With U.S. states emerging from weeks of pandemic lockdown, many businesses are asking customers to sign COVID-19 liability waivers before entering.

These legal documents were once reserved for risky activities like skydiving and rock climbing. But until an effective COVID-19 vaccine is available, simply venturing outside your house increases your risk for contracting the new coronavirus and developing COVID-19.

Especially in parts of the country, such as Arizona, Texas, and Florida, where infections continue to rise.

Given this “new normal,” gyms, yoga studios, hair salons, and other businesses are using liability waivers to shield themselves from lawsuits should a customer later develop COVID-19 or even die from it.

Even President Donald Trump is reportedly asking people to sign a disclaimer excusing his campaign from liability if they attend a rally in Oklahoma later this week and then contract an infection.

We talked to experts about what you need to know about these waivers and what rights you still have if you sign one.

Will waivers hold up in court?

COVID-19 waivers vary. However, by signing one you basically agree not to hold a business liable if a COVID-19 outbreak is traced back to that place and you get sick or die from COVID-19.

Of course, businesses are still expected to protect customers from COVID-19 by following state and local public health guidelines on sanitizing surfaces, physical distancing, and use of masks and other protective gear.

But if a business ignores those guidelines — such as by packing people into a yoga class or not regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces — and you’ve signed the waiver, you may be out of luck if you get sick.

“A liability waiver is truly a waiver, meaning that even if the operator of the business is in fact negligent, the person that is injured gives up the right to sue,” said W. Bradley Wendel, a law professor at Cornell Law School.

How waivers are viewed in court varies by state. But waivers do need to follow the normal requirements of contract law, such as being clear and easily understood.

Wendel says waivers for recreational or optional activities — such as skydiving schools, go-kart tracks, and political rallies — are generally enforceable.

But New York City–based liability attorney Richard C. Bell says there’s still room for interpretation when it comes to waivers.

“By signing the waiver, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t sue or be successful in a lawsuit,” he said.

Whether a waiver holds up in court depends in part on what the business did or didn’t do to protect customers from COVID-19.

“In virtually all the states, you can contract out of what’s called ordinary negligence, but not gross negligence,” Bell said.

So, if a business isn’t cleaning as often as it should or isn’t making sure everyone is following physical distancing all the time, the waiver may still be valid.

But if a restaurant puts its tables 2 feet apart instead of 6, or a gym allows an employee to come into work with symptoms of COVID-19, a court may decide that that’s gross negligence.

For a lawsuit to be successful, Bell says you’d also need to prove that you contracted the virus from that business.

This can be difficult, because you may have come into contact with people at many locations other than that business, and it can take up to 14 days after exposure to the virus to start showing COVID-19 symptoms.

Wendel says, unfortunately, if you don’t want to sign a waiver, there’s not much you can do, other than go to another business. But the other business may have a similar liability waiver.

“It pretty much is take it or leave it,” he said. “You’re not going to be able to sit there and negotiate the language of the waiver with the person at the front desk.”

The good news is that fear of lawsuits isn’t the only incentive that businesses have to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or state health departments.

“Businesses are also concerned about their reputation,” Wendel said. “And they are presumably run by reasonable human beings who don’t want to see people get hurt.”

Bell recommends that you be proactive by asking a business to explain what procedures it has in place to protect its customers. Some businesses may have signs posted at the front door or notices on their website explaining this.

“If you’re in any way uncomfortable about what you observe,” he said, “walk away and go to another establishment.”

This is exactly what Arnold Schwarzenegger did recently when he found out that Gold’s Gym in Venice, California, wasn’t requiring people to wear masks while working out.

If you’re concerned about COVID-19, especially if you’re older or have an underlying health condition, you can reduce your risk by avoiding certain activities or businesses.

According to the CDC, “the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.”

Before you head out, think about how many people you’ll interact with, whether you can stay at least 6 away from them, if you’ll be indoors or outdoors, and how long you’ll be near others.

Some of the highest-risk places for COVID-19 include bars, concert halls, churches, community pools and beaches, public transportation, and many workplaces.

Source: Healthline 

A good night’s sleep is paramount for the health of your brain and body.

However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, sowing anxiety and worry along with it, getting a healthy amount of quality sleep probably isn’t as easy as it used to be.

And getting good sleep is more important now than ever.

“We know that sleep is directly related to immunity in terms of the physiological response in our body: If we’re not sleeping we can reduce our immune system, we can increase inflammation in the body, which we know can then lead to being more vulnerable to various viruses or whatever might be in our environment,” Brittany LeMonda, PhD, a senior neuropsychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City told Healthline.

In other words, your quality of sleep plays a direct role in your body’s ability to keep you safe from the novel coronavirus.

So, in addition to all the recommended hygiene behaviors to ward off the disease, like handwashing and social distancing, consider your own sleep health as another way to stay protected.

Here are a few helpful tips to help wind down and get a good night’s rest, even during these stressful and uncertain times.

1. Maintain a regular routine

Many people have had their daily lives totally upended as a direct result of this pandemic. Some have been laid off. Some are adjusting to working from home. Others are now juggling work and family as they look after children who are now out of school for the remainder of the school year.

No matter how your life has been affected, it’s of the utmost importance to keep a regular routine in order to get good sleep.

“This is actually a time when we need to remember and be mindful of how we are living our lives in this very different way. So, we need to keep our lives as close to our routine as possible,” Navya Singh, PysD, a psychologist and research scientist at the Columbia University department of psychiatry, told Healthline

“If you’re working from home, get up at the same time and get dressed. You might just be going to the next room or working from your bedroom, but just have that same sense of routine and normalcy, which will help you feel less disrupted,” she said.

2. Don’t nap excessively

If you’ve found yourself in a self-quarantine or work-from-home situation due to the pandemic, the bedroom or couch might end up calling — a little too frequently.

Adding to the importance of establishing a routine for yourself, make sure you’re not napping excessively, as this can even make you sleepier during the day, potentially altering or disrupting a regular sleep routine.

Having a normal sleep routine should help to “anchor your entire day,” said LeMonda. Instead of napping, use that healthy routine to get up early and start getting things done.

3. Get some exercise (just not before bed)

Yes, your gym is probably closed, but exercise should still be part of your daily life. Daily exercise is still just as important, especially for sleep.

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders may have you feeling that your options are more limited, but there are a number of ways you can effectively exercise without leaving your home.

“Getting exercise during the day is really important,” said LeMonda, “We know that that’s tied to improved sleep for pathophysiological reasons: We will feel more tired if we’ve exerted ourselves. We will also feel more accomplished that day as well, so there will be a sense of achievement before bed.”

