NOV 14, 2017 3:18 PM PST

Want More Nutrition From Your Eggs? Cook Them!

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

If you're hoping to maximize your protein intake, think twice before slurping down some raw eggs. While it's true that a cooked egg has a little less of some vitamins and minerals, it more than makes up for it in the protein department.

A raw egg contains about 6 grams of protein. But if eaten raw, the body is only able to absorb about 50 percent of the egg's protein, due to the way the proteins are arranged in the raw state. By contrast, when the egg is cooked, the proteins adopt a new configuration (hence the egg whites). This change allows the body to absorb nearly 91 percent of the egg's protein.

"That means raw eggs would provide only 3g of digestible protein, compared to 6g of digestible protein from a cooked egg," said Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, author of Three Steps to a Healthier You.

Don't worry too much about missing out on other nutrients. The nine essential amino acids found in eggs are all there even after cooking. And although you're getting a little less in vitamin B and E, choline, and antioxidants, experts say the difference is trivial. Finally, cooked eggs also have the added benefit of helping you avoid Salmonella, and that's always worth doing!
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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