The Nutritional Hand Grenade

Eggs. Those lovely little pockets of goodness with that tasty yellow that is like an explosion of gooeyness in your mouth. You have to love them. But how many times have you heard that you should limit the amount of eggs you eat per day to one or two maximum? Or that you should just eat the white as that’s where the protein is and the yolk is just full of cholesterol?

Well relax, eggs are considered a whole food. A food that is best consumed as a whole.

Anyone who has read my posts for a while would know that I am not fatophobic (a word I made up for people who fear fat). I love the stuff and eat copious amounts of it because it is an essential nutrient for so many of our bodily functions. If you eat right, fat will not make you fat and the amount of fat in eggs is minimal anyway. With a 50 gram egg having roughly 5 grams of fat (will vary with different eggs) with the majority in the yolk, you are doing yourself a disservice, not to mention throwing money down the sink, by avoiding the yolk.

For arguments sake, let’s compare the two…

Protein isn’t far off 50:50 with the white containing about 3.6 grams and the yolk having 2.7 grams. It works out to roughly 57:43

Fat is 99%yolk and very little in the white

Minerals are split about 50:50 in both yolk and white, although if you look at each individual mineral, most are predominantly in one side or the other. So avoiding yolk means you are missing out on many essential minerals. Zinc, phosphorous, iron and calcium are majority yolk, and magnesium, potassium and sodium are more in the white.

Vitamins are nearly all in the yolk, while the white contains riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3), which are really the only ones represented in the white. All the rest of the B vitamins are in the yolk with all the fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K being mostly in the yolk along with all the omega 3’s.

Really, when you look at it this way, the majority of the nutrients we eat eggs for are contained in the yolk. You would be mad to avoid them!

So how do I eat my eggs? The majority of the time, they are raw. But if I am out for lunch and order them, they tend to refuse to serve them that way. Something to do with health rules… So as a compromise I will generally get them lightly poached so the yolk is quite runny. The reason being is that if you cook the yolk too much, so it is solid, you are actually damaging a lot of the nutrients, especially the fats. And when you damage fats by overcooking them, that’s when they become bad. Boiled eggs and fried are both OK, but just cook them until the white is solid, but that’s it.

Raw is definitely my prefered method as I have them in my breakfast smoothie each morning. But there are a few things to take into consideration here.

Ideally they should be fresh, organic, free range eggs. It also helps if you know the source of your eggs. I have a friend who runs an egg farm out my way so I know exactly what he feeds them and the eggs are straight out of the barn. The only transport they go through is me driving home. Can’t get much fresher than that, unless you have your own chooks.

You need to check that they aren’t cracked in any way, sitting them in warm water will show any cracks as they bubble from there. If it’s cracked throw it out. It’s not worth the risk, even if you cook them.

The yolks should be firm and hard to break with the whites being quite thick. If they are watery, don’t eat them, they are probably old eggs. They should also have very little smell.

So love your eggs, they are a great source of so many nutrients and eat as many as you like. I have been known to eat 6 a day, but generally anywhere between 2-4 is average for me.

P.S. No, chocolate eggs are not the same…

Run well,

Chris O’Driscoll.


Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. Dean Cox
    5 years ago

    Thanks Chris,

    A few of my trail running associates have mentioned to me that they have recently read bad press about googs. I\’m glad that someone with credibility has debunked the research, skewed research, I might add. Two of my favourite fast foods are eggs and bananas; cause they come already packaged and you don\’t have to denature their protein by cooking them. Good onya. Dean

  2. Chris
    5 years ago

    No problems Dean,
    Happy to get some real information out there about real foods.
    Totally with you on the eggs and bananas. After a race or long session, they are my recovery foods of choice too.

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