Just don’t exercise within a few hours of bedtime because the stimulation of physical exertion can make it harder to get to sleep.

4. Structure your news intake

It’s nearly impossible to escape the constant distressing flow of COVID-19 news and information that permeates daily life right now. And yes, constantly consuming a 24/7 pandemic news cycle is likely to ratchet up your anxiety and affect your sleep.

“Whenever we go to the news, it’s always about the novel coronavirus and it’s quite upsetting. It’s reality, but it’s also something that can increase our anxiety. I would say schedule and structure the times when you check your phone for news updates,” said Singh.

Be diligent in limiting how many times per day you check your phone, and for how long, to read news related to the pandemic. Singh also recommends treating the news similar to how you might caffeine: don’t consume it before bed.

5. Limit blue light exposure near bedtime

The internet has proved to be an invaluable tool for communication and entertainment during a time in which people across the world have been mandated to self-quarantine or shelter in place.

However, staring at a screen all day is not helpful when you’re trying to fall asleep.

“We do recommend that within the hour prior to sleep that the person tries to unplug and not really be watching TV, not being on their phone, and certainly not watching anything that could be anxiety-provoking,” said LeMonda.

Instead, she recommends activities like reading a book or listening to music as means of entertainment before bed.

6. Avoid drinking excessive alcohol

“We might feel like if we drink we’ll feel better in the moment and feel like we’re passing out, we actually don’t get good, restful sleep,” said LeMonda. “It’s not going to be that restful sleep where you wake up and feel like you can take on the day.”

Alcohol also isn’t a healthy coping mechanism for dealing with stress and anxiety either. The one-two punch of alcohol and poor sleep can have a real effect on diminishing the immune system.

Source: HealthLine

If you’ve been working hard to get in shape yet still want to lose fat, you may have concerns that you’ll lose muscle as well. To prevent this, you can follow a few eating and fitness guidelines that will help you achieve the results you want.

You must go about losing weight safely and effectively to optimize fat loss and muscle maintenance. This is especially important if you want to maintain your fitness level, physical activity, and overall function.

With the right approach, it’s possible to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass. This article outlines how you can use an exercise and eating plan to effectively shed fat without losing muscle.

What it takes to lose fat

To lose fat, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn each day and exercise regularly. Frequent physical activity helps get rid of fat. If you lose weight without exercise, you’re more likely to lose both muscle and fat.

While it’s not possible to lose fat on particular areas of your body, you can work on lowering your overall body fat percentage.

Go slowly. Losing weight quickly may contribute to muscle loss. It’s best to lose a small amount of weight each week over a longer period.

How to maintain muscle

To keep the muscle you have while losing fat, you’ll need to strike a balance between limiting yourself and pushing yourself as much as you can.

Each person will have different results. Listen to your body, and adjust your workout and eating plan accordingly.

Schedule recovery time

Give yourself enough time to recover between workouts. This is especially important if you’re eating fewer calories and doing intense workouts. Get plenty of sleep, which helps restore your energy levels.

Don’t restrict

Avoid any type of eating plan that’s too drastic or restrictive. It will be harder to keep up with long term.

Avoid overtraining, and stay away from any workout plan that has the potential to drain you or cause injury. Pushing yourself too hard or fast may result in missing workouts due to fatigue or injury. Remember, rest days are important.

Exercise

Exercise is another important aspect of maintaining muscle mass. Research from 2018 examined the effect of calorie restriction combined with resistance, endurance, or both types of training in older adults with obesity.

The researchers found that when individuals followed an eating plan and did some type of exercise, they were able to prevent muscle loss due to calorie restriction.

Most of the eating plans consisted of 55 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein, and 30 percent fat.

More research is needed to determine which type of exercise is most effective in preventing muscle loss.

Eat healthy

Change up your eating plan to include healthy proteins and fewer unhealthy fat sources.

In a 2016 review of 20 studies, researchers found older adults retained more lean mass and lost more fat when consuming higher protein diets.

Try a supplement

Consider taking a supplement, such as chromium picolinate, which is said to have a positive effect on weight loss, hunger, and blood sugar levels.

Research from 2018 points to the importance of reducing body weight without losing lean body mass.

Along with taking chromium picolinate, you can do this by:

  • eating the right amounts of macronutrients, such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates
  • managing calorie intake
  • doing resistance exercise

Before taking any supplement, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor. Some supplements may negatively interact with certain medications or conditions.

Exercise plans

Follow a few of these tips to help you exercise smarter to hit your goals.

Do cardio

To lose fat and gain or maintain muscle mass, do moderate- to high-intensity cardio for at least 150 minutes per week. Example of cardio exercises include:

  • cycling
  • running
  • boxing
  • soccer
  • basketball
  • volleyball
Increase intensity

Increase the intensity of your workouts to challenge yourself and burn calories. For your workout to effectively build strength, you must push your muscles to their maximum capacity. This may involve taking a break before proceeding.

Continue to strength train

Do strength training two to three times per week. This may be a combination of:

  • weightlifting
  • bodyweight exercises
  • resistance band exercises

Exercise classes, such as yoga, Pilates, or tai chi, are also options.

Always start with low weight loads and fewer repetitions. Gradually work your way up to heavier weights or more repetitions. This will help avoid injury.

Strength training helps prevent muscle loss while increasing muscle mass. Make sure your routine is balanced and targets all the main muscle groups.

Give your muscle groups time to recover. You can aim to target each muscle group a maximum of twice per week. To cut fat, you can also incorporate interval training into your workout plan.

Take a rest

Allow for adequate rest and recovery on alternate days. Either take an entire day off, or opt for light-intensity exercise, such as walking, swimming, or dancing.

Healthy eating

To optimize fat loss while maintaining muscle mass, follow a healthy diet that meets your nutritional and energetic needs.

Eating healthy foods may also help you feel full, so you’ll be less likely to overeat.

Before your workout, make sure you’re well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Replace sugary beverages with drinks such as green tea, coconut water, and fresh vegetable juice. You can also have a light, easy-to-digest meal that’s rich in carbohydrates.

Within 45 minutes of finishing a workout, eat a meal containing protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Boost your energy levels with carbohydrates after a workout. This helps in the recovery process, and may even help speed up that process. Carbohydrates help replace glycogen stores that were used for energy during exercise.

