Is It Ok To Eat Raw Eggs?

Is It Ok To Eat Raw Eggs?

Growing up, I remember my mother telling me never to eat the raw batter of cakes or cookies. The reason? Well, both of them contained raw eggs. Therefore, eating raw eggs was always out of bounds. However, now, I see multiple cuisines that add raw eggs to their recipes.

So many people even claim that raw eggs make the food even more delicious. But is it really the truth? Is it ok to eat raw eggs? I have been in a dilemma for the longest time till I decided that I want to look further into the topic.

If I am putting raw food in my mouth, I would have to know anything and everything there is about the food. And when it comes to eggs, I can never be too sure. As someone who does not prefer eating even half boiled eggs, I will always be skeptical about eating raw eggs.

However, you have nothing to worry about. I did a lot of research and came up with the answer to, “Is it ok to eat raw eggs?”

Is It Ok To Eat Raw Eggs? 

Is It Ok To Eat Raw Eggs

While you may have seen multiple videos of people eating raw eggs with their ramen noodles, I would not say that it is indeed a very healthy practice. There are quite a few drawbacks to eating raw eggs. The most serious of them all is Salmonella food poisoning.

Salmonellosis is a foodborne illness that happens because of the Salmonella bacteria. It causes fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. This bacteria may be found on the outer shell as well as inside raw eggs. Salmonella dies easily from heat. This is the reason why undercooked or raw eggs are way more riskier in comparison to cooked and boiled eggs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives an estimation that more than 1 million people in the US fall sick every year because of Salmonella poisoning from eating raw eggs. While it is common for some people to recover from it within a week, approximately 400 people die from Salmonella poisoning every year.

Older people, or the ones who are suffering from diseases like HIV, AIDS, or cancer, must stay away from raw eggs.

“It’s not super common — 1 in 20,000 eggs has Salmonella,” says Beth Czerwony, LD, RD. “But you don’t want to be the person who eats that one egg.”

The side effects, as I mentioned, may seem pretty basic, but that is something you need to be scared of. “You can get diarrhea and cramps. You may start vomiting. That can cause you to get dehydrated. You really could have some severe health issues.”

Salmonella infection is not only limited to eating raw eggs. Raw meat, or any such unwashed products, are prominent sources of the Salmonella bacteria.

Are There Any Benefits Of Eating Raw Eggs? 

Are There Any Benefits Of Eating Raw Eggs

An egg, in itself, is one of the healthiest choices you can make when it comes to food. Egg whites are extensive sources of protein. Meanwhile, the yolk is rich in nutrients and has healthy fats along with a number of vitamins. The egg yolk also has choline in it, which is very good for the eyes.

However, all of these benefits you can get even if you are eating a boiled or a well cooked egg. So, there is no point in putting yourself at risk and getting infected from a disease that is fatal to some level.

In simpler words, even if you are buying eggs straight from the Pasteur, it is still not safe to eat them raw. This is a lot like a case where “if you want, you can, but you should not.”

“Nutritionally, there’s no benefit of eating a raw egg versus a cooked egg,” adds Czerwony.

“You don’t lose any nutrition from cooking it. If you are worrying about salmonella, it’s going to die in the cooking process.”

Effects Of Eating Raw Eggs

It is quite harmless to eat raw eggs, only as long as there is no Salmonella in it. However, eating it raw may be a pretty nauseating experience. Trust me, I hated it. I was on the verge of putting detergent in my mouth.

“It might make you feel gross because it’s kind of slimy,” says Czerwony. “But raw eggs are basically just protein. That’s really why people are eating raw eggs — to get that extra protein in without doing shakes.”

If you are only willing to eat raw eggs because of protein, there are other options you may try out. It will never be better for you to have a raw egg than having a protein shake. There are multiple grains, vegetables, and even meat, which may increase the protein content in your diet. Raw egg is not the only resort.

How To Reduce The Risk Of Salmonella Infection? 

It is common for people to be concerned about why or how people still consume raw eggs when it is actually this risky. Luckily, there are a few ways in which you may be able to avoid the risk of having a salmonella infection from eating raw eggs:

  • Buy eggs that are pasteurized. They may be available in supermarkets.
  • Only buy the eggs that are available in the refrigerated food aisle at the grocery store.
  • At home, keep the eggs in a refrigerator. Keeping them at room temperature increases the chance for them to grow harmful bacteria.
  • Do not eat or buy eggs once their expiration date is over.
  • Throw away the dirty eggs or the ones with a crack on them.
  • Wash your hands or anything that may have been in contact with the raw eggs.

While these are the steps that may be helpful, there is no guarantee that doing these will help you prevent Salmonella infection. The one way you can kill the bacteria is by heat, and there is no chance that you will put the egg under heat if you are planning to eat it raw.

Therefore, the risks are never zero.

The Bottom Line 

Is it ok to eat raw eggs? Never!

While I do understand the obsession to get more protein, raw eggs can never be an option. There is absolutely no difference in the amount of protein that you can get from raw eggs and cooked eggs.

Rather, the consumption of raw eggs puts you at a risk of developing Salmonella infection, which in some cases may be deadly. Hence, there is no reason why you should be putting yourself at risk by eating something that you always knew was unhealthy for the body.

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About Author

Upasana is a budding journalist who has a keen interest in writing. She considers writing as therapeutic and is most confident when she writes. She is passionate about music, movies and fashion. She writes in a way that connects with the audience in a personal level. She is optimistic, fun loving and opinionated.

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