Ten Facts You Should Know About Eggs
What's so interesting about eggs?
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods around. An egg's function is to nourish a chick until it's ready to find its own food.So it's packed with important nutrients. And talk about cooking friendly! Eggs can be fixed numerous ways and in all kinds of dishes.
Many myths and misconceptions exist about this low-calorie, nutrient dense food and here are ten facts that will shed some light on the many qualities of eggs.
Myths About Cholesterol
1. Eggs do not necessarily cause high cholesterol. Yes, eggs are high in cholesterol. One egg has about 212 milligrams. However, only a small portion ever reaches your bloodstream and arteries. Researchers suggest that an egg a day is acceptable, as long as you watch other sources of cholesterol that are worse (saturated and trans fats). Plus, there are other additional health benefits attributable to eggs.
2. Egg whites provide only a fraction of the nutrients that a whole egg does. All of the egg's cholesterol is found in the egg yolk, so many people eat only the whites. But the albumen or white of the egg contains only 10% of the egg's protein and traces of minerals, sugars and fats. If you don't have to avoid cholesterol, you are better off eating the whole egg. One large egg provides about 13% of the recommended daily intake of protein (6.5 grams), iron, phosphorus, and vitamins A, D, E and K.
Other Interesting Facts
3. Grading has nothing to do with freshness. Eggs are graded AA, A, and B based on the thickness of the white and the strength of the yolk membrane. AA's are the thickest and strongest. Grading is done shortly after the eggs are laid and all eggs deteriorate over time. Within any carton of eggs, up to 20% may be below grade.
4. The egg protein is the standard measure for other protein sources. Because eggs contain a near perfect balance of amino acids necessary for animal life, they are used as the protein standard. A whole egg rates a 94, meat a 75.
5. Hard boiled eggs are harder to peel if they are fresh. Ever been frustrated when peeling an egg? The shell doesn't want to come away smoothly? That only means the egg is fresh. If an egg has a pH of lower than 8.9 (fresh eggs are about 8.0.) the inner membrane sticks. Letting eggs refrigerate for three days will typically bring the pH to 9.2, and the problem is solved.
6. The greenish-gray discoloration around the yolk of a hard-boiled egg is due to ferrous sulfide. This is a harmless substance that causes that sulfuric rotten egg smell. Nothing wrong with eating it, but to avoid the ring, cook the egg only as long as it takes to set the yolk.
7. Cooking the perfect boiled egg means not overcooking. Place eggs in water and bring to a boil. Boil one minute and then remove the pan from heat and cover it for 12 minutes. Immediately cool eggs in cold water and peel. This insures the white is tender and the ring is nonexistent.
Are brown eggs better for you?
8. What hens eat or how they're fed doesn't impact shell color. Some people believe brown eggs are better than white eggs, healthier. They're not. The color of the egg shell is based on the breed of hen who laid it. It's a genetic thing and makes no difference to the nutrition of the egg.
And What About Cooking with Eggs?
9. Eggs have unique properties that make them act differently depending on how you use them. They can bind with other liquids to form a solid (think quiche). And they can form a delicate frothy foam (think meringue). These qualities make them truly versatile in the kitchen.
10. When making a foam with eggs, the egg whites must be beat alone. A single drop of egg yolk in the white can reduce the volume of your foam by as much as two-thirds. This also goes for other fats and oils. After the foam is formed, however, yolks and other ingredients can be folded in.
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