Carbohydrates that are ideal to eat after exercise include:

  • fresh fruit
  • sweet potatoes
  • whole wheat pasta
  • dark, leafy vegetables
  • milk
  • oatmeal
  • legumes
  • grains

Protein options for gaining lean muscle include:

  • lean meats, such as turkey and chicken
  • seafood
  • nuts
  • eggs
  • low fat dairy products
  • beans
  • quinoa
  • buckwheat
  • brown rice
  • protein shakes

You can also include healthy fats in your postworkout meals, including:

  • avocado
  • nuts
  • nut butters
  • chia seeds
  • trail mix
  • dark chocolate
  • whole eggs
  • olive and coconut oil
  • fatty fish
  • cheese
When to talk with a pro

A certified nutritionist or dietitian can help you align your eating and exercise plan with your overall goals.

Working with a professional may be especially beneficial if your eating plan affects any existing health conditions, or if you have special dietary needs. It’s also useful for people who are unsure of exactly how to change their eating habits.

A personal trainer can help you create an exercise routine that’s in line with your goals and fitness level. They’ll also make sure you’re using the correct weights and using proper form.

As you progress, a pro can continue to tailor your program in a way that helps you advance. They’ll also motivate you and provide accountability.

If working with a professional isn’t possible, consider finding a buddy with whom you can create an eating and fitness plan. Together you can help each other succeed.

The bottom line

While you may end up losing a small amount of muscle mass along with excess fat, you can help manage it with a proper eating and exercise plan.

To support fat loss, maintain a calorie deficit while eating lots of protein, carbs, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Set attainable, realistic goals. Keep track of your progress over several months. Challenge yourself to improve your performance and focus on building strength.

Stay consistent in your approach, and continue to focus on your progress. Be sure to appreciate the benefits of your hard work.

Source: HealthLine

Having an honest conversation about the issues we’re seeing today requires confronting the hard facts of privilege and how it works.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. As a parent it is also my wish for my 5-year-old son. I have faith that everything I hope for, everything that I do not currently see in this country, will be available to him. At the top of the list of things I hope for is a long life.

We are black, and what has been evident in the last 2 weeks, is that our blackness is a liability. It is a hazard to our lives, to our ability to freely draw breath, without being questioned or killed because of it.

While I am very aware of this fact, my son is not, and yet one day soon, rather than later, he will need to know. He will need to know the rules of his duality — of the double-consciousness W.E.B. DuBois first discussed in the late 19th century — he must keep in an effort to survive.

So, how do I have the conversation? How does any parent have this conversation with their child? How do we broach a subject that is evolving with every new death, for every benign and innocuous activity that would result in such desperately different outcomes if the melanin in the skin of the victims were turned down to barely have tint?

The right time is now

Both Jennifer Harvey, a professor of Christian social ethics at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and Dr. Joseph A. Jackson, a pediatrician at Duke University School of Medicine, believe this conversation about race, racism, freedom, and black liberation begins at birth.

“If my parents had started with me at birth, I could have been an ally so much sooner in my life and made far fewer mistakes and hurt fewer people in my learning journey,” Harvey said to me when we spoke on the phone.

For Jackson, he will have to have the talk with each of his six children. For his 4-year-old daughter, his focus is affirming her in her blackness, in her beauty, in her ability to see beauty in difference. For his five sons the conversation takes a different shape with each child.

“I actually have a set of triplets, one of them I think is unaware of what’s happening all around, and then I’ve got another who is completely broken over the problems in the world,” Jackson said. “So, with those conversations I try to go in, in an age appropriate way to ask a lot of open-ended questions to draw them out.”

But there is nothing truly age appropriate about black death, and the willful killings of black people by those in power who are protected by a white supremacist world order — a racist power structure that has been active and enforced since 1619.

“I think one of the things that’s most weighty about this season is that there are things in the news that honestly don’t surprise me,” Jackson said.

Being new to the conversation doesn’t mean the conversation is new

As difficult and triggering as it is to see the final moments of life evaporate from someone’s body after they’ve pleaded for breath, it is not new. America has a history of watching black people suffer and/or die for sport.

One hundred and one years after Red Summer it seems our country is there again. Instead of black people being dragged from their homes and hung from large trees in public squares in a lynching party, we are now shot dead in our own homes, in our churches, in our cars, in front of our children, and much, much more.

For black families having the talk about race and racism with their children there is a precarious balance we must strike between instilling reality and trying not to raise a generation who live in fear.

For white families having the talk, you must first understand history and the social structures you were born into and benefit from because of the privilege of your skin color. Then work lies in reconciling these things without being dismissive, defensive, or so laden with guilt you become apathetic — or worse, so distraught you can’t focus outside yourself.

Harvey said, “White defensiveness is huge, sometimes it’s because we don’t care and that’s a problem, and sometimes it’s because we don’t know what to do with our guilt . . . [We] don’t always have to feel guilty. We can actually join in and take action as allies in anti-racist struggles.”

For help knowing what to say…

Healthline has compiled a list of anti-racism resources for parents and kids. We update it regularly, and we encourage parents to further their own education on how to raise inclusive, just, and anti-racist children.

After the talk comes the work

Still, there needs to be more than lip-service about allyship and standing in solidarity. It all sounds good, but will you show up?

Privilege serves a purpose. It’s been used to prop up the majority in this country for so long, it’s easy to understand how white people to turn a blind eye to black people’s pain. It’s a pain Dr. Jackson feels as his own.

“In this moment, we’ve all seen the video, and we know that life has been lost, mostly because of the color of [George Floyd’s] skin. There was a privilege that other people standing around had in that moment and they didn’t lay it down.”

Having an honest conversation about the issues we’re seeing today requires confronting the hard facts of privilege and how it works. It requires having the uncomfortable conversations around race, racism, bias, and oppression, and all of us striving to do better than the generation before us.

The onus is not on black people to teach white people how not to be racist. Every white person — man, woman, and child — will have to do the hard heart work throughout their life to effect lasting change.

Harvey said, “I really do think if we can get more white folks to stay off the sidelines, change will have to come. White folks are listened to in a different way, which isn’t right, but it’s part of how white supremacy functions.”

While we as black people continue to bear the burden our people’s suffering, forbearance and patience with white America are not the only lessons we have to offer our children. As much as our history is rooted in pain and trauma it is equally rooted in joy, love, and resilience.

So, while the scope and breadth of the talk will be different from home to home, family to family, and race to race, it is necessary.

It will be necessary for black families to strike a balance between pain, fear, pride, and joy.

It will be necessary for white families to strike a balance between empathetic understanding, shame, guilt, and knee-jerk defense mechanisms.

