The Perfect Protein

So OK, the questions just keep on coming: why do athletes eat raw eggs? That from reader Nan. I’m not sure athletes eat/drink eggs like Rocky anymore, however I do know why eggs are considered a “perfect” protein by many nutritionistas. It has to do with their so-called “bioavailability.” It’s a long word but the idea behind it is simple. The food world is full of different kinds of edible proteins, but the degree to which the body can break them down and use them varies. Some proteins break down very inefficiently in the digestive tract, the result being that not all the nutrients they contain (specifically their nitrogen) can be absorbed. The most “perfect” proteins are those that give up the most nutrients. Egg proteins are 97% bioavailable which is, you know, a lot.

4 thoughts on “The Perfect Protein”

  1. where does the scare about salmonella come from.. i am not sure, but as far as i know many are apprehensive in consuming raw eggs because of this.. am i right

    1. Yes, exactly. Back in the 80’s it became clear that large egg-producing operations had a salmonella infection problem that would probably never be completely solved. We saw that last summer here in the States, when we had an outbreak and some 500,000 had to be recalled. It’s a shame because we were just starting to think we were close to solving the salmonella problem on an industrial scale. Even now I don’t think scientists don’t know the source of the infection, which is frustrating to say the least.

      – Joe

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