The Unhealthy Mistake You Might Be Making When Cooking Eggs

If you love eating eggs, you're in good company. According to Statista, nearly 316 million Americans consumed eggs in 2020. To keep up with U.S. demand, hens now produce 296 eggs on average every year, a 6.5% increase since 2010 (via United Egg Producers). One hen makes 296 eggs a year? That's no clucking joke.

Eggs tend to get a bad wrap because of their association with cholesterol; however, the experts at Healthline say that eggs and other foods that contain cholesterol actually have a minimal effect on your cholesterol levels. In fact, these experts state that eggs may actually improve your cholesterol profile and are ultimately so good for you that they are "among the healthiest foods on the planet."

This is because eggs have a robust nutritional profile and are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. With regard to cholesterol, the American Heart Association (AHA), reports that one large egg has 186 milligrams, which used to be considered more than half of the recommended daily value, but the federal dietary guidelines no longer recommend a numerical limitation due to lack of scientific evidence.

Look out for this before cooking eggs

Despite all of the great things about eggs, be wary before cracking one open. Even though your egg carton has an expiration date, it's possible that your eggs may go bad before then. The experts at WebMD say there are a number of things to look out for -– or smell -– before dropping your soon-to-be breakfast into that pot or frying pan.

The most obvious one, of course, is if you crack open the egg and it smells like sulfur, toss it. If your eggs don't smell bad, it doesn't necessarily mean they are safe to cook. Make sure to check for any discoloration of the egg white. It should be white or cloudy. If it has a green tint or iridescence, it could mean that the egg contains bacteria. If you're not sure, best to throw it out because if the egg contains E. Coli, it could make you extremely ill. A bad egg can make you sick anywhere between six hours and two days after consumption and may cause diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, and fever (via WebMD).

You can prevent eating bad eggs by first checking them at the store to make sure they aren't cracked and then putting the carton into your refrigerator when you get home. And if your carton doesn't list an expiration date, write down the date you bought them, and then be sure to consume them within six weeks (via WebMD).