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Eating raw eggs on the Anabolic Diet

May 12th, 2008 · 16 Comments

I am a regular consumer of raw eggs. I love them. I don’t eat them plain straight out of the shell, but I absolutely love mixing them into shakes, pudding recipes, and anything else they’ll fit into. Eggs are the most anabolic food available, and eating raw eggs not only helps me fit more eggs into my diet, but I also feel provides benefits that cooked eggs do not.  Raw eggs have helped me pack on more muscle than any other food, save for beef.

My love for raw eggs troubles a lot of people, but it shouldn’t. It’s almost comical to me the mass hysteria that surrounds every facet of eggs — salmonella poisoning, high cholesterol, egg whites versus whole eggs. There are legitimate concerns over eggs, but most are over-blown. This is to the detriment of those who are looking to improve their bodies, because raw eggs are, in my opinion, the greatest tool I’ve got in my arsenal for the Anabolic Diet.

Why raw eggs are safe

Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals that roughly one in every 30,000 eggs is contaminated with salmonella, or 0.003% of all eggs. If you eat a dozen eggs a day on the Anabolic Diet, five days a week when excluding carb up days, then you have eaten 3,132 eggs in the course of one year.

Now let’s assume you’re a smart consumer and don’t waste your money on tons of unnecessary supplements. The money you save can be invested toward higher-quality eggs, which are less likely to be infected with any virus. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s numbers are highly skewed by low-quality, commercially-produced eggs, because these eggs record the highest incidence of salmonella poisoning. We can assume that, if eating high-quality, farm-fresh eggs from a source like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, far less than 0.003% of all eggs you consume will be infected.

In other words, getting salmonella from a raw egg is an absolute anomaly. If eating responsibly, you have well less than a 1 in 30,000 chance of contracting any kind of disease. Statistics show that every time you hop in your car, there is a 1 in 5,000 chance of being in a fatal crash. Almost everything you do carries some sort of risk. Why small, harmless eggs have built themselves to be a great fear for our society, I will never know.

Eggs to avoid

If you still want to be absolutely safe, I can assure you that you can avoid most contaminated eggs fairly easily. These “sick” eggs will be an abnormal color once cracked open, and often contain tell-tale signs around the shells, like cracks or abnormal patterns. I once cracked open an egg that I was going to dump in a shake and it was an abnormal greenish hue. Needless to say, that entire shake got dumped into the drain immediately. (As a side note, this egg came from a bulk batch purchased from Costco. I now only buy fresh eggs from Trader Joe’s.)

Why raw eggs are good for you

There is controversy around whether an egg is healthier cooked or uncooked. I consume mine both ways. At least half, if not more, if my eggs eaten every day are raw, while the rest are either soft boiled (with a soft or runny yolk) or lightly scrambled.

The idea is that when you cook a yolk until it hardens, you are killing a number of nutrients and enzymes inside the yolk. This is the case any time you heavily cook fats, although saturated and monounsaturated fats hold up to heat better than their counterparts. I always eat my omega 3-enriched eggs raw because omega 3s do not hold up to heat, and cooking them negates any benefits I’ll receive from eating them. Most other eggs contain fats that stay stable at higher temperatures.

When I cook, I only cook with fertile eggs.

Eat both the yolk and the white

Raw egg whites contain high levels of avidin, which when consumed in large numbers, can cause a biotin deficiency. Biotin deficiencies can cause all kinds of nutritional problems. Consuming raw egg whites then can pose a problem.

However, the yolk of the egg contains high levels of biotin. When consuming the whole egg, a biotin deficiency is not an issue because the white and yolk counteract each other.

The take-home lesson: don’t take my advice and then consume just raw egg whites! I want you to be eating the entire egg.

The convenience of raw eggs

You could eat all soft-boiled eggs, but when you start to eat lots of them — which, if you want great results on the Anabolic Diet, you will — it will become too difficult to fit that many in, as well as the time to prepare them will be astronomical. Raw eggs provide a convenience that no other food does. Dump a bunch of eggs into a container, put in other anabolic shake ingredients, mix it together, and you have a healthy, calorie-dense, Anabolic Diet-friendly meal!

