Eggs are a staple in just about every person’s home. Even those who are strict vegetarians or “vegan-ish,” choose to incorporate the incredible, edible egg. Why? Because they taste good, are low in calories, provide an excellent source of high quality protein, and offer an assortment of other nutrients which are important to our health:
- Choline: this nutrient, found in the egg yolk, contributes to fetal brain development, aids in maintaining the structure of brain cell membranes, and is a vital piece of the neurotransmitter that helps relay messages from the brain to the muscles. Two eggs provide ~250 mg of choline (~ half of the recommended daily intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women).
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: two antioxidants, also found in egg yolks, which help prevent macular degeneration. Research shows that the lutein from eggs may be more bioavailable than lutein from other food sources (source).
So then how did eggs get such a bad rap?
For years it was believed that consuming eggs contributed to high cholesterol levels. Since high cholesterol leads to a slew of health problems, eggs became the bad guy. However, people still wanted to eat eggs, just without the guilt and negative health consequences. Liquid egg product was born and even in a wide variety of flavors (Southwestern style, Garden vegetable, etc).
Egg Beaters seem to be the answer to our low cholesterol needs. But…IS it healthy?
WHOLE Egg vs. Egg Beaters (EB)
Obviously, the nutrition facts of the egg beaters seem better than that of a whole egg, but that’s when you have to dig a little deeper. Let’s take a look at the ingredients.
WHOLE Egg vs. Egg Beaters (EB)
Ingredients in an egg: egg
Ingredients in egg beaters:
Egg Whites, Less than 1%: Natural Flavor, Color (Includes Beta Carotene), Spices, Salt, Onion Powder, Vegetable Gums (Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum), Maltodextrin. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Sulfate, Iron (Ferric Phosphate), Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol Acetate), Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D3
I’ll just say this. You can’t beat the power of whole foods. Egg Beaters may be lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol, but that does not mean they’re healthy.
When it comes to cholesterol, researchers have found that eggs barely influence cholesterol levels. If you eat 1-2 eggs a couple times a week, MOST cholesterol levels will not be affected.
Also, even though nutrients may be added back in to Egg Beaters to enhance the nutritional quality, “the problem with this nutrient specific approach is that science has yet to identify hundreds of other nutrients and their interaction amongst each other when naturally present in a food. Selecting a few nutrients and focusing on them instead of on a whole food is part of a larger problem in the US food system today.” (source)
It is my educated opinion to nix the Egg Beaters and stick to the real deal. You can’t beat eating the way nature intended.
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QUESTION: How do you feel about Egg Beaters? Do you eat them often?
If you have specific concerns about your own cholesterol levels, be sure to get in touch with a dietitian individually and they will be able to make suggestions on a case by case basis. I am just providing general population recommendations!Print