October 24, 2017
Egg White Omelet with Spinach and Mushrooms
Ask the Experts

Are Egg Substitutes Worth Buying?

by Berkeley Wellness  

Q: Is there any reason to buy egg substitutes like Egg Beaters, rather than just using egg whites?

A: No nutritional reason—and they are more expensive than using whole eggs and discarding the yolks. Almost all packaged egg substitutes are simply egg whites, and like plain egg whites they are fat-free and cholesterol-free. Some products may also contain beta carotene (for color), flavoring agents, vitamins, minerals, and thickening agents such as vegetable gums. If you are allergic to eggs or are a vegan, there are a few egg substitutes, such as Ener-G Egg Replacer, that contain no egg at all, but are made from starches, tapioca flour, and similar ingredients.

Egg substitutes are pasteurized, so you needn’t worry about Salmonella bacteria, in case you want to use them raw. If you use them in omelets, you can add vegetables, herbs, and spices to disguise the missing flavor of a whole egg. Some products won’t work in baked goods, so read labels.

Egg whites are rich in protein and low in calories; they lack the vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids in egg yolks, as well as the fat and cholesterol. While dietary cholesterol used to be a major concern, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans dropped the daily upper limit for cholesterol from food because it usually has little, if any, impact on blood cholesterol. Most people can eat a whole egg a day without increasing their risk of coronary artery disease.

Also see Are Eggs Bad for Your Heart?