You feel in between a rock and a hard place: You bought a package of egg beaters rather than a carton of eggs because you want to avoid eggs’ high cholesterol. You are well aware of all the news reports and medical advice warning that high cholesterol leads to heart disease. You are about to pour some of the liquid into the pan when the thought hits you: Am I giving up the nutrients of a natural egg? Here are some key reasons why you should not worry.
The Mighty Egg
An egg bears the reputation as being the food with the highest-quality protein. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the chicken egg is one of the best sources of high-quality protein, higher than even meat, milk and beans. Eggs are a good source of riboflavin, Vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium. The egg is one of the few foods that has Vitamin D.
Food scientists say that among protein foods, eggs have an especially rich mix of amino acids. These amino acids are essential for children and adolescent growth. A research team found that people who ate eggs also had intakes of nearly all nutrients compared with people who did not eat eggs. Considering the egg has around 70 calories, is low cost, and has versatility in boiling or frying, how could any substitutes possibly compare?
Nutrients in Substitutes
The good news is that egg beaters, made up of mostly egg whites, have many nutrients added to compensate for the missing egg yolk. In nutrition, you are giving up little else than the unhealthy cholesterol and saturated fats found in egg yolks.
One brand, Egg Beaters Original, was designed to mirror the nutritive value of an egg without the fats and cholesterol. A serving of egg beaters has 6 grams of protein, which is the amount found in the real egg. The substitute has vitamins A, B-12, D and E, as well as folate, zinc, iron, pantothenic acid and riboflavin.
What Nutritionists Say
A number of heart experts, including physicians treating patients with heart and other ailments requiring reduced fats and choleserol, support egg beaters as a way to eat healthy. They find it encouraging that for so few calories (30 calories per serving), egg beaters can provide the protein of egg whites. Nutritionists take the discussion one step further. They recommend reaching for egg beaters as part of a morning meal that fuels you properly for the rest of the day, without extra calories, fat, sodium and sugar.
Protein carries energy and a feeling of fullness that carries you through the hours ahead. Studies provide evidence that people of all ages, including the elderly, concentrate better and exhibit better cognition after eating a good breakfast. After sleeping for eight hours, morning is when your energy reserves are low and in need of fuel.