Is It Healthy? Egg Beaters.

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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?

Cholesterol.

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).

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Egg Beaters seem to be the answer to our low cholesterol needs. But…IS it healthy?

WHOLE Egg vs. Egg Beaters (EB)

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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

 

You won't find all THOSE ingredients in here!!

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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.

PS. There’s STILL time to enter the Pure Alaska Salmon Giveaway!! Check it out!

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!

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38 comments to Is It Healthy? Egg Beaters.

  • Winston Gerardo

    High cholesterol symptoms in women are usually noticed in women older than 55 years while high cholesterol symptoms in men are commonly observed in men younger than 55 years. In general, aging increases the risk of high cholesterol. Obesity, lack of physical activity, eating excessive junk food, family history, excessive stress, alcohol abuse, increase the risk of high cholesterol. If you notice any symptoms of high cholesterol, you need to check the cholesterol levels by performing a simple blood test. Certain lifestyle changes and dietary changes such as including more HDL cholesterol foods in your diet can help lower cholesterol levels. `

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  • Shelby

    I agree that whole eggs are better than EB. But be sure to consider the source of your real eggs. Non-organics are from chickens that are force fed antibiotics to make them produce more. Some of these antibiotics leach into their eggs. Wonder why there are so many strains of antibiotic resistance disease? The bacteria are becoming immune because of all the antibiotics we’re inadvertently taking in through our food supply. Real eggs are good-organic real eggs are better!

  • lackjacvk

    I eat egg beaters on a daily basis,never had any ill effects and never had a doctor advise against them, on the contrary. Could there be an “egg lobby” in action, similar to the cattle growers lobby which is disparaging egg beaters?

  • Maxie

    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

    ** Guar gum can block your gastrointestinal track and a person runs the risk of developing colon cancer, as well. The xanthan gum isn’t any better.Google these ingredients and see other information. No more egg beaters for me!! Thanks everyone.

  • Kelly

    I like both Egg Beaters and whole eggs alike! I definitely think that Egg Beaters have a place in a healthy diet. I agree that a whole egg can be considered more “healthy”, but sometimes that is a relative term depending on the population that you are talking about. For some of my patients, getting them to make a switch to good, filling, healthy breakfast includes using egg beaters! Anyways, that’s my two-cents.

  • SUCH a good post! My husband has been making comments about “Wow, going for the fatty stuff!” in response to me using real, nitrate-free bacon vs. the nitrate and sodium-packed turkey bacon, or buying real butter. Egg Beaters are another great example. I don’t think they’re “bad” but they’re not a whole food and I love that transition that’s been made in the past 1-2 years towards less processed and more whole. I love it! Plus, I got food poisoning from Egg Beaters once (they don’t stay good very long after being opened…learned that the hard way). And I haven’t been a huge fan ever since. It took me 5 years, actually, to even try them again!

  • I agree completely. The egg beaters may look better on the surface but in my opinion nothing can ever beat the real thing. I don’t think science can replace what nature makes and have the same health benefits.

  • Whole eggs all the way. You couldn’t pay me to eat the chemicals.

  • I agree…egg beaters are not a staple in my house. I always use the real thing. So much better for you. And obviously since I have my own chickens running around! :)

  • Love your answer. How can you argue with the ingredients? I use omega 3 eggs and love eggs. If people want a substitute or are too lazy to “crack” some of the egg white only (eggology is good) products aren’t loaded with fillers. As you mentioned though, the yolk is pretty nutritious.

  • I used to eat Egg Beaters for breakfast every single morning. I especially loved the three flavored versions: Southwestern, Garden Herb and Cheese & Chive (not sure they make the last two anymore). The original flavor may have a long ingredient list, but I can’t imagine what the flavored versions contained! Ick!

    I always use real eggs or egg whites now, and opt for organic 95% of the time. I make exceptions when I travel though because it’s just too hard to be THAT picky. :) Natural foods are what our bodies were created to eat, so eggs definitely win this contest!

  • I’ve been playing around with vegan baking this year, so have tried egg replacers (although not egg beaters; not even sure if they’re in Australia). The ones I bought have far fewer ingredients than the egg beater list, and seem to work pretty well. I’m looking forward to trying ‘flax eggs’ though, as I’m in agreement on the real food thing…I’m just wavering on whether I want eggs in my real food list! It probably makes a difference, though, that I never ate a lot of eggs anyway – they were mostly in baking or pancakes.

  • I also agree. My simple rule is that if “real” food is always healthier than a scientifically made concoction. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients don’t eat it!

  • I am not a fan of egg beaters. I tell clients do to 1 yolk and 2 whites if they can’t do all whites!

  • real eggs all the way! too funny that you talk about eggs today because i have been on a real egg kick all week, and have had them as part of a salad beast at least 3-4 times this week!
    i do like to buy just egg whites. what i buy is naturegg, “simply egg whites” and that seriously IS the only ingredient. not sure you can get this brand in the states?
    i do believe that eggs are just about the perfect food and so versatile!

