There’s no denying that the egg is one of nature’s most nutrient-dense perfect foods. It’s also very economical which makes it all that much better. In fact, the egg is so popular that a simple picture of an egg holds the world record for most likes on Instagram (almost 54M likes).
For a long time, eggs were vilified because of their cholesterol content. Well, in case you didn’t hear, in 2015, the US Dietary guidelines removed the cholesterol and 35% limit on total dietary fat.
There wasn’t enough scientific evidence and no significant relationship between dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol.
Personally, I always liked eggs but never liked the yolk portion of the eggs. Something about the runny consistency was never something I enjoyed and when I (incorrectly) was taught that yolks are high in cholesterol and in turn, would give me high cholesterol and heart disease, I was happy to eat only the egg whites for most of my adult life.
Once I became a nutritional therapist, I realized how wrong I was about egg yolks. They are one of the most nutrient-dense foods. The yolk is the substance for the embryo to thrive—no wonder it packs so much nutrition. The yolk is rich in fats, good cholesterol, proteins, iron and other minerals, as well as lecithin and other emulsifiers.
Some believe that egg whites are the main cause of egg allergens. The albumin from the egg whites, with its high protein content, can be the cause of severe allergic reactions such as watery eyes, hives, rashes, redness and swelling, stomach cramps, vomiting, and asthma. It is difficult to say if egg whites are the true allergen as it is nearly impossible to remove all parts of the egg whites, even when consuming just the yolk.
Consuming raw egg whites can also potentially cause biotin depletion in the body. In raw eggs, biotin is bound to avidin whereas when the egg is cooked, the biotin separates from the avidin, allowing the biotin to be absorbed by the body. Biotin deficiencies can lead to seizures, skin disorders, hair loss, severe joint pain and lack of muscle tone and coordination. This may be another reason why some nutrition-enthusiasts choose to only eat the yolk.
Have you tried duck eggs? Duck eggs have a richer and creamier flavor than traditional chicken eggs.
Here are some facts about duck eggs and why you may want to try them:
- Duck eggs will typically have more nutrients than chicken eggs.
- Duck eggs usually are 3 times the size of chicken eggs
- Duck eggs have more omega-3 fatty acids than chicken eggs
- Duck eggs have more protein than chicken eggs
- Duck eggs have more cholesterol than chicken eggs (cholesterol IS NOT bad)
- Some that have chicken egg allergens are able to consume duck eggs
- Duck eggs tend to stay fresher longer than chicken eggs because of their thicker shell
- As with chicken eggs, duck eggs nutrients will vary depending on the animal’s diet.
- Duck eggs are favored in baking as they have extra egg whites and albumen, making baked foods fluffier (think: egg loaf)
- Hard boiling duck eggs may make them taste rubbery, hardboiled duck eggs are not recommended.
- Duck Eggs are an alkaline-producing food which chicken eggs are more of an acid food.
You can purchase duck eggs online and at farmers markets. You can sometimes find them at whole foods-type markets. Otherwise you’ll have to find a local farmer that sells duck eggs.
So why do some that have sensitivities to chicken eggs have no issues with duck eggs? There are studies that show that most allergens to eggs are not IgE anaphylactic (read: EpiPen-needing) allergens but egg sensitivities (read: rash) and gastrointestinal disorders (read: abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea).
Both yolk and whites can be allergenic, but the whites are the more common culprit. Although eggs contain over 40 proteins, 5 have been identified as the most common allergens.
Protein content varies among different bird eggs. One of the common allergens albumen makes up 12% of a chicken egg white, but only 2% of a duck egg white.
A study found, it is possible to have a cross-reactive allergic response to different bird eggs, but they also found if you are allergic to one, you may not be allergic to the other.
If you have protein sensitivities to chicken egg whites but not duck, it may be because:
1) ducks having less egg whites,
2) ducks have less of the common protein allergens in chicken eggs and
3) you just may not have the same allergies with different poultry.
The only way to know is to try.
On the nutrition-front, duck eggs are higher in omega 3s, vitamin D, vitamin A, Folate, B12, and cholesterol—even when comparing gram for gram. In fact, duck eggs have 6x the Vitamin D, 2x the Vitamin A, and 2x the cholesterol than chicken eggs. Duck contains about 75% of the Vitamin E in chicken eggs.
Regardless of what part of the egg and which type of egg you prefer to eat, if you can consume the whole egg, I recommend eating them (daily), as eggs are a nutrient-dense food. You can see more of the amazingness that is an egg in the following infographics.
Eggs are really so versatile that you can make just about anything with them. They are in savory dishes and sweet dishes. They can be a snack, an appetizer or even part of the main dish– it really is limitless.
Here are some of my favorite egg recipes. Most of them are low carb and they are a perfect on-the-go breakfast food, snack or lunch option.