But in all this talking, in all of this conversing, we must not forget to put to work the lessons we are taught.

“I want for folks to not just be able to have the conversations but to actually live them,” Jackson said.

“The work of white America right now is to look around and see where we are being asked to help and in what ways, and do that,” Harvey said.

I couldn’t agree with them more.

Source: HealthLine 

Hunger is your body’s way of letting you know it needs more food.

However, many people find themselves feeling hungry even after eating. Many factors, including your diet, hormones, or lifestyle, can explain this phenomenon.

This article helps explain why you may feel hungry after a meal and what to do about it.

Causes and solutions

There are several reasons why some people feel hungry after a meal.

Meal composition

For starters, it could be due to the nutritional composition of your meal.

Meals that contain a greater proportion of protein tend to induce greater feelings of fullness than meals with greater proportions of carbs or fat — even when their calorie counts are similar.

Numerous studies have shown that higher protein meals are better at stimulating the release of fullness hormones, such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), cholecystokinin (CCK), and peptide YY (PYY).

Also, if your diet lacks fiber, you may find yourself feeling hungry more often.

Fiber is a type of carb that takes longer to digest and can slow your stomach’s emptying rate. When it’s digested in your lower digestive tract, it also promotes the release of appetite-suppressing hormones like GLP-1 and PYY.

Foods that are high in protein include meats, such as chicken breast, lean beef, turkey, and shrimp. Meanwhile, foods that are high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains.

If you find that you’re hungry after a meal and notice that your meals tend to lack protein and fiber, try incorporating more protein- and fiber-rich foods into your diet.

Stretch receptors

Aside from meal composition, your stomach has stretch receptors that play a key role in promoting feelings of fullness during and immediately after a meal.

The stretch receptors detect how much your stomach expands during a meal and send signals directly to your brain to induce feelings of fullness and reduce your appetite.

These stretch receptors don’t rely on the nutritional composition of food. Instead, they rely on the total volume of the meal.

However, feelings of fullness brought on by the stretch receptors don’t last long. So while they may help you eat less during a meal and shortly after, they don’t promote long-term feelings of fullness.

If you don’t find yourself feeling full during or immediately after a meal, try incorporating more foods that are high in volume but low in calories.

These foods, such as most fresh vegetables, fruits, air-popped popcorn, shrimp, chicken breast, and turkey, tend to have greater air or water content. Also, drinking water before or with meals adds volume to the meal and may further promote fullness.

Though many of these high volume, low calorie foods promote short-term, immediate fullness through the stretch receptors, they tend to be high in protein or fiber, both of which promote feelings of fullness long afterward by stimulating the release of fullness hormones.

Leptin resistance

In some cases, hormonal issues may explain why some people feel hungry after eating.

Leptin is the main hormone that signals feelings of fullness to your brain. It’s made by fat cells, so its blood levels tend to increase among people that carry more fat mass.

However, the problem is that sometimes leptin doesn’t work as well as it should in the brain, especially in some people with obesity. This is commonly called leptin resistance.

This means that although there’s plenty of leptin in the blood, your brain doesn’t recognize it as well and continues to think that you’re hungry — even after a meal.

Though leptin resistance is a complex issue, research suggests that getting in regular physical activity, reducing sugar intake, increasing fiber intake, and getting adequate sleep may help reduce leptin resistance.

Behavioral and lifestyle factors

Aside from the key factors above, several behavioral factors may explain why you feel hungry after eating, including:

  • Being distracted while eating. Research suggests that people who eat distracted feel less full and have a greater desire to eat throughout the day. If you usually eat distracted, try practicing mindfulness to better recognize your body’s signals.
  • Eating too quickly. Research suggests that fast eaters tend to feel less full than slow eaters due to a lack of chewing and awareness, which are linked to feelings of fullness. If you’re a fast eater, aim to chew your food more thoroughly
  • Feeling stressed. Stress raises the hormone cortisol, which may promote hunger and cravings. If you find that you’re often stressed, try incorporating yoga or meditation into your weekly routine.
  • A lack of sleep. Adequate sleep is essential for regulating hormones, such as ghrelin, levels of which tend to be higher among sleep-deprived people. Try setting a healthy sleep routine or limiting blue light exposure at night to get adequate sleep.
  • Not eating enough food. In some situations, you may feel hungry after eating simply because you didn’t eat enough during the day.
  • High blood sugar and insulin resistance. Having high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance can significantly increase your hunger levels.
The bottom line

Feeling hungry is a common problem for many people worldwide.

Often it’s the result of an inadequate diet that lacks protein or fiber. However, it could be due to hormone issues, such as leptin resistance, or your daily lifestyle.

If you often find yourself hungry after eating, try implementing some of the evidence-based suggestions above to help curb your appetite.

Source: HealthLine 

Those who adopt a vegan diet avoid eating any foods of animal origin.

Since eggs come from poultry, they seem like an obvious choice to eliminate.

However, there’s a trend among some vegans to incorporate certain types of eggs into their diet. It’s known as a “veggan” diet.

This article takes a look at the reasons behind this diet trend, and why some vegans eat eggs.

Why some people go vegan

People choose to follow a vegan diet for various reasons. Often, the decision involves a combination of ethics, health, and environmental motivators.

Health benefits

Eating more plants and either cutting back on or eliminating animal-based foods can have health benefits, including a lower risk of chronic diseases, especially heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer.

In fact, a study in 15,000 vegans found that vegans had healthier weights, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, compared with omnivores. In addition, they had a 15% lower risk of cancer.

Advantages for the environment

Some opt for a vegan diet because they believe it’s more environmentally friendly.

However, an Italian study that compared the environmental impact of omnivores, egg- and dairy-eating vegetarians, and vegans, found the vegetarian diet had the most favorable effect on the environment, followed by the vegan diet.

Researchers suggested this was because vegan diets often include more processed plant-based meat and dairy substitutes. Also, vegans generally eat a greater quantity of food to meet their calorie needs.

Animal welfare concerns

Besides health and environmental motivations, strict vegans are also strongly in favor of animal welfare. They reject the use of animals for food or any other use, including clothing.

Vegans argue that modern farming practices are harmful and cruel to animals, including hens.

For example, in commercial egg-producing poultry farms, it’s not uncommon for hens to live in small, indoor cages, have their beaks clipped, and undergo induced molting to regulate and increase their egg production.

Can you be a flexible vegan?

Technically, a vegan diet that includes eggs isn’t truly vegan. Instead, it’s called ovo-vegetarian.

Still, some vegans are open to including eggs in their diet. After all, egg-laying is a natural process for hens and doesn’t harm them in any way.

