How to Replace Eggs In Your Diet
Rounding out our series on how to replace animal products in your diet (How To Replace Meat In Your Diet & How To Replace Dairy In Your Diet), let’s talk about how to go egg-free!
But first, let’s look at some reasons why you should remove the eggs from your diet:
- By the numbers, chickens are the most abused animal on the planet. In the U.S., 305 million egg laying hens spend their lives in confinement, typically in cages smaller than the size of a piece of paper where they can’t spread their wings (SOURCE)
- More than 100 million male chicks are killed every year as they are useless to egg laying operations
- Due to the confined conditions, disease is rampant, as is indiscriminate antibiotic use
- Nearly all chickens raised in this country (99%) live in confined conditions. Those labeled “free-range” and “cage-free” mean very little. “Free-range” simply means they have access to the outdoors, which is often a tiny concrete slab. “Cage-free” only means they are not physically in a cage but the density is the same (upwards of 40,000 birds in one building), making for the same crammed, disease ridden conditions
- Eggs are not healthy, and cannot be legally be labeled as either “nutritious” or even “safe” (SOURCE)
- Eggs contain tons of cholesterol, saturated fat, and have no fiber or antioxidants
- Eggs contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (just one egg a day increases risk) (SOURCE, SOURCE, & SOURCE)
Seven great reasons to cut out the eggs from your life! Now let’s talk about how to replace them. We most often encounter eggs either as the whole food, in baked goods or in mayonnaise. Let’s take a look at each:
Just as vegan meat substitutes have benefitted from years of research and development, teams are working on plant-based egg substitutes. There are a few to check out, including the Vegg.
A popular substitute for eating eggs straight is to use tofu in a Tofu Scramble. The texture isn’t the same (which in my mind is a good thing, eggs are too greasy for me), but the flavor is excellent! My favorite is the Tofu Scramble from Happy Herbivore.
In Baked Goods
My favorite egg replacer in baked goods is flax seed. It’s pretty amazing how it works. Just mix 1 TBSP of ground flax seed with 3 TBSP of warm water. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and it gels up just like an egg. Take out cholesterol laden eggs and put in omega-3 rich flax seed. What a swap!
Other common replacements are apple sauce, banana, silken tofu, the Neat Egg, or Ener-G Egg Replacer! Again, the substitutes are healthier, and add some great moistness to your baked goods!
There are excellent vegan mayos that taste just as good at the egg-filled version. Most light-mayo isn’t advertised as vegan but is (just check the label). Two specifically vegan brands are Vegenaise and Just Mayo. Both are great. You will not notice the difference, I guarantee it. The chickens, however, will surely notice the difference!
Consider going egg-free for a week and see if you miss them. After that, ditch em all together!
One final note: if you are attempting to go egg-free (the chickens will thank you), you have to be vigilant about your baked goods purchased at restaurants and stores. Ask waiters and read ingredients labels. Chances are really good that if it isn’t marketed as vegan friendly that it contains eggs.