fresh. If they float to the top of the water, then they’re pretty old. Anywhere in the middle is still fine to eat, so try the floating test and avoid throwing out eggs that are still good!
Eggs aren’t convenient for those in a rush
We’re always told we should eat more eggs, especially when it comes to filling us up at breakfast time. However, how is anyone with a busy schedule supposed to find the time to make eggs in the morning?! Luckily, there are plenty of egg recipes that will ensure this nutritious food is accessible for even the busiest of people.
Try making egg muffins the night before! Simply whisk up some eggs and pop them in a muffin tray, along with some veggies and cheese. Bake for around 25 minutes and leave to cool before putting them in the fridge. They’ll last about three days in a sealed container.
You should pay more for hormone-free eggs
There are so many different types of eggs out there, including free-range, organic… and now, hormone-free. These are probably some of the most expensive of the lot, but are they actually worth it? Well, studies have shown that there is no difference in the nutritional content of hormone-free eggs and regular eggs. And do you know why?
Because added hormones aren’t allowed to be given to any poultry at all. It’s merely a marketing tactic to try and get you to spend more money, by making it sound like their hens are raised in a more humane or old-fashioned way.