When researchers interviewed 329 people who followed a vegan diet, 90% of them listed concern for animal welfare as their top motivator. However, one-third of them agreed that they would be open to some forms of animal foods if animal welfare standards were improved.

Those who follow a “veggan” diet are willing to include eggs from hens or poultry that they know are raised ethically, such as free-range hens or those kept as pets in a backyard farm.

One challenge of sticking to a vegan diet long term is that it’s quite strict. A study on 600 meat-eaters showed that taste, familiarity, convenience, and cost are common barriers to cutting out animal foods.

A flexible vegan diet that includes eggs solves many of these issues for people who want to adopt a vegan diet for health and animal welfare reasons but are worried about restrictions.

Nutritional benefits of ‘vegganism’

With the exception of vitamin B12, which comes mainly from animal foods like meat or eggs, a vegan diet can cover most people’s nutritional needs.

However, it takes some planning to get enough of certain nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and iron.

Vegans who include eggs in their diet may have an easier time closing the gap on all of these nutrients. One large, whole egg provides small amounts of all of these nutrients, along with some high quality protein.

What’s more, a “veggan” diet can be helpful for certain vegan populations who are at a higher risk of nutritional deficiencies, such as children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

The bottom line

Strict vegans eliminate all animal foods, including eggs, for various reasons, but one of the major motivators is a concern for animal welfare.

However, there is a trend among some vegans to include eggs in their diet if they’re certain they come from hens that have been raised in an ethical manner.

Adding eggs to a vegan diet can provide extra nutrients, which can be helpful for everyone, most notably children and pregnant women.

Source: HealthLine

Cleaning out your pantry may have you worried about those fancy bottles of olive oil clustered in the corner.

You may be left wondering whether olive oil goes bad after a while — or if you can simply keep it around indefinitely.

This article explores the shelf life of olive oil, whether it can expire, as well as any effects of consuming it after it does.

Shelf life of olive oil

Botanically, the olive (Olea europaea) is considered a fruit. Fruits have a shelf life, and by extension, so does olive oil. There’s a point at which it goes rancid and simply doesn’t taste great.

Most olive oils last 18–24 months from the time they’re bottled. Extra virgin olive oils are less processed and usually last a bit less, around 12–18 months from the time they’re bottled.

Beyond these timespans, olive oils may develop acrid or bitter notes, which may show up in your cooking in ways you may not enjoy.

Some olive oil bottles state a bottling or best-by date. If you don’t see these, it may be a good idea to tag your bottles with the date of purchase. This can help you have some sense of how long it has been sitting in your pantry.

How to store it

You should store olive oil in a cool, dark place — like a pantry with a door, a cabinet, or a refrigerator.

Keep in mind that if you store it in your refrigerator, it may look a bit cloudy. This is a normal reaction to cooler temperatures and does not indicate that your olive oil has gone rancid.

Generally, it also helps if the bottle is made from a darker glass, like dark green or amber, as this can help block out light, which promotes oxidation. This may be something to watch for when you’re at the grocery store.

Oxidation is a cellular process that can stimulate aging. In olive oil, it can speed the breakdown of fat molecules. Besides light, olive oil can also be oxidized by contact with oxygen or exposure to heat.

This is why a cool, dark place is ideal for storing your olive oil — and make sure that it has been properly capped once you’ve opened it.

Finally, if your olive oil comes packaged in a plastic polyethylene container and you plan to keep it around for a while, it may be wise to transfer it to a dark glass or tin container. It keeps better this way.

If you don’t cook often, it may also be a good idea to purchase smaller bottles, especially if you’re opting for a fancier olive oil.

How to tell whether olive oil is rancid

The best way to tell whether your olive oil has gone rancid is by tasting it. Don’t worry, a small taste won’t make you sick.

If your olive oil tastes bitter, sour, or stale, it has gone rancid. It may also smell off — like crayons, putty, or Elmer’s glue — instead of bright, fruity olives.

Effects of consuming rancid olive oil

Rancid olive oil won’t make you sick. However, it may ruin your recipe by giving the dish a strange flavor.

Also, olive oil is often touted for its many health benefits. Rancid olive oil will lose some of its potent antioxidant properties.

This happens because it undergoes oxidation, during which oxygen-containing molecules trigger a chain of chemical reactions that break down the oil’s antioxidants.

While rancid olive oil won’t typically offer the same nutritional boost, it won’t make you ill. Still, to reap as much of its antioxidants as possible, it’s ideal to consume fresh olive oil.

The bottom line

Olive oil is made from a fruit, the olive. Fruits have a shelf life, and so does olive oil.

Most olive oils can last 18–24 months from the time they’re bottled, while extra virgin olive oils may last a bit less — around 12–18 months.

Beyond this time, it will go rancid. To avoid this, store it in a cool, dark place and toss it if the best-by date has passed.

You’ll know your olive oil has gone rancid by giving it a taste. It may taste bitter or sour and smell a bit like crayons or putty. While it won’t make you sick, it may ruin your recipe.

Source: HealthLine 

Sour is one of the five basic tastes, along with bitter, sweet, salty, and umami.

Sourness is the result of high amounts of acid in foods. Citrus fruits, for example, have high amounts of citric acid, giving them their characteristic lip-puckering flavor.

However, unlike the other five tastes, researchers still don’t completely understand the mechanism behind how sour taste receptors work or why some acids result in a stronger sour flavor than others.

As is the case with bitterness, the detection of sour is thought to be important for survival. It can help identify foods that could be dangerous to consume, as rotten or spoiled foods often have a sour flavor due to the growth of bacteria.

Yet, this doesn’t mean that sour foods are always unsafe to eat.

In fact, many sour foods are quite nutritious and rich in plant compounds called antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage.

Here are 13 lip-puckering sour foods that can be healthy additions to your diet.

Various citrus fruits
1. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are known for their vibrant colors and distinctive flavors.

While they all have a hint of sourness, the balance of sweet and sour varies greatly between different types.

Some of the more sour-tasting citrus fruits include:

  • Calamansi: a small green citrus fruit that tastes similar to a sour orange or sweeter lime
  • Grapefruit: a large tropical citrus fruit with a sour, slightly bitter flavor
  • Kumquats: small orange fruits with a sour-sweet flavor and edible peel
  • Lemons: yellow citrus fruits that have a strong sour flavor
  • Limes: small green citrus fruits that taste more sour than sweet
  • Oranges: a type of citrus with many varieties that range in size and flavor, with some being sweeter than others
  • Pomelo: a very large citrus fruit that’s yellow when fully ripe and tastes similar to grapefruit but less bitter

Citrus fruits contain a high concentration of citric acid — a naturally occurring compound found in a variety of fruits that imparts a tart, sour flavor.

