We are all aware of the health benefits of consuming eggs, and many of us eat eggs as part of our regular diet. Plus we’re all used to cooking with whole eggs, as well as separating the yolk and whites for various recipes.
So, can you drink egg whites? You can drink raw egg whites, but only if they have been treated to kill bacteria such as salmonella first. Egg whites sold in cartons have been pasteurized and are safe to drink. Raw egg whites have very little flavor and can be a great way to add protein to your diet.
If you’re tempted to try drinking egg whites, it’s important to know the safest way to do this. Egg whites have a huge range of nutritional benefits, but must be consumed in the correct form to prevent serious health problems.
Let’s find out everything you need to know about drinking egg whites!
Why Should You Drink Egg Whites?
We often take eggs for granted, but these innocent little food items are actually packed full of a huge amount of nutritional benefits!
A single egg contains an impressive amount of high-quality protein that is easy to digest. However, a whole egg is also high in cholesterol and many people try to avoid unnecessary cholesterol in their diets.
Separating the egg gives you the option of consuming the protein-rich egg white without the cholesterol-packed yolk.
This is why you will commonly see cartons of egg whites for sale at the grocery store. These are commonly used in baking and to make healthy protein-packed foods such as egg white omelets.
But, if you wanted to, could you drink egg whites? In their raw form, egg whites consist of a gloopy, clear liquid that in some circumstances you could drink.
There are many benefits to drinking egg whites, so if you are looking to increase the amount of protein in your diet, don’t overlook this method of consuming eggs.
However, you need to be very careful about selecting the right type of egg whites to drink, as some forms of egg whites pose significant health risks when eaten raw.
It might not sound like the most appealing drink in the world, but there are some clever ways to incorporate egg whites into your healthy eating regime.
When eating raw eggs, either just the white or the yolk as well, certain precautions need to be taken to prevent serious illness. This means you need to be aware of the right kinds of eggs that are safe to consume raw.
Can You Drink Any Type Of Egg Whites?
If you are considering adding raw egg whites to your daily diet, you need to make sure that you pick the right type to reduce the risk of being exposed to dangerous bacteria.
The only egg whites that are safe to consume raw are those that have been pasteurized.
When food has been pasteurized, it means it has been heated to a specific temperature that will kill any potentially dangerous bacteria. The temperature is not so high that the food is cooked, but it has been made safe to eat.
Pasteurizing food is very common in the dairy industry, and you will normally find that most of your milk, yogurt, and other dairy products have been pasteurized. Food that is not being pasteurized is commonly labeled as ‘raw’.
But when it comes to eggs, pasteurizing is not a common process. Most whole eggs are sold unpasteurized, which means they could potentially still contain bacteria.
This is not normally a problem when it comes to consuming eggs, as the vast majority of the time we cook our eggs before eating them.
So if you’ve bought a box of whole eggs from the store, and the label does not say that they have been pasteurized, the yolks are not safe to drink.
Luckily, there is a way around this, and egg whites are sold in a form that is perfectly safe to drink!
If you purchase cartons of liquid egg whites, you can be reassured that these have always been pasteurized. These are perfectly safe to drink as all bacteria have been eliminated during the pasteurization process.
Liquid egg whites sold in cartons are so safe to drink you could even drink them straight from the carton! They will have been gently heated to just the right temperature to kill any harmful bacteria without cooking the egg whites.
However, they should still be stored in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial contamination and multiplication.
The great thing about liquid egg whites sold in cartons is that they have also been beaten before they were packaged. This greatly improves the consistency and makes them much more palatable for drinking.
If you were struggling to find cartons of liquid egg whites or would prefer to use whole eggs, then the only option is to find eggs that have been pasteurized.
Most whole eggs sold in grocery stores have not been pasteurized, so these may be hard to come across. If you can find a box of pasteurized whole eggs, it is perfectly safe to separate the whites from the yolks and drink them raw.
Remember that unpasteurized eggs can contain harmful bacteria that may cause significant health problems. Never, ever be tempted to drink the white or yolk of a whole egg that has not been pasteurized.
Potential Risks Of Drinking Egg Whites
So, when it comes to drinking egg whites, why is it vital that we only drink the pasteurized version?
The reason for this is that pasteurizing kills harmful bacteria. And when it comes to eggs, they have a high risk of containing a particularly notorious and unpleasant bacteria – salmonella.
Salmonella in eggs was once highly prevalent, but luckily, thanks to good management strategies, this has been dramatically reduced. However, some eggs can still contain the bacteria that causes salmonella.
Luckily, we don’t have to worry about this in our day-to-day lives, as most eggs are cooked before consumption. When eggs are stored and cooked correctly, this bacterial risk is eliminated.
But if we are considering drinking raw egg whites, then we really do have to take into account the risk of salmonella poisoning.
Pasteurization will kill the bacteria that can cause salmonella. This is why it is only safe to drink raw egg whites that have been pasteurized.
Salmonella is a notoriously unpleasant form of food poisoning, which can be very serious. It causes severe gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.