I’d recommend using organic pasture raised eggs and grass-fed butter as they are more nutrient-dense than conventional eggs. They have found to be higher in vitamin A, vitamin E, and omega-3s. They also do not receive any hormones, vaccines or antibiotics. If you have allergies to dairy, you can opt for grass-fed ghee as it removes all lactose from the butter. That all said, my personal belief is that any egg is better than no eggs.
Alright, let’s get our chef hats on and get ready to cook!
RECIPE 1: SCRAMBLED EGGS
We all love scrambled eggs. It’s so easy to make and I thought mine was special because I would add a little bit of milk or heavy whipping cream. Then, many years ago, my husband put me to shame by showing me the perfect egg scramble recipe by Gordon Ramsey. You can watch Gordon Ramsey create the perfect scramble here.
25 g of butter, cold and cubed
1 tablespoon of crème fraiche
TO GARNISH (optional)
Fresh ground pepper
Salt to taste
- Break eggs into a pan and add the cubed butter.
- Stir over medium heat until the eggs start to cook. Remove from heat continue stirring eggs for about 20 seconds.
- Return to heat, continue to stir eggs until they start to clump, remove from heat and add the creme fraiche. Return to heat stirring in crème fraiche.
- Remove from heat when eggs are clumpy but soft.
- Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped chives.
RECIPE 2: STARBUCKS COPYCAT EGG BITES
If you’ve had the sous vides egg bites from Starbucks, you know they are pretty good. But you also know that they cost a pretty penny. Here’s a DIY version that won’t break the bank and also gives you the freedom to use higher quality ingredients.
½ cup of shredded gruyere or swiss cheese
¼ cup full fat cottage cheese (or cream cheese or non-dairy cream cheese)
2-4 thick slices of cooked bacon
¼ TSP kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
Cooking oil (lard, ghee, tallow, coconut oil or avocado oil work best)
- Recipe makes 6 egg bites
- Make sure to cook the slices of bacon before making the egg bites.
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F and place a baking dish that is filled with 1 inch of water on the bottom rack. This will create a humid environment and help the eggs cook evenly.
- Add the eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, salt, and pepper to a blender and blend on high for 20 seconds until light and frothy.
- Spray a muffin tray with the cooking oil
- Fill the muffin tray almost all the way to the top with the egg mixture.
- Divide the chopped bacon equally
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the center of the egg bites are just set.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes
- Store the egg bites in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for 2-3 months.
- Reheat in microwave or warm oven.
RECIPE 3: BACON DEVILED EGGS
Who doesn’t like bacon and deviled eggs? This recipe calls for both with an added bonus of cheddar cheese.
6 hardboiled eggs
5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
¼ cup of sour cream
½ cup shredded (sharp) cheddar cheese
1 TSP Dijon mustard (yellow mustard works too)
1 TSP fresh dill weed or chives (optional)
¼ TSP Himalayan pink salt (Sea salt, Celtic salt, etc.)
¼ TSP pepper
- Cook hardboiled eggs to desired consistency (see graphic above).
- Slice hardboiled eggs in half
- Place yolks in a mixing bowl and set aside whites.
- Add the yolks with the sour cream, mustard, dill/chives, salt and pepper to the bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Stir in shredded cheddar and crumbled bacon
- Spoon the filling into each of the egg whites.
- Sprinkle with additional dill, chives or bacon crumbles.
RECIPE 4: EGG LOAF
This recipe is one of my favorite ZERO CARB egg “bread” recipes. If you do want to add some flour, I have some notes on adding coconut flour to the recipe.
8 oz of cream cheese (room temperature, softened)
4 oz of butter (room temperature, softened)
Sweetener to taste (if desired)
4 TBSP of coconut flour
1 TBSP of baking powder
PUMPKIN SPICE VERSION ADD-ON
8 TBSP of pumpkin puree
2-4 TSP of pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350 F and butter a loaf pan
- Use an immersion blender or food processor to combine cream cheese, butter and eggs.
- Pour into greased loaf pan
- Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until center looks lightly browned.
- It will deflate when cooled.
- Once cooked, you can chop it into pieces and fry them with butter for an extra crisp. Otherwise, you can eat it once the egg loaf cools from the oven.
- These are perfect for kid lunches!
COCONUT FLOUR ADD-ON
- If you want it to be more like bread, add 4 TBSP of coconut flour and 1 TBSP of baking powder
I personally keep it simple and eat my eggs scrambled or sunny side up. Whichever way you like to have your eggs, remember you are doing your body good by eating them. Try to eat eggs daily and don’t fear the misinformation of eggs raising your serum cholesterol. While I can’t get into that here, you can do some light reading here and some more evidence-based reading here.