Is eating a raw egg unhealthy?

Raw eggs that have not been pasteurized are susceptible to containing pathogens such as bacteria that can be harmful to humans. Eggs bought in the grocery store are usually pasteurized and therefore pathogen free, but you are still at risk eating raw eggs. In addition to the pathogen concern, an egg yolk, whether it's raw or cooked, contains a large amount of fat, which can be unhealthy if consumed in high quantities. This is the reason that people may use just the egg white to cook with.

Salmonella poisoning can be serious, but salmonella comes from sick chickens. I actually eat 2 raw egg yolks a day, but I only eat organic or farm fresh eggs from healthy chickens. Raw egg yolks have a lot of DHA, biotin and lutein, for starters. I avoid raw egg whites because they contain avidin, which binds up the biotin in the egg yolk. If you cook the egg whites, the avidin is neutralized. 

There are a lot of people who believe raw foods are better, and there are some foods we intentionally eat raw, like sushi. A key is to purchase quality foods, or organic if possible, and handle food carefully. Most food poisoning actually occurs at home!

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

From cookie dough to eggnog, raw eggs find their way into multiple holiday meals -- and with them, dangerous salmonella bacteria. Salmonella poisoning can hit you with nausea and vomiting in as little as six hours.

To stay safe, use pasteurized eggs; make sure cookies and cakes are fully baked before eating; and don't lick the bowl! For eggnog, mix the eggs and sugar together, then blend them slowly into the milk, continuously stirring over heat to cook the eggs and emulsify the mixture.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.