3

votes

Do you avoid scrambled eggs/omlettes? Or are you unconsciously cooking with vegetable oil?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 26, 2011 at 1:35 AM

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?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 22, 2011
at 12:45 PM

I think O3s are even more unstable than O6s.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on February 16, 2011
at 10:33 PM

Melissa, Would love to see a follow up on this :) By the way. What a sweet post Chris made for you for Valentine's. @Timbo - it wouldn't be O3s that protect. Infact, O3s could also oxidize, as they are not stable either. It would be any other compounds like what Melissa is going to ask Chris about. Specifically, antioxidants (like vit E) help protect against oxidation, hence the obvious description within the very word.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on January 27, 2011
at 01:54 PM

Maybe I'm misremembering, but don't egg whites contain some potentially gut-irritating compounds and/or antinutrients? Aren't, to some extent, eggs to chickens as seeds are to plants?

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on January 26, 2011
at 08:30 PM

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. 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.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 26, 2011
at 04:37 PM

robbwolf.com has it

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:25 PM

I feel your pain fellow tinned sardine lover. When I first started eating them I was ecstatic: dirt cheap, portable, loooong shelf life, no carbs, good fat, high in protein and delicious! And then I found out about BPA contamination and rancid PUFA. Sigh.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:18 PM

Interesting suggestions. However I find I spend less money and generally do better on a moderate carb diet (usually ~50 per day, with an upper limit of 100g). Why do you recommend reducing carbs in the context of oxidised PUFA? Also, why the advice to avoid vegetables?

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:11 PM

@ Eva - exactly! Strictly scientifically speaking, eggs are just pre-chickens.... ;)

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:09 PM

I do try to mix it up a little, but unfortunately I'm one of those people who feels most comfortable slipping into a dietary routine.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:07 PM

I'm not familiar with Paleo Solution. Care to share?

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:06 PM

Good point - I do already cook scrambled eggs gently as I like them to be a soft, buttery mess.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:04 PM

@ Melissa: I had wondered about the effect of vitamin e in the yolk plus the vitamin e in the grass-fed butter I use. However please do bug Chris Masterjohn all you like!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 26, 2011
at 04:34 AM

Eggs are not meat?

3806aa4cc77b896a11608d8a6a16e57c

(45)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:54 AM

If your eggs are cage free I would think the O3's would protect you more than the 06's would harm. Love CF eggs!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 26, 2011
at 03:08 AM

Haha, luckily I made scrambled eggs for Chris Masterjohn and asked him this very question. I'll bug him to post about it. I would think that some of the chemicals in the yolk would protect against oxidization.

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8 Answers

5
Acfd35c9e350bb4c0c17810af4decd95

on January 26, 2011
at 03:09 AM

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.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:18 PM

Interesting suggestions. However I find I spend less money and generally do better on a moderate carb diet (usually ~50 per day, with an upper limit of 100g). Why do you recommend reducing carbs in the context of oxidised PUFA? Also, why the advice to avoid vegetables?

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 26, 2011
at 04:44 AM

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.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:06 PM

Good point - I do already cook scrambled eggs gently as I like them to be a soft, buttery mess.

2
02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:43 AM

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.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:11 PM

@ Eva - exactly! Strictly scientifically speaking, eggs are just pre-chickens.... ;)

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:09 PM

I do try to mix it up a little, but unfortunately I'm one of those people who feels most comfortable slipping into a dietary routine.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 26, 2011
at 04:34 AM

Eggs are not meat?

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on January 27, 2011
at 01:54 PM

Maybe I'm misremembering, but don't egg whites contain some potentially gut-irritating compounds and/or antinutrients? Aren't, to some extent, eggs to chickens as seeds are to plants?

1
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on January 26, 2011
at 08:32 PM

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

1
7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:48 AM

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.

1
03b67d2b8e9e878147cb3f225c864207

(761)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:02 AM

Sounds like good Paleo Solution podcast material. Send it in!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 26, 2011
at 04:37 PM

robbwolf.com has it

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:07 PM

I'm not familiar with Paleo Solution. Care to share?

0
Medium avatar

on January 26, 2011
at 09:14 PM

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.

0
0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on January 26, 2011
at 02:58 AM

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.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:25 PM

I feel your pain fellow tinned sardine lover. When I first started eating them I was ecstatic: dirt cheap, portable, loooong shelf life, no carbs, good fat, high in protein and delicious! And then I found out about BPA contamination and rancid PUFA. Sigh.

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