In addition to being the best natural sources of citric acid, these fruits are known for being high in vitamin C, which is essential for a strong immune system and skin health.

They’re also a good source of many other nutrients, including fiber, B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper, as well as plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Tart citrus juices like lemon and lime juice add a bright flavor to marinades and salad dressings, while slightly sweeter fruits, including oranges and pomelos, can be peeled and eaten on their own as a snack.

2. Tamarind

Tamarind is a tropical fruit that’s native to Africa and comes from the tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica).

When the fruit is still young and not yet ripened, it has a green pulp that’s very sour.

As the fruit ripens, the pulp softens into a paste-like consistency and becomes more sweet-sour tasting.

Similarly to citrus fruits, tamarind contains citric acid. However, the majority of its tart flavor is due to its high concentration of tartaric acid.

Tartaric acid is a naturally occurring compound that has been shown to have antioxidant properties and may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

In addition to being found naturally in fruits like tamarind and grapes, tartaric acid is used as a food additive to provide a tart flavor.

Nutritionally, tamarind is a good source of several essential nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium.

It’s also quite versatile, as the pulp can add a tart-sweet flavor to marinades, chutneys, beverages, and desserts.

3. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a unique vegetable, as it has a strong tart flavor that’s due to its high concentrations of malic and oxalic acids.

In addition to being quite sour, rhubarb stalks are low in sugar. As a result, they have an unpleasant tartness and are rarely eaten raw.

Instead, they’re normally cooked and used as an ingredient in sauces, jams, or beverages. They’re also frequently combined with sugar and other fruits to make pies, crisps, and crumbles.

With the exception of vitamin K, rhubarb is not particularly high in many vitamins or minerals. However, it’s a rich source of plant compounds with antioxidant properties, including anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants that are responsible for giving rhubarb stalks their vibrant red color. They have also been shown to protect against several chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

4. Tart cherries

Tart cherries (Prunus cerasus L.) are small stone fruits with a bright red color and sour flavor.

Compared with sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.), tart cherries are lower in sugar while containing high amounts of malic acid, which is responsible for their sour flavor.

Tart cherries are also rich in antioxidants, particularly polyphenols. These plant compounds have been associated with reduced inflammation, as well as improved brain and heart health.

Additionally, drinking tart cherry juice may help reduce exercise-induced muscle injury and soreness in athletes and active adults.

Pitted tart cherries can be easily added to a healthy diet by adding them to salads, placing them on top of yogurt or oatmeal, cooking them down into a sauce or marinade, or blending them into a smoothie.

5. Gooseberries
A bowl of gooseberries

Gooseberries are small, rounded fruits that come in a variety of colors and can range in flavor from sweet to quite sour.

They contain several organic acids, including citric and malic acids, which are responsible for their tart flavor.

Research suggests that these organic acids may also benefit heart health and have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Another benefit of gooseberries is that they’re an excellent source of vitamin C. Just 1 cup (150 grams) provides 46% of the Daily Value (DV).

After being washed, gooseberries can be eaten on their own as a snack or added on top of oatmeal, yogurt, or salads. Just remember that they can be quite tart. For a sweeter flavor, look for gooseberries that are riper.

6. Cranberries

Raw cranberries have a sharp, tart flavor due to their low sugar content and high concentration of organic acids, including citric and malic acids.

In addition to providing a sour flavor, their unique combination of organic acids is thought to be part of the reason why cranberry juice and capsules may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs).

While cranberry juice can be high in added sugars and low in fiber, whole cranberries are a nutrient-rich addition to your diet, as they provide important nutrients like manganese, fiber, and vitamins C and E.

Cranberries are also one of the richest sources of quercetin — a plant compound that has been linked to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Fresh cranberries can add a tart flavor to mixed green and grain salads, sauces, and chutneys, while dried cranberries can be mixed into homemade granola bars or trail mix.

7. Vinegars

Vinegar is a liquid made by fermenting a carbohydrate source, such as a grain or fruit, to turn the sugars into alcohol. To help with this process, bacteria are often added to further break down the sugars.

One of the byproducts of this fermentation process is acetic acid — the main active component in vinegar and primary reason why vinegar tastes so sour.

In animal studies and a few small human trials, acetic acid has been shown to aid weight loss, fat loss, and appetite control, as well as help manage blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes.

However, more research is needed to determine an effective and safe dose to provide these benefits in humans.

There are many types of vinegars, each with their own flavor depending on the carb source from which they were fermented. Common types include rice, apple cider, red wine, and balsamic vinegars.

Vinegars are typically used as ingredients in sauces, marinades, and dressings. More flavorful vinegars like balsamic may also be drizzled over dishes like pizza, pasta, and sandwiches.

8. Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables and spices.

Commonly made with cabbage, the vegetable and spice mixture is first pickled in a salty brine. It’s then fermented with Bacillus bacteria, which further break down the natural sugars in the vegetables, producing lactic acid.

It’s this lactic acid that gives kimchi its signature sour smell and flavor.

Used as a side dish or condiment, kimchi is a good source of probiotics. As a result, regular consumption of kimchi has been linked to benefits for heart and gut health.

9. Sauerkraut
A jar of sauerkraut

Thought to have originated in China, sauerkraut is a type of fermented cabbage that’s commonly found in German cuisine.

Similarly to kimchi, sauerkraut is made by fermenting shredded cabbage with Bacillus bacteria, producing lactic acid. It’s this lactic acid that gives sauerkraut its distinctive sour flavor.

Due to fermentation, sauerkraut is often rich in beneficial bacteria known as probiotics, which are important for digestive health.

It’s also rich in fiber and several important vitamins and minerals, such as manganese and vitamins C and K.

While it can be a nutritious way to add flavor to sandwiches or meat dishes, keep in mind that sauerkraut can also be high in sodium.

10. Yogurt

Yogurt is a popular fermented dairy product that’s made by adding live bacteria to milk. As the bacteria break down the natural sugars in milk, lactic acid is created, giving yogurt a sour taste and smell.

However, to help make yogurt less tart, many products also contain added sugars and flavorings.

In addition to being a good source of probiotics, yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus — all of which are important for bone health.

Additionally, regular yogurt intake has been suggested to aid weight loss in individuals with obesity.

