There has been unsure arguments whether it’s healhty to eat raw eggs, although they do have the same benefits as cooked eggs. We’ve found some pros and cons of raw egg.
Raw, unheated, uncooked organic eggs from a clean source are an excellent health tonic. Regularly consuming raw eggs will benefit your health as the raw egg yolk and white helps your body eliminate stored toxins.
However, eating raw eggs or foods containing them raises concerns about the risk of Salmonella infection.
Raw Eggs Are Nutritious
They’re rich in high-quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, eye-protecting antioxidants and various other nutrients.
One whole, large raw egg (50 grams) contains:
Protein: 6 grams.
Fat: 5 grams.
Vitamin A: 9% of the RDI.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 13% of the RDI.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 8% of the RDI.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): 7% of the RDI.
Selenium: 22% of the RDI.
Phosphorus: 10% of the RDI.
Folate: 6% of the RDI.
In addition, one raw egg contains 147 mg of choline, an essential nutrient important for healthy brain function. Choline may also play a role in heart health.
Raw eggs are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin. These important antioxidants protect your eyes and may reduce your risk of age-related eye diseases. It’s important to note that almost all the nutrients are concentrated in the yolk. The white mostly consists of protein.
The Protein in Them Isn’t as Well-Absorbed
Eggs are one of the best sources of protein in your diet.
In fact, eggs contain all 9 essential amino acids in the right ratios. For this reason, they’re often referred to as a “complete” protein source. However, eating the eggs raw may decrease your absorption of these quality proteins.
One small study compared the absorption of protein from both cooked and raw eggs in 5 people.
The study found that 90% of protein in cooked eggs was absorbed, but only 50% in raw eggs. In other words, protein in cooked eggs was 80% more digestible.
Although protein is better absorbed from cooked eggs, some other nutrients may be slightly reduced by cooking. These include vitamin A, vitamin B5, phosphorus and potassium.
Raw Egg Whites May Block Biotin Absorption
Biotin is a water-soluble B-vitamin, also known as vitamin B7. This vitamin is involved in your body’s production of glucose and fatty acids. It’s also important during pregnancy.
While egg yolks provide a good dietary source of biotin, raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin. Avidin binds to biotin in the small intestine, preventing its absorption.
Because heat destroys avidin, this is not an issue when the egg has been cooked.
In any case, even if you eat raw eggs, it’s highly unlikely it will lead to actual biotin deficiency. For that to happen, you would need to consume raw eggs in large amounts — at least a dozen per day for a long period of time.
Raw Eggs May Be Contaminated with Bacteria
Raw and undercooked eggs may contain Salmonella, a type of harmful bacteria. This bacteria can be found on egg shells but also inside eggs.
Consuming contaminated eggs can cause food poisoning. Symptoms of food poisoning include stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, fever and headache. These symptoms usually appear 6 to 48 hours after eating and may last 3 to 7 days.
Fortunately, the risk of an egg being contaminated is very low. However, from the 1970s through the 1990s, contaminated egg shells were the most common source of Salmonella infection.
Since then, some improvements have been made in the processing of eggs, leading to fewer Salmonella cases and outbreaks. These changes include pasteurization. This process uses heat treatment to reduce the number of bacteria and other microorganisms in foods.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers it safe to use raw eggs if they are pasteurized.
Notes: Raw eggs do have all the same benefits as cooked eggs. However, protein absorption is lower from raw eggs, and the uptake of biotin may be prevented.
Most concerning is the small risk of raw eggs contaminated with bacteria leading to Salmonella infection. Buying pasteurized eggs will lower your risk of infection. Whether eating raw eggs is worth the risk is something you need to decide for yourself.