What kind of eggs to buy

I eat a mixture of omega 3-enriched eggs and fertile eggs. Vince Gironda believed fertile eggs to be the best and most bio-available, while omega 3 eggs help me get more of the essential fatty acids in my diet. Although I mentioned that I will cook with fertile eggs, I still eat both types of eggs raw more often than not.

How to prepare raw eggs

I don’t put my raw eggs into a blender anymore. I used to, but read that Vince Gironda advised against it, since it was essentially homogenizing the eggs, making them into particles too small to be digested and assimilated properly by the body. I don’t know if this is exactly the case with a consumer blender, but I follow the advice regardless.

I use my raw eggs primarily in shakes, like Vince Gironda’s Hormone Precursor Shake.

I put my eggs into a shaker bottle with the rest of my shake ingredients and just shake vigorously, which is enough to get everything to mix together. You can also use a fork to mix the eggs together. I also am a big fan of creating Anabolic Diet Pudding, by mixing one scoop of protein powder with a raw egg and some heavy cream.

Any famous raw egg consumers?

Although it’s taboo these days to admit to eating raw eggs, many top bodybuilders from the 1970s swore by them. (I’m sure many of today’s top bodybuilders are big fans of raw eggs, too.) VInce Gironda was the biggest proponent of raw egg consumption, and the bodybuilders he trained would sometimes eat up to 36 raw eggs a day!

Eat up!

The preceding hopefully will spell out why raw eggs are beneficial to someone looking to pack on more muscle. The convenience and nutrition raw eggs provide are too good to pass up. Raw eggs and the Anabolic Diet are naturally a perfect match.

Tags: Diet

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Leslie Breaux // Jul 22, 2008 at 11:46 am

    You don’t specifically say why fertilized eggs are better. Do you know?? I eat about six raw eggs –just the yolks–per day and just tried the fertilized recently. I thought they tasted better than the unfertilized. I was just curious if the nutritional content is different maybe?? Thanks.

  • 2 Levi Clampitt // Jul 23, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/128/10/1716

    cooking eggs offer a greater absorption rate of protein verses eating them raw.

  • 3 mr gemini // Oct 15, 2008 at 8:29 am

    are raw eggs really safe? is it true that raw egg consumption causes baldness?…how about raw eggs as a postworkout shake?

  • 4 Clay // Oct 15, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Yes, raw eggs really are safe. I’ve eaten thousands of them in my life and have never had any issues. That’s not to say that it’s possible to run into a bad egg, but if you take precautions, you’ll be fine.

    I’ve never heard that raw egg consumption causes baldness. I can say, though, that it is absolutely false. Just about every big bodybuilder from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s ate them and the only bald ones are those who were genetically predisposed to baldness.

    Raw eggs are great in a post-workout shake. I personally opt for a protein-only meal post-workout, and then go for a shake with eggs about an hour later. But I’ve had good experiences with egg shakes before.

    As a response to the other posts:
    Yes, there are studies that show that cooking eggs offer a greater absorption rate of protein. However, this doesn’t include all the nutrients in the yolk that are killed in the process. It also neglects the convenience factor if you are eating LOTS of eggs. My ideal is cooked egg whites with a runny yolk, but it is hard to cook 12+ eggs a day this way.

    And as for fertile eggs…
    You know, I’m really just going off Vince Gironda’s recommendation. However, I’ve read that, since fertile eggs contain more “biological value” (ie, what the rooster has contributed), they are a more complete source of nutrients and give a greater hormonal boost. God, that sounds like pseudo-science. I’ve really got to study that one.

  • 5 Matthew Rose // Jan 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Alright i’m just starting off drinking eggs, im 17 and exercise daily with weights, how many eggs would i need to consume daily to achieve good quality muscle? thanks a lot

  • 6 Beth // Feb 10, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I have tons of digestive issues. I’m slowly incorporating protein back into my diet, and raw eggs are one of the few things that don’t give me any trouble (Also, don’t let those egg whites in a box fool you – they’re pasteurized and gave me a little trouble this morning!). I purchase organic ones from Whole Foods, and I believe they are half of the reason I am now in such great shape :)

  • 7 Andy Fossett // Feb 12, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Great post. I also eat a ton of eggs, about half of them raw.