Plain yogurt can be topped with fruit for a healthy snack. It can also be used as a fat substitute in baking or replacement for mayonnaise or sour cream in salad dressings and dips.

11. Kefir

Often described as a drinkable yogurt, kefir is a fermented beverage made by adding kefir grains to cow’s or goat’s milk.

As kefir grains can contain up to 61 strains of bacteria and yeasts, it’s considered to be a more diverse and powerful source of probiotics than yogurt.

As with other fermented foods, kefir has a tart flavor that’s largely due to the production of lactic acid during fermentation. Plus, similarly to yogurt, kefir products often have added sugars and flavorings to make them sweeter and less sour.

Interestingly, kefir may be well tolerated by individuals with an intolerance to lactose, a sugar in milk, as most of the lactose is turned into lactic acid during fermentation.

However, for a 100% lactose-free option, kefir can also be made with non-dairy liquids, such as coconut water or fruit juice.

12. Kombucha
A glass of kombucha

Kombucha is a popular fermented tea drink that dates back to ancient times.

It’s made by combining black or green tea with sugar, yeast, and specific strains of bacteria. The mixture is then left to ferment for 1 week or longer.

The resulting beverage has a lip-puckering sourness that’s largely due to the formation of acetic acid, which is also found in vinegar.

While both black and green tea have been shown to be rich in antioxidants and may help reduce your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, research is currently lacking on whether drinking kombucha has the same protective effects.

13. Japanese apricots

Japanese apricots (Prunus mume), also referred to as Japanese plums or Chinese plums, are small, rounded fruits that are typically dried or pickled before eating.

Both dried and pickled Japanese apricots — known as umeboshi — are especially tart, as they have a high concentration of citric and malic acids.

As they’re rich in antioxidants and high in fiber, animal studies have suggested that Japanese apricots may have anticancer properties and be beneficial for digestive health. However, research in humans is lacking.

Dried and pickled Japanese apricots are often paired with rice to add a potent sour flavor. However, given that they can also be high in sodium, it’s best to use them in moderation.

The bottom line

Sour is one of the five basic tastes, and tasting sour indicates the presence of an acid in food, such as citric or lactic acid.

While sourness can be a warning sign of spoiled or rotten food, many sour foods are perfectly safe and healthy to eat.

Some lip-puckering foods that also have nutritional benefits include citrus fruits, tamarind, rhubarb, gooseberries, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir.

Try adding a few sour foods to your diet for a boost of flavor and health benefits.

Source: HealthLine 

Overview

Walking and running are both excellent forms of cardiovascular exercise. Neither is necessarily “better” than the other. The choice that’s best for you depends entirely on your fitness and health goals.

If you’re looking to burn more calories or lose weight fast, running is a better choice. But walking can also offer numerous benefits for your health, including helping you maintain a healthy weight.

Benefits of cardio

Walking and running are both aerobic cardiovascular, or “cardio” exercise. Some of the health benefits of cardio include:

  • helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
  • increases stamina
  • boosts immune system
  • helps prevent or manage chronic conditions
  • strengthens your heart
  • can extend your life

Cardiovascular exercise is also good for your mental health. One study found that just 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise three times a week reduces anxiety and depression. It can also improve your mood and self-esteem.

Researchers from the study also say that it’s not necessary to exercise for 30 straight minutes to experience these benefits. Walking for 10 minutes at a time three times a day resulted in the same mental health boost.

Is walking better than running?

Walking can provide a lot of the same benefits of running. But running burns nearly double the number of calories as walking.

For example, for someone who’s 160 pounds, running at 5 miles per hour (mph) burns 606 calories. Walking briskly for the same amount of time at 3.5 mph burns just 314 calories.

You need to burn approximately 3,500 calories to lose one pound. If your goal is to lose weight, running is a better choice than walking.

If you’re new to exercise or aren’t able to run, walking can still help you get in shape. Walking is accessible for nearly all fitness levels. It can boost your heart and give you more energy overall.

Walking vs. running for weight loss
Speed and power walking vs. running

Speed walking is walking at a brisk pace, usually 3 mph or greater. Your heart rate is elevated during speed walking. You can burn more calories this way than walking at your usual pace.

Power walking is usually considered from 3 mph to 5 mph, but some power walkers reach speeds of 7 to 10 mph. Power walking burns a similar number of calories as running. For example, power walking at 4.5 mph for one hour would burn the same as jogging at 4.5 mph for one hour.

For an effective workout, try pace training. Increase your speed for two minutes at a time, then slow back down. Speed walking doesn’t burn as many calories as running, but it can be an effective workout to elevate your heart rate, boost your mood, and improve your aerobic fitness level.

Walking with a weighted vest

Walking with a weighted vest may increase the number of calories you burn. To stay safe, wear a vest that’s no more than 5 to 10 percent of your body weight.

If you’re looking for an alternative way to lose weight or tone your muscles, try interval walking instead. Pick up the speed for a certain amount of time before slowing down. Or alternatively, try walking with light dumbbells in each hand.

Incline walking vs. running

Incline walking involves walking uphill. It can burn a similar number of calories as running. You burn more calories at an incline than just walking on a flat surface.

Look for a hilly area or walk on an incline on the treadmill. Increase the incline by 5, 10, or 15 percent at a time to practice incline walking. If you’re new to incline walking, you can start gradually and work up to a 15 percent incline.

Benefits vs. risks

Running is a great way to get in shape and lose weight. But it’s a high-impact exercise. High-impact workouts can be harder on your body than low-impact exercises like walking.

Over time, running may lead to common overuse injuries such as:

  • stress fractures
  • shin splints
  • ITB friction syndrome

In fact, runners have a much higher risk for exercise-related injury than walkers. Walkers have an approximate 1 to 5 percent injury risk, while runners have a 20 to 70 percent chance.

If you’re a runner, you can take steps to stay injury-free. Don’t increase your mileage too quickly and try to cross-train several times a week. Or, try walking instead. Walking offers many of the health benefits of running without the same risks for injury.

Takeaway

Both walking and running are excellent forms of cardiovascular exercise. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise each week for your health.

Walking is a smart choice if you’re new to exercise and hoping to get in shape. If you’re looking to lose weight or burn more calories, try running.

If you’re new to running, start with a program where you alternate between walking and running, such as Couch to 5K. Always check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.

Source: HealthLine 

In the US, eggs are considered a perishable item.

This means they must be kept in the refrigerator to prevent them from going bad.

However, eggs can last for a surprisingly long time when they’re stored properly. In fact, if you throw eggs out as soon as their expiration date arrives, you may be wasting money.

