Eggs have been in and out of the healthy foods limelight for decades.
I’m sure you can recall the pendulum swinging:
- Eggs are good for you.
- Be careful with eggs regarding heart health.
- Only eat the white of the eggs.
- Yolks are good for you too.
- Eggs, in moderation, are a wonderful addition to a healthy diet.
And at this point, I’m sure you’re familiar with the verdict that eggs are a healthy choice…but that all depends on how you cook them. Which begs the thought, perhaps the health benefits of eggs have rested in the classic 50’s diner question all along: “how do ya take your eggs, honey?”
Yes, it seems that “how you take your eggs,” or more specifically how you cook your eggs can greatly affect their nutritional quality!
So then, let’s crack open the topic of eggs and see just what they have to offer.
What’s In An Egg?
Eggs have been described as being one of the most inexpensive and nutrient-packed sources of protein. A small but mighty food source, eggs contain:
- B vitamins that boost your energy levels and metabolism
- Age and disease fighting antioxidants
- Choline for improving cognitive function
- Efficient protein (containing all essential amino acids) to be readily used by the body
- Vitamin D to aid in mood and immune system regulation
- Lutein to support eye health
- Minimal calories, so consumed in moderation you get a lot of bang for your nutritional buck
And, while this is an impressive list as far as nutrition is concerned, in order to receive these benefits, you’ve got to cook the egg(s).
I realize that’s an odd point to mention there, so let me explain.
There are many healthy foods that lose their nutritional value as you cook them, fresh vegetables, for instance.
And in some regards, eggs can actually fall in this same category as well.
In fact, many choose to consume raw eggs as in this state they contain higher levels of vitamin A, and it is said that the nutritional value in the yolk diminishes when cooked.
However, consuming raw eggs poses great risks…salmonella anyone? And, those risks are not only great enough to warrant a warning label on eating raw eggs, but there’s actually just as much benefit to be had, nutritionally, in cooking them.
While the yolks do pose the greatest risk for nutritional degradation when cooked, overall, as you cook an egg, most of its nutrients become easier for your body to digest.
Concerning the protein content alone, studies have found that cooking an egg doubles the amount available for use by the body compared to raw eggs.
The B vitamins in eggs are also enhanced through the cooking process, increasing their availability for use by the body.
However, like most things, there is a “past the point of no return” when it comes to cooking eggs.
For instance, when cooked for too long or at a heat that is too high…
- the antioxidants found in eggs are reduced
- the cholesterol in eggs can be oxidized, posing health risks
- the vitamin D content of eggs can decrease by as much as 61%
- the good fat content found in the yolk can be degraded
So then, how should you cook eggs to maximize their benefits and avoid nutrient degradation?
Healthiest Ways To Cook Eggs
Soft boiling an egg ranks at the top of the list as this method best preserves all the nutritional benefits the egg has to offer.
As the yolk isn’t overcooked, no oxidation occurs and its nutritional quality is intact. And, this method doesn’t require any added calories either, such as oils or butters as are used in frying and milks used in scrambling.
To soft boil, simply place eggs in a pot of boiling water for 5-6 minutes, allowing the white of the egg to cook completely and the yolk to remain creamy and runny (not raw).
Poaching is a cooking method that requires a little more skill, but yields a healthily cooked egg.
The final product here, nutritionally, is very similar to a soft boiled egg, as its runny yolk contains 50% more nutrients than fully cooked yolks and the method of cooking doesn’t require adding any extra calories or fat.
To poach an egg, you’ll simply add a cracked egg into a simmering pot of water. At this point it is recommended to turn off the heat, cover the pot, but leave it on the warmed burner to cook for roughly 4-5 minutes.
This method completely cooks the white of the egg, while leaving the yolk runny.
Sunny Side Up
When cooked on low heat, a sunny side up egg can have its nutrient content preserved (especially the yolk). Though it’s sometimes not seen as being quite as healthy as the above two methods primarily due to the need for some kind of oil in the cooking process.
However, if you carefully choose a healthy oil to cook the egg in and only cook on low heat to prevent the oxidation of fats, this can be a very healthy way to cook an egg.
Cooking a sunny side up egg involves warming a small amount of oil in a pan, then cracking an egg onto the heated oil. Most people prefer to then cover the pan tightly with a lid (as opposed to cooking without covering the pan) and allow the egg to cook for 2-2 ½ minutes.
This method will cook the egg white entirely while leaving the yolk runny.
Fried eggs aren’t all that bad when it comes to nutrition.
While the yolk (sometimes) is cooked through, as opposed to the healthier option of a runny or creamy yolk, if cooked on a low heat, you won’t sacrifice a tremendous amount of benefit when it comes to your health.
Just be sure to 1- always fry on low heat, 2- use a healthy oil when cooking.
To fry an egg, you’ll incorporate the same method as the sunny side up egg, except you’ll flip the egg over half way through cooking.
*To get the most benefit, you’ll obviously want to leave the yolk intact, not breaking it during the flipping process (over easy), but if you do break the yolk, as long as you don’t overcook it, you’ll still be enjoying a healthy meal option.
While still a healthy meal option if not overcooked, hard boiling an egg does degrade the nutritional qualities housed in the yolk, and if cooked too long, harmful oxidation can occur.
