July 25, 2017 | John Paul Catanzaro
Even with a strong Paleo movement in place, many North Americans are still convinced that fat is evil. Low-fat diets continue to be in vogue and people will go out of their way to remove as much fat as possible from their foods.
Eggs are a classic example. Egg-white omelets are still popular. You could remove the yolk yourself, or you could buy a product like Egg Beaters that contains only the whites, but buyer beware… Here’s what happens when you raise rats on Egg Beaters instead of whole eggs:
Egg Beaters appeared on the market in the early 1970s. Fabricated with egg whites, corn oil, nonfat dry milk, emulsifiers, additives, artificial flavor, and synthetic nutrients, the product contains the same levels of protein, fat, calories, macrominerals, and vitamins as real eggs. But Egg Beaters are devoid of cholesterol as well as saturated fat and important unsaturated fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid. The weanling rats fed Egg Beaters did not grow well and lacked proper fur development. All those fed Egg Beaters developed diarrhea within one week and died within three to four weeks.
The authors of the paper, Meena Kasaii Navidi and Fred A. Kummerow, noted that Egg Beaters were not appropriate “as a substitute for egg yolk in infant feeding by pediatricians who may consider supplementation with cholesterol-free substitutes early in life in order to prevent the development of atherosclerosis” (Pediatrics Vol 53, No 4 April 1974). The dramatic results obtained in this study may have saved thousands of babies from the fate of being fed Egg Beaters; however the product is routinely served to the elderly in nursing homes.
Take-Home Message: When you mess with nature, nature will mess with you! It’s best to eat the whole egg like nature intended, but if you insist on having the whites only, make sure to consume them with some form of fat like butter or coconut oil, and stay away from processed food products that try to imitate nature.