    For those with reservations about raw eggs, see http://www.mercola.com. Dr. Mercola goes into some detail about safety and the raw/cooked debate. (I still cook them sometimes because I like the taste.)

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen fertilized eggs for sale before. I’ll have to check it out. I wonder if they’re available in Japan.

  • 8 eddie // Mar 12, 2009 at 12:46 am

    bruce lee put whole eggs plus the shells in his protein shakes everyday and had a cool looking body!

  • 9 wavetwister // Apr 27, 2009 at 11:40 am

    This is a great blog, just found it today and I’m blown away. I eat about 5 eggs a day and I’m so tired of scrambled, easy over eggs every day. This raw egg addition has given me new hope in AD. Nice.

  • 10 Osiris308 // Jun 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I am 22 yrs old and are on the anabolic diet. It’s a great diet if you follow it. Scivation has great books and products explaining it in more detail. I eat 12 raw fertile eggs a day 4 at a time 3x in the day. I usually eat them with a whey protein scoop. The eggs are great and keep you feeling full throughout the day. They will give you strength in the gym and help you build lean muscle that last. I took 2 weeks off but kept up my egg intake daily and when i came back it was like i never left the gym..they’re great.

  • 11 Pat M // Jul 28, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I used to cook my eggs for years. I eventually realized that I was losing many nutrients and vitamins in the process. I was hesitant, at first, about consuming raw eggs, mainly due to taste. However, much to my surprise, I love them! For breakfast every morning, I blend about 8 raw eggs with a banana and a bit of flax oil. I always go with the organic omega-3 eggs from whole foods.

  • 12 cmountainhigh // Sep 13, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I weigh 177 lbs. I weighed 148 lbs in jan. 09. I just now bench 250 and it has been a lot of work. i have consistantly eaten raw eggs blended with orange juice or grape juice. The juice helps you get your vitamin c, and it definetly helps with the taste. My gaines have been fantastic and everyone that see’s me ask if im on steroids.

  • 13 Keith Dallmann // Oct 31, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I am 59 years young, I have had above average health and energy. I take no medicines period since childhood. I have eaten raw eggs now for about a year, with great results. Skin is much better and aging gracefully. I certainly plain on keeping up the routine. Lots of energy, zero health problems and looking younger than a year ago. Raw eggs are likely the single best food on the planet.

  • 14 Nick Krehnke // Dec 29, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I have eaten no less than 50,000 raw eggs in my life and have never had any problems. That combined with raw veggies will shred every bit of fat from your body. It’s worked like a champ for everyone I instructed to do so.

  • 15 Robert F // Dec 17, 2010 at 1:06 am

    I’ve been into raw eggs for more than a decade now and do believe in the health benefits. I’m also a big fan of Trader Joe’s cage free and organic eggs, mostly for the quality, but also to reduce the risk of salmonella and to not promote the hen factories. The baldness concern comes from a biotin deficiency which can be promoted by the avidin in the egg white (binds very effectively with biotin). Note that the amount of avidin is much higher (~5 grams per egg) than the biotin (~25 micrograms) in the yolk to cancel each other out. So, I suggest people do more research on this, esp. when large amounts of raw egg are eaten throughout the day. My question: if one eats only once during the day, can the avidin effect be minimized since it only wipes out the current biotin in the GI tract during the digestive time period (~2hrs)? This article is a decent compromise by a raw egg proponent: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/02/09/raw-eggs.aspx

  • 16 Robert F // Dec 17, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Correction: it’s not 5+ grams of avidin in an average egg, but one would require 5+ grams of biotin to neutralize the avidin. There’s 0.05% avidin in an egg, which is about 20milligrams (~1000 times more then biotin) in a 40g egg. One would have to calculate the molar equivalence to come up with the 5g of biotin stated on so many websites. It seems a bit high if it’s a one to one combination. May have to ask my biochem friend about this binding “reaction”. Also, it appears that cooking does NOT completely destroy the avidin. See this study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1991.tb05361.x/abstract

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