But, a quick internet search will reveal the fact that there’s a lot of methods out there for hard boiling that indeed overcook that yolk. One tip…if you see a greenish film or layering around the yolk, or smell a sulfur-like odor after hard boiling, you’ve overcooked your egg.
So, here’s a method that I’ve used several times that always produces a soft, golden yolk:
Add eggs to a large pot and fill with water until the (water) level is about an inch over the eggs. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat. Cover the pot, leaving the eggs in the water for roughly 10-12 minutes (depending on how many eggs you’re boiling).
After this much time has elapsed, immediately transfer the eggs to a bowl of water filled with ice cubes. If all of the ice has melted but the eggs still feel slightly warm to the touch, add more ice. Once cooled, peel immediately.
Scrambled or Omelet
While this method isn’t considered the healthiest, as it mixes the fats and proteins in the egg and exposes them to heat, here are some ways you can optimize the health of your scrambled eggs or omelet if you simply can’t live without eggs cooked by this method.
- always cook on low heat
- opt for water as the liquid addition to save on calories, or use just a splash of heavy cream as it contains immune benefits
- always cook with a healthy oil (avocado oil, coconut oil, MCT oil and sunflower oil are best)
- consider adding healthy vegetables to boost the nutritional value of your meal
3 WORST exercise mistakes make you plump and squishy (instead of tight and toned)…
CrossFit, hot yoga, kettlebells, spin classes, high intensity interval training — everywhere you look people 35 and over are thinking of new and exciting ways to re-capture their youth.
There’s just one problem – they are STILL making the same 3 metabolism-damaging exercise mistakes!
A damaged metabolism ages you prematurely, drains you of energy and makes you fatter. PLUS, it puts you at a dramatically increased risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
So please IMMEDIATELY stop making these 3 exercise mistakes below before it’s too late.
Instead, consider the “smart” alternative that’s recently been developed. It’s short, efficient and absolutely torches the most amount of fat in just 15 minutes, 3 times a week. More on that below…
When you want to burn more fat, it’s as simple as working out longer, right? Wrong!
The longer you exercise, the more your body is under stress and the more of powerful stress hormone cortisol floods into your cells. Some cortisol is good to help you deal with stress, but too much is BAD.
Excess cortisol causes you to lose muscle from your upper body and store fat, especially in your mid-section and lower trunk. That turns women into a pear shape and makes men look like a swollen apple.
However, what’s interesting is that with the right type of metabolic training, cortisol can actually be harnessed to become a VERY powerful fat burner and muscle toner as you’ll see in a sec.
Most people exercise TOO hard, thinking harder is better. But that just sends your sugar and carb cravings through the roof, forcing you to think about donuts and pasts until you get your sugar fix.
That sets up a VERY dangerous situation because there’s no substance on the planet that’s more damaging to your metabolism than sugar (and carbs that turn into sugar).
Sugar triggers a process called glycation, which coats your cells with a thick caramel-like substance. That prevents oxygen and nutrients from getting into your cells and damaging toxins from getting out!
That’s like starving, choking and drowning your cells all at the same time!
Working out at the right intensity IS important. But as you’ll see below, strategically RESTING during your workout is the #1 key to torching fat and toning muscle – WITHOUT damaging your metabolism.
Ever seen someone hop from one machine to the next, scurrying all over the gym or jumping all over their living rooms trying to imitate the “insane” moves on the TV?
That’s a circus workout. It’s like exercise ADD — they never focus on ONE THING long enough for it to stimulate their metabolism to burn fat and tone muscle. No wonder they don’t get results!
The key is to focus JUST long enough on a particular exercise that it forces your body to respond… but also not TOO LONG that it triggers excess belly-fattening cortisol as we learned earlier.
It is like goldilocks. Not too much… not too little… but juuuust right.
When you hit this magic metabolic sweet spot, your body burns up large amounts of fat during the 2-3 days after your workout as your body recovers, repairs and prepares to be challenged again.
How to Avoid These 3 Mistakes and Hit the Metabolic Sweet Spot…
Fortunately, there’s a new approach that avoids all these mistakes AND has 3 advantages:
It stimulates your metabolism to become MORE efficient, making you MUCH better at burning body fat for energy, instead of driving you to eat sugar and carbs… It’s extremely fast, taking only 15 minutes, 3 times a week to get results. These 15 minutes are incredibly efficient as they stimulate your metabolism to burn fat for 2-3 days after… It triggers the release of powerful youth-enhancing hormones that give you a makeover from the inside out as your cells repair, rejuvenate and refresh your body AND brain…
The best part is how much this new approach FORCES you to rest. Strategically resting at the RIGHT time can dramatically ramp up fat burning, muscle toning and how quickly your body re-shapes.
This avoids the dangerous trap of pushing too hard, sending your cortisol levels through the roof, making your muscles saggy and packing on belly fat — the opposite of what you want!
PS – This new type of metabolic workout is something that anybody can do, at any age, regardless of their fitness level or health status. In fact research shows that the older, sicker and more overweight you are, the more fat-burning, muscle-shaping, anti-aging benefits you’ll enjoy.
It takes only 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week and broken into 3 simple phases that systematically fires up your metabolism, one step at a time, until ultimately it becomes a raging fat-burning, muscle-shaping metabolic inferno.