With plant-based diets on the rise, food manufacturers are searching for ways to make common animal-based products into vegan alternatives. These swaps are often touted as the “healthier” version of your favorite product, but some are full of processed ingredients. One plant-based alternative that’s slowly gaining popularity is eggless eggs. But what are fake eggs made of? Are they a healthy alternative, or should you stay away from the ingredients? Dr. Oz, Dr. Mike Roizen, and chef Danny Boome break down what you're really eating when you choose this breakfast staple.
RELATED: Subscribe to the Dr. Oz newsletter for wellness tips, recipes, and exclusive sneak peeks from The Dr. Oz Show.
According to the Washington Post, the average American eats 279 eggs in a year alone, but eggs may not be as healthy as they’re cracked up to be (pun intended.) The Dr. Oz Show correspondent and Chief Wellness Officer of the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Mike Roizen notes that while eggs aren’t necessarily bad for your cholesterol, egg yolks specifically are high in choline, a nutrient that our gut changes into bacteria, and then into a compound called trimethylamine (TMA).
The TMA is then absorbed and converted by the liver into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a substance that has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. So, while eggs may be a good source of protein at breakfast, you may want to rethink consistent consumption of them, especially if you are at risk of cardiovascular disease. In this case, Dr. Roizen recommends eating only one egg yolk per week to reduce choline buildup.
How Do Eggless Eggs Compare to Regular Eggs?
Surprisingly, eggless eggs look more like typical eggs than you may think. The Dr. Oz Show correspondent and chef Danny Boome revealed that eggless eggs come in two different forms: liquid and powder. He also says that you can find both of these options online, as well as in specialty grocery stores.
Eggless eggs are also fairly high in nutritional value, says Boome. The two are equal in calories and protein, but they don’t have cholesterol, since they’re plant-based and there can be less fat. And yes, these eggs do scramble like real eggs; Boome says you could even make an omelet or frittata out of them.
Why Eggless Eggs are Gaining Popularity
The need for egg substitutes has always been present, especially for vegans and people who are on plant-based diets. More and more people are paying attention to the reported poor treatment of chickens and their response is to forgo animal products altogether — and that includes eggs.
According to The Guardian, in a standard factory where egg-laying hens are raised, the birds reside closely together in small cages and are unable to move, which enables diseases to spread rapidly, and their feed and water is medicated with mass doses of antibiotics. Once the birds have laid a sufficient amount of eggs, they are sent to slaughterhouses, or they're starved to ensure they are the proper size for mating. These horrendous living conditions of cage-raised chickens are just some of the reasons why many people are choosing to omit animal products, including eggs, altogether.
On a lighter note, eggless eggs are also useful for egg-free people who like to bake. Before eggless eggs existed, people used other egg substitutes for baking, like bananas, applesauce, and even tofu, but now, eggless eggs are now a viable option for vegan and plant-based bakers.
What are the Ingredients in Eggless Eggs?
Boome explained that the ingredients combined to make eggless eggs are fairly simple. Ingredients of a typical powdered eggless egg include:
-proteins like soy and chickpeas
Liquid eggless eggs, on the other hand, are slightly different, says Boome. Most ingredients are the same, like the soy and chickpea protein, but liquid eggless eggs tend to have more liquid, like water and oils, to change the consistency. Having eggless eggs in your grocery arsenal may not be necessary for you, but if you’re interested in cutting eggs out of your diet for whatever reason, these fake eggs are a great alternative. You can even try an eggless egg taste-test with your family — and we bet they won’t notice a huge difference.