  • When I obsessed over calories, we used egg beaters and while I liked them just fine, I really prefer actual eggs. :)

  • My mom bought egg beaters once, but hasn’t bought them since. It just doesn’t beat the one ingredient egg!

  • I used to eat Egg Beaters all the time, much to my husband’s chagrin! Now I go for the real deal! I’ve learned to really appreciate the beautiful and simple art of the omelette dinner! ;)

  • I go for real eggs. If I want to cut some calories I just use the whites but I still stick with real egg whites! Gotta love to crack’em yourself!!

  • Johanna B

    I agree that Egg Beaters are not all they’re cracked up to be (pun intended). I choose not to use them. I’ve also gotten quite particular about where my eggs come from. I now buy from one of my nursing students whose family has a small farm and the chickens are humanely raised. Lots of freedom and lots of insects in the diet. No veggie chicken’s eggs for me.

  • Great post! I share the same opinion when it comes to healthy eating, the shorter list of ingredients the better. Especially eggs, that are such a simple food, that our ancestors have been eating since the beginning of time. Along the same lines I also prefer using raw sugar or honey instead of all the different supplements out there that cause chaos in my stomach.
    A friend recently told me to check out a documentary called “Ingredients” on Netflix. I haven’t seen it yet but I hear it’s basically about paying attention to ingredients, eating local when food is in season instead of the chemical filled fruit not in season. I’m not sure if it’s too preachy, but your post made me think of it and I am planning on checking it out!

  • I never use egg beaters and I eat an egg most days of the week. Like you mentioned, I think that its important to focus on whole natural foods for good overall nutrition.

  • I’ve only used Egg Beaters a handful of times and I never loved them. I couldn’t agree more about just using the whole egg itself. If I make a large omelet I’ll go ahead and leave a yolk or two out but usually I stick with yolk!

  • I never eat Egg Beaters. I stick to the real thing, though I have tried the others. I like scrambled eggs, and the egg substitutes always stick to the pan. (Just one more con to add to the list…)

  • I LOVE this post!!! ….So full of info and just plain facts. I appreciate that you inserted you opinion too! ….On my way to letting go of the trendy health food and concentrating on whole food eating!

  • I would ALWAYS go with the whole actual egg over the egg beaters w/ a bunch of wonky ingredients put in there to make the nutrition stats lower. I’m positive you won’t have to worry about cholesterol if you consume them a couple times a week and are fairly active.

  • VanessaG

    I love egg beaters and eggs as well. When I buy eggs I make sure they are organic. I have very high cholesteril. It’s genetic. I eat no fried foods, no butter, etc. I also run 7-13 miles a day. So I can only imagine what my cholesterol would be if I ate “bad” foods. Anyways, I love eggs and need them because I’m a vegetarian. :)

  • I’m glad you brought this up! I rarely use them, but sometimes to keep fat grams or calories down, i’ll use say 4 eggs and 1 tbsp egg beaters. So I’d say I use it to supplement in small doses, but i’m a whole-egg girl and am a huge egg fan.

  • I’d much rather eat the real deal… And I do everyday! I should share this with my parents. They’ve been all about the egg beaters lately.

  • I’ve never understood why people would want to use egg substitutes like this, or even just sticking to egg whites for that matter. Eggs are good. The whole egg. I would never want to give up the yolk, its the best part.

  • This post is great! I totally agree. When I was in college, I had pretty high cholesterol (from all of the nasty hot dogs and processed junk I ate!), so my doctor told me I had to stop eating regular eggs in the dining hall and instead have them make me Egg Beaters (I went to a very small private college that could do this!). She never suggested I cut back on the french fries even though the nasty trans fats and polyunsaturated fats in them were causing my cholesterol to skyrocket!!

    I’m a farm fresh egg gal now :) Most days of the week I eat at least one egg for breakfast, but I’ll have two if I’m in the mood- like this morning!

  • I’m not a fan of eggs so can’t say I eat ‘em ;)

  • The beaters sort of skeeve me out. I stick to the regular eggs just a couple times a week. I’m one of those people who believe the whole egg is one of the most nutritionally sound things you can eat…

  • Amen! I’m glad I read this just after I finished my “real egg” breakfast sandwich. I did egg beaters for a few years, but I’m so happy I returned to whole foods. I feel better, it tastes better, and it’s better for the environment. Three cheers!

  • It’s funny you posted this because I was just in line at a hotel breakfast where you can order omelets and eggs all week. I’m always amazed at how many people opt for the egg whites or egg beater options from a carton. I’ve never been one to understand this b/c to me, the carton liquid version looks repulsive and with all those ingredients you listed above, I’m not sure why you’d want to eat it. I understand for people with cholesterol issues but for the average person trying to be healthy I think it’s a misguided step to assume the “carton” version is any healthier for you than an actual egg. So, I’ve never eaten (to my knowledge) or bought egg beaters. I think I’ll stick to my organic eggs :)

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