We all avoid vegetable oils, especially cooking with them, as this oxidises their high proportion of unstable, polyunsaturated fats.
Yet there is an average of ~0.5g O6 PUFA per medium sized egg yolk, which would oxidise in a similar manner when exposed to heat and oxygen e.g. scrambled/made into a quiche or omelette.
Does anyone think that eating a daily breakfast scramble made with ~6 eggs is likely to have any long term adverse effects? Purely in terms of oxidised PUFA consumed this is comparable to cooking in a few teaspoons of vegetable oil. (Ironically something I routinely did for my health during my days a SAD eater).
Would cooking the eggs gently or with saturated fat (e.g. butter) help prevent oxidation occurring? How about consuming scrambled egg with some source of antioxidants* in order to help counterbalance the free radical damage caused by the oxidised PUFA?
*Yes, I'm aware that this particular controversy still rages on.
Scrambled eggs/omelettes/quiches: quick breakfast staple or occasional treat?
EDIT: People are commenting on O6 vs O3 and pastured eggs vs battery eggs. I have only been able to source semi-pastured eggs, which come from chickens that are free to forage but are still fed a grain-based diet. However, I think that this is barking up the wrong tree. Pastured eggs still contain significant O6 (~300g) along with the O3. Equally, although the O3 is beneficial, we shouldn't forget that, just like O6, it is still a highly unstable PUFA. Fish oil might be good for us, but who here would cook with it?
Feh. I eat my eggs fried, scrambled, boiled, etc.
If I scramble them or fry them, I use butter or beef tallow or bacon fat or some combination.
Does oxidation occur? Probably, but as long as I avoid carbs I figure the ol' bod will fight the good fight if I eat something that is not necessarily on the up and up.
Avoid carbs, avoid the industrial lubricants -- vegetable oil, canola oil, etc. -- don't eat too many vegetables, and have a bite or two of berries once a week and you'll be Paleo Cool.
I've mentioned this before in related questions. It seems like most foods that are not meat have something in them that may be bad in large quantities. This seems to me to make a good case for more variety in our diet. Our ancestors obviously ate mostly seasonally- and most foods would not have been available year-round.
With this in mind, I try never to eat the same food every day for more than a few days. If I eat a lot of eggs for a few days I usually take a break for at least a month. I see it as a bit like having a diversified portfolio of investments.
Also I have to agree with Phocion_Timon that obviously there are way more important things to avoid. For anyone but the seasoned paleo eater this shouldn't be something to fret over.
ADDED: Probably the most "paleo" way to cook eggs is to boil them- maybe slowly.
Does the egg even need to get super hot to be cooked? Butter melts at about 85 degrees F. It doesn't take much more to cook an egg unless you are in a big hurry. My advice would be to cook the eggs on slow low temp. I do that anyway because I like mine overeasy. I can flip them out of the pan and start to eat them immediately because they are just not very hot, even though the whites are solid. The yoke inside is only warmed, but even if I get distracted and let it go too long and end up with a hardened yoke, it's still not that hot inside.
Eggs from properly raised chickens have about that much omega-3 in them, too, so there should be no concern there.
Eggs from factory farms are another story, but I'd probably just not go crazy with them and supplement with fish oil or eat more salmon to make up some of the difference.
i find it very difficult to cook eggs when im unconscious. ;)
personally, i find it hard to believe that eating that much of any one thing wont have long term adverse effects, and that we should try to mix things up a bit. but with the O6 issue in mind (not a lot of pastured eggs available here when theres three feet of snow on the ground for months on end) i like to have two instead of three eggs, and some wild salmon on the side
Very interesting question. The oxidation of various healthy fats such as eggs and canned fish has always concerned me, and I have yet to get a clear answer. I think this is something that needs to be looked at more. Hoping for great answers.
Eggs have the most bioavailable protein for human digestion, so we are clearly designed to eat them. Now, whether that's supposed to be raw right out of the shell or not is a whole different matter. Additionally, one could argue that we never encountered the relatively large amounts that I'm sure most of us consume, but as long as you don't give it a disproportionate amount of space in your diet, to the detriment of other fatty meats, it should be fine.
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