This article covers everything you need to know about how long eggs last before going bad.

In the US and certain other countries, including Australia, Japan, Sweden and the Netherlands, eggs require refrigeration.

This is because eggs in these countries are washed and sanitized soon after they are laid in an attempt to prevent contamination with Salmonella, the bacteria often responsible for food poisoning from poultry products.

Yet in addition to removing bacteria, washing an egg may damage its naturally protective cuticle. This can make it easier for bacteria to move through the shell and contaminate the egg.

The presence of bacteria inside an egg is what eventually causes it to “go bad,” or rot.

However, keeping an egg at refrigerator temperatures (below 40°F, or 4°C) slows the growth of bacteria and helps prevent it from penetrating the shell.

In fact, refrigeration is so effective at controlling the growth of bacteria that in combination with an egg’s protective shell and enzymes, refrigerated eggs rarely go bad as long as they have been handled and stored properly.

Nevertheless, egg quality declines over time. This means that the air pocket in an egg grows larger and the yolk and whites become thinner and less springy. Eventually, it may simply dry up instead of going bad.

Despite these changes, an egg may remain perfectly safe to eat for a long time (7).

Eggs won’t stay good forever though, and there is a point at which you’ll want to throw them away.

How Long Do Eggs Last?

If eggs have been transported and stored properly, they can last for many weeks in the refrigerator and even longer in the freezer.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all eggs to be kept below 45°F (7°C) from the time they are washed until they are purchased — but it’s just as important that eggs are handled and stored properly after you’ve bought them.

This means you should refrigerate eggs quickly to prevent condensation from building up, which can facilitate the movement of bacteria through the shell.

Ideally, eggs should be stored in their original carton in the back of the fridge. This prevents them from absorbing odors and protects them from temperature fluctuations as the refrigerator door is opened and closed.

You can also use a thermometer to check that your refrigerator is at the proper temperature (below 40°F or 4°C).

This chart explains how long eggs can be stored before going bad or becoming so low in quality (taste and texture) that it’s best to throw them out.

Item Room Temperature Refrigerator Freezer
In-shell egg, fresh Less than 2 hours in the U.S., Japan, Australia, Sweden or the Netherlands; 1–3 weeks in other countries 4–5 weeks Not recommended
Raw egg yolks Less than 2 hours 2–4 days 1 year for best quality
Raw egg whites Less than 2 hours 2–4 days 1 year for best quality
Hard-boiled egg Less than 2 hours 1 week Not recommended
Egg substitute or pasteurized liquid eggs Less than 2 hours 10 days unopened, 3 days after opening Up to 1 year for best quality; not recommended if opened
Eggnog Less than 2 hours 3–5 days if bought, 2–4 days if homemade 6 months; not recommended to freeze homemade eggnog
Casseroles Less than 2 hours 3–4 days 2–3 months once baked
Pies or quiches Less than 2 hours 3–4 days 1–2 months once baked; not recommended for pies with custard filling

It is not recommended to freeze eggs in the shell. If you want to preserve them for longer than the recommended 45 weeks in the fridge, you can crack them into a freezer-safe container and keep them frozen for a year or more.

Eggs can be stored in the freezer indefinitely, but their quality will start to decline after a certain point. Additionally, make sure your freezer is below 0° F (-18° C).

When you’re ready to use them, move the container to the refrigerator to thaw and use within one week.

If you live outside of the US in a country where hens are vaccinated against Salmonella and eggs are not washed and refrigerated, eggs can safely be kept at room temperature for 13 weeks, if desired.

However, after about 1 week at room temperature, the eggs’ quality will begin to decline. And after about 21 days, an egg’s natural defenses will lose their effectiveness.

Eggs can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer after this point to extend their shelf life, but they will not last as long as eggs that have been kept in the refrigerator from purchase.

If you live in the US or another country where eggs must be refrigerated, eggs should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

How Can You Tell If an Egg Is Still Good?

If you’re not sure how long your eggs have been in the fridge, there are several ways to tell whether they are still good or not.

The first step should be to check the sell-by or expiration date printed on the carton. If the current date is before this date, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Alternatively, look for the pack date.

This will be printed as a 3-digit number that corresponds to the day of the year that the eggs were washed and packaged. For example, January 1 is 001. If the eggs are less than 30 days from the pack date, you can be sure they’re still good.

However, your eggs may still be good for up to several weeks beyond these dates. In this case, the best way to tell if an egg has gone bad is to conduct a sniff test.

Other methods, such as candling or the float test, can only tell you if an egg is fresh but not if it has gone bad.

Before conducting a sniff test, check if the shell has any cracks or a powdery or slimy appearance. If so, toss the egg. If everything looks good, crack the egg open on a clean, white plate before using. Check for any discoloration or a funny smell.

An egg that has gone bad will give off an unmistakable odor. If everything looks normal and the egg has no smell, then it is fine to use.

However, it’s important to note that eggs contaminated with the bacteria Salmonella may look and smell completely normal, even though they can make you sick.

Therefore, be sure to cook eggs to a safe internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) in order to kill any bacteria that may be present.

Read this article to find out more about how to tell if an egg is good or bad.

How to Use Older Eggs

If your eggs are not the freshest but haven’t gone bad, there are certain ways to best use them. Likewise, there are certain uses better reserved for fresh eggs.

Older eggs are ideal for boiling. As an egg ages and its air pocket gets larger, it becomes easier to peel. Older eggs are a good choice for hard-boiled eggs, deviled eggs or egg salad.

Older eggs can also be used for scrambled eggs, omelets, casseroles or quiches.

However, fried eggs and poached eggs should ideally be made with fresh eggs.

The longer an egg sits in the fridge, the runnier its yolk and whites will be. This means that using an older egg might result in a runny mess instead of a firm fried egg or a compact poached egg.

Additionally, an old egg may not be as effective a leavening agent for baking.

Nevertheless, older eggs can be used for almost any purpose. If you’re not sure how long an egg has been sitting in the fridge, crack it open and conduct a sniff test first.

The Bottom Line

If you throw your eggs out once the date on the carton has passed, you may be wasting perfectly good eggs.

With proper storage, eggs can last for at least 35 weeks in the fridge and about a year in the freezer.

The longer an egg is stored, the more its quality declines, making it less springy and more runny.

However, older eggs are still good for several uses. They are ideal for boiling and can be used for omelets, scrambled eggs or baked egg dishes.

If you’re not sure how long an egg has been in the fridge, crack it open on a clean plate and check that it looks and smells normal before use.

Source: HealthLine