What happens if you eat raw eggs?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “What happens if you eat raw eggs?”. We will further elaborate on the nutritional value of raw eggs as well as the health benefits and side effects of eating raw eggs.

What happens if you eat raw eggs? 

If you eat raw eggs, it is highly likely that you will get Salmonella infection.

It is safe to eat raw eggs provided that you follow some necessary precautions and you know the risks well. There is always a low risk of Salmonella being present on the surface of eggshells. 

Raw eggs are rich in protein. The safe way of consuming them is to use pasteurized eggs as they are heat-treated which reduces the risk of Salmonella infection.

What is the nutritional profile?

Similar to cooked eggs, raw eggs are high in nutrition.

They are loaded with:

  • Eye-protecting antioxidants
  • High-quality protein
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Healthy fats
  • Various other nutrients

One raw egg consists of:

  • Protein: 6 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Magnesium: 6 mg (1 percent of the Daily Value)
  • Vitamin D: 41 IU (5 percent of the DV)
  • Calcium: 28 mg (2 percent of the DV)
  • Potassium: 69 mg (1 percent of the DV)
  • Phosphorus: 99 mg (8 percent of the DV)
  • Choline: 147 mg (27 per cent of the DV)

It must be noted that nearly all of these nutrients are present in the yolk. The egg white is primarily composed of protein.

What are the potential health benefits of raw eggs?

Raw eggs provide many health benefits:

Beneficial for heart

Eggs are loaded with high-density lipoprotein that is beneficial for the heart. They are also rich in fatty acids, such as omega 3 fatty acids, which reduces the levels of low-density lipoprotein. 

Improve brain activity

The high concentration of choline found in eggs is beneficial for normal brain function. Eggs are rich in nutrients and just 1 egg provides an adequate amount of choline. 

Good for eyes 

Raw eggs are also loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are essential for eye protection and for reducing the risk of age-related eye problems.

Strengthens immune system

Raw eggs are rich in vitamin A and vitamin B12 that helps in the strengthening of the immune system.  

Provides more energy

Eggs are loaded with essential nutrients which act as a good source of energy. They are high in protein and essential amino acids.  

What are the potential side effects of raw eggs?

Risk of Salmonella infection 

Raw eggs can be potentially harmful if they have Salmonella. You will usually experience symptoms, such as diarrhea, fever, cramps, and vomiting, 1-3 days after eating contaminated food. 

However, you can feel unhealthy anywhere between 20 mins to six weeks after you have it. In extreme cases, you can experience chronic, intense, fatal conditions from ingesting foodborne bacteria. Salmonella is the cause of almost 30 casualties in the US every year. 

Generally, the bacteria is killed when the eggs are cooked properly. If you are cooking a recipe that demands raw eggs, be sure to use eggs that have been pasteurized to kill Salmonella

Raw eggs may inhibit biotin absorption

Biotin is basically vitamin-B7 that is involved in the production of glucose and fatty acids. 

While egg yolks are rich in biotin, raw egg whites are composed of a protein known as avidin that adheres to biotin in the small intestine, inhibiting its absorption. 

Avidin is destroyed by heat, so this is not a problem with cooked eggs. However, for biotin deficiency, when you consume a large number of eggs every day. 

How to reduce the risk of Salmonellosis?

As per the CDC, you can reduce the risk of Salmonellosis by following ways:

  • Buy pasteurized eggs and egg products
  • Only buy refrigerated eggs
  • Store eggs in a refrigerator in your home. Keeping eggs at room temperature may cause harmful bacteria to multiply rapidly.
  • Do not consume eggs beyond their expiry date.
  • Discard if you see any crack or dirt on eggs.
  • Properly clean your hands and utensils that have come into contact with raw eggs.
  • Other than this, one of the most obvious ways to reduce the risk of Salmonellosis is to consume properly cooked eggs.

Who is at risk of salmonella infection?

People who have weakened immune systems, including children, pregnant women, and elderly people, are at risk of getting sick from Salmonella. Hence, they should not consume foods containing raw eggs.

Although eggs are rich in nutrients and are an important part of a balanced diet of children, pregnant women, they should always be cooked thoroughly to remove any risk of Salmonellosis.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “What happens if you eat raw eggs?”. We have further elaborated on the nutritional value of raw eggs as well as the health benefits and side effects of eating raw eggs.

References 

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-raw-eggs#1
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-raw-eggs#nutrition
https://www.australianeggs.org.au/facts-and-tips/eating-raw-eggs

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.