Salmonella poisoning can be severe and some people require hospitalization. Thanks to developments in modern medicine, it is not often fatal, although certain groups of people like the elderly and immunosuppressed are at high risk.
There are thought to be around one million cases of salmonella poisoning every year in the United States alone, and eggs are the most common source of these infections.
The onset of salmonella symptoms normally occurs within 4 hours to 6 days after eating contaminated eggs.
The risk is thought to be lower with eggs from hens reared in a free-range environment; however, salmonella can still occur in these circumstances.
Salmonella contamination of eggs can occur when they are still forming inside the hen or after it has been laid. The only 100% sure way to eliminate the risk of salmonella in eggs is by cooking them thoroughly or pasteurizing them.
As well as making sure that your unpasteurized egg whites are thoroughly cooked before eating them, it is also important to avoid cross-contamination if you are cooking anything that contains raw eggs.
For example, if you are beating an omelet mix with a fork, this should be thoroughly washed before it comes in contact with any other foods.
Health Benefits Of Drinking Egg Whites
Now we know how to safely drink egg whites, let’s take a look at why you might want to consider this unusual choice of drink.
Raw eggs tend to be gloopy, slimy, and not particularly appetizing. So why do people want to drink them? After all, raw egg whites are not the most attractive-looking ingredient you could pick to put in a drink!
In short, it is because drinking egg whites give you a huge range of nutritional benefits.
While eating a whole egg is a healthy food choice, people worry about the high levels of cholesterol. By separating the egg white from the yolk, we eliminate this cholesterol, leaving only the protein-rich white.
And yes, we can cook egg whites separately to give us tasty dishes such as egg white frittatas. But drinking raw egg whites gives us another way of consuming this protein-rich food.
Egg whites are low in calories, contain zero cholesterol or fat, and are full of high-quality, easy-to-digest protein. Drinking egg whites gives you the following health benefits!
Good Source Of Protein
The protein contained in eggs is exceptionally easy for your body to digest and absorb. Protein is essential for the body to build and repair cells and tissues.
It is often regarded as the building block for healthy body systems. Without protein, the body cannot function properly.
Including egg whites as part of your diet is a great way to keep your body in peak condition!
Supports Muscle Growth
Staying on the protein theme, this essential nutrient is also vital to help the body build strong and resilient muscle tissue. This is why bodybuilders commonly include eggs as part of their daily diet!
Egg whites can be a great addition to your post-workout smoothie, helping your body to build and repair strong and healthy muscle tissue.
Helps Promote Weight Loss
The great thing about high-protein foods like egg whites is that they help to satisfy hunger and keep you feeling full for longer. This can be hugely beneficial if you are aiming to reduce your calorie intake!
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
While whole eggs are high in cholesterol, this is contained entirely within the yolk. Separating the whites from the yolk gives you a cholesterol-free protein boost. This can help to prevent heart disease and regulate blood pressure.
How Many Egg Whites Are Safe To Drink?
There is another risk associated with egg whites aside from the salmonella problem, but this only occurs if too many egg whites are consumed.
Raw egg whites contain a substance that binds tightly with biotin, an essential nutrient that is also known as vitamin B7. This prevents the biotin from being utilized by the body, leading to a deficiency and causing health problems.
Biotin deficiency can cause several problems, including skin rashes, thinning of the hair, depression, and exhaustion.
For this to occur, a person would need to consume raw egg whites regularly for a long period of time.
Research has suggested that eating two or more egg whites per day for several months or more can cause severe biotin deficiency.
For this reason, it would be sensible to keep your consumption of raw egg whites below this level. Alternatively, you could consider taking a biotin supplement, but this may not be sufficient to counteract the action of the egg whites.
What Do Egg Whites Taste Like?
The weird thing about egg whites is they do not have a flavor. Yes, that’s right, they taste of absolutely nothing!
So, this means that raw egg whites are neither pleasant nor unpleasant when it comes to taste. They are completely neutral and flavorless.
However, the texture of raw egg whites is very unusual, and some people find it off-putting. The clear white liquid is thick and gloopy, with a slimy, viscous texture.
This is particularly prominent when you use raw egg whites taken from whole pasteurized eggs. Raw egg whites sold in cartons have normally been beaten, which gives them a smoother texture.
How To Drink Egg Whites
When it comes to drinking raw egg whites, there is no reason why you couldn’t drink them alone. However, many people (cough cough us) find the texture off-putting and prefer to mix them with something else.
If you don’t mind the texture of raw egg whites, then put the recommended amount in a glass and give it a gentle whisk with a fork. This can then be drunk straight from the glass.
Most people prefer to disguise the texture of raw pasteurized egg whites by incorporating them into a healthy drink, such as a smoothie or shake.
When mixed with fruit juices or other dairy products, the gloopy texture of raw egg whites is masked, and you’ll barely notice that they are there at all.
Many people also like to add protein powder for a post-workout super smoothie. We think this one is super versatile!
If you’re adding egg whites to a smoothie or shake, remember that it must be kept refrigerated at all times. And, of course, you should only use pasteurized egg whites to avoid the risk of salmonella!