3

votes

Eggs only as a protein source

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 13, 2012 at 5:13 AM

Is it possible for a person to eat paleo but use eggs only (and possibly insects---we'll see) as a protein source?

I'm not one to be duped by grains and legumes and so jumping on the vegan/vegetarian bandwagon isn't for me. To boot, me and high-carb (at least from grains/legumes/soy) is bad bad news. High blood pressure, shoddy skin and all that.

HOWEVER, ethically and environmentally I'm just not comfortable with a) killing animals (not so sure on the insect front) and b) the impact of farming particularly factory farming and c) am well aware of the relatively poor nutritional profile of conventionally produced meat, especially pork and poultry.

I almost DO NOT have the money on hand to buy enough conventionally-farmed meat, and when I do it tends to be pork or poultry. Grass-fed/pastured and ethically raised etc is all out of the question.

Given my inflammatory issues I'm not ok with pork and poultry because it tends to bust my budget and makes it difficult for me to get good fats to fatten up my lean pork and poultry plus there's little to no money to get fruits and veggies.

What I CAN do though (and would like to do): -Buy cage-free local, high-quality eggs (say eating 4-6 a day) -Round out the rest of the diet with a ton of veggies/fruits and some coconut oil -Avoid nuts/seeds (inflammatory issues)

Doing that I will a) open up my budget for more variety and b) ease my consciousness and c) offer me more nutrition (rather than scraping by eating grain-free hotdogs, ham and eggs all week with not much else.

So? Can it be done? Plus eggs are a good non-synthetic source of vit D for me living where I'm at.

ADD: dairy in any form is no-go for me, even yoghurt (of any animal) causing bloating, gas etc. Bivalves not an issue so I'll look into that. Might look into shrimp and other seafood. I don't actually have an issue with other animals eating other animals, just for me personally it makes me uncomfortable for animals to die to feed me. I don't get grossed out by meat, I actually like to eat it, but it just bothers me. Especially considering I know those animals are not the best source of nutrition for me considering the factory farms they were raised in. Feeling out foods/macronutrient ratios I do best on I've noticed that: high-fat, moderate-carb/moderate protein does me best, as does avoiding most veggies (fruit goes down fine), and eating small meals.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on December 13, 2012
at 05:05 PM

I'm sorry (genuinely), but yes I do throw most of them away. I mean a little clings to the yolks and I dont mind if a bit makes it into my food. Its just easy to seperate them over the garbage can and be done with it. I'm a believer in limiting protein intake to just what is adequate as excess protein is correlated with reduced longevity. So, I really never have much opportunity to incorporate empty protein into my diet.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on December 13, 2012
at 04:40 PM

You throw them away?? Whether they have extra nutrients or not, there's still protein in the egg whites. At least use them for some other cooking purpose or find a non-food use for them. I for one can't afford to throw any food away, nor would I want to unless absolutely necessary.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on December 13, 2012
at 03:09 PM

+1 egg protein from the whites is pretty "empty". Theres not a lot of other nutrients in there. So much so that I actually throw the whites away so I can eat more protein that has significant nutrients. However, add in about 1/3 pound beef or lamb liver per week (cheap) and 1 pound canned sardines or fresh salmon per week (cheap) and you can get a pretty good nutrient spectrum fairly cheaply.

3d026326a7512616b108c9a1b2086bef

(78)

on December 13, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Well...problem is I'm looking at spending at most about $6 dollars per day to feed myself, which doesn't leave me with a lot of options. $6 a pound starts making me nervous when its $50 for the week for me. I just don't want to be another college student eating ramen.

3d026326a7512616b108c9a1b2086bef

(78)

on December 13, 2012
at 02:43 PM

That's the thing Renee---I can't afford to buy ethically raised and slaughtered meat. I know we are just another animals and it doesn't bother me at all if the cat comes in chewing on half a mouse. But it bugs me that larger animals die in factory farms and slaughterhouses to feed me. Without money for local ethical meat thats what I'm eating, and I'm not ok with it.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on December 13, 2012
at 01:20 PM

It can be done. I agree with the others that supplementing with some dairy and seafood would be even better if you can swing it. Some variety is almost always better.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on December 13, 2012
at 01:17 PM

+1. This is how I have been eating lately and it seems to work out well.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on December 13, 2012
at 01:15 PM

Great answer! I agree completely.

  • 3d026326a7512616b108c9a1b2086bef

    asked by

    (78)
  • Views
    8.8K
  • Last Activity
    1284D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

7 Answers

1
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on December 13, 2012
at 04:49 PM

I'm afraid that if you rely solely on eggs you may become sensitive to their inflammatory properties that do cause problems for some. Varying your food sources helps.

Grass fed beef bones can be had for a few dollars per pound, and the broth you make can feed you for a week. WF sells chicken carcasses for just a few dollars, too--another broth that can go a long way and heal inflammation.

Fish is another option for protein.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on December 13, 2012
at 02:59 PM

You can make it your primary protein source, but you'll want some seafood and liver. Liver, even the ethically raised stuff, ought to be a cost effective way of keeping your nutrient levels up. Take a look at what 3 ounces of beef liver has in it.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on December 13, 2012
at 03:09 PM

+1 egg protein from the whites is pretty "empty". Theres not a lot of other nutrients in there. So much so that I actually throw the whites away so I can eat more protein that has significant nutrients. However, add in about 1/3 pound beef or lamb liver per week (cheap) and 1 pound canned sardines or fresh salmon per week (cheap) and you can get a pretty good nutrient spectrum fairly cheaply.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on December 13, 2012
at 04:40 PM

You throw them away?? Whether they have extra nutrients or not, there's still protein in the egg whites. At least use them for some other cooking purpose or find a non-food use for them. I for one can't afford to throw any food away, nor would I want to unless absolutely necessary.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on December 13, 2012
at 05:05 PM

I'm sorry (genuinely), but yes I do throw most of them away. I mean a little clings to the yolks and I dont mind if a