Time to crack at least a half dozen egg myths. I’ll address the over-easy ones, but for those over-hard myths, I encourage you to check the accurate, science-based facts at one or all of these websites: incredibleegg.org, bestfoodfacts.org and foodinsight.org.
Myth: All the protein is in the egg white.
Fact: Almost half the protein is in the yolk! The yolk is rich in choline, a nutrient essential for normal function of all cells, including those involved with metabolism, transportation of nutrients throughout the body, and brain and nerve function. Choline is also important for pregnant women, as it is key in developing an infant’s memory function. Plus, emerging studies indicate choline plays a role in memory and cognitive function in aging adults, too.
Myth: Avoid hard-cooked eggs that have a green ring around the yolk.
Fact: While this green ring may look unappealing, it’s not harmful in any way and doesn’t affect nutrient content or flavor. Green rings are the result of sulfur and iron in the egg reacting when the eggs are cooked too long or at too high a temperature. It could even be that your water has too much iron. So remember to hard cook eggs the right way: cover eggs with an inch of cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 to 12 minutes. Run cold water over eggs in the pan immediately to cool them. Peel and enjoy.
Myth: Eggs are high in cholesterol and bad for your heart.
Fact: On the contrary. Research today supports that cholesterol in eggs (about 186 mg for a large egg) does not have a significant impact on blood cholesterol levels. In fact, it’s the saturated fat you eat, not dietary cholesterol, that plays a bigger role in blood cholesterol levels. One large egg contains roughly 5 grams total fat, with only 1.6 grams saturated.
Myth: Brown eggs are healthier than white eggs.
Fact: Eggshell color has nothing to do with egg quality, flavor, nutrition or cooking characteristics. The breed of hen determines the shell color. All eggs are healthy because they’re a good source of protein and dozens of critical vitamins and minerals.
Myth: Eggs can be stored in or out of the carton as long as they’re refrigerated.
Fact: Yes, proper refrigeration is necessary – your refrigerator should be no higher than 40 degrees. But where and how you store them is important for optimal food safety and quality. Keep them in that carton; it’s designed to absorb jolts and bumps. Store them on inside shelves, not in the door. Since the door is constantly being opened, the temperature will fluctuate too much for those eggs to stay completely safe.
Myth: I should buy hormone-free eggs.
Fact: This labeling statement is complete marketing, fear-mongering and very misleading. All eggs contain hormones naturally, but more than 50 years ago, a federal law was passed that makes it illegal to feed hormones to ANY poultry – and that includes laying hens. So look past the marketing hype and rest assured if you’re buying just eggs, they don’t contain any hormones other than what’s naturally occurring.
Myth: I should buy cage-free, free-range and organic eggs because they are healthier, better for the environment and better for the hens than conventional caged eggs.
Fact: The bottom line is that you should feel comfortable in the quality, safety and nutrition (for you, your family, the hens and the environment) if you’re buying conventional caged eggs. I have always bought conventional supermarket eggs and have no qualms about it whatsoever. There’s too much scrambling of accurate information about conventional eggs versus organic, cage-free and free-range, so check out the reputable websites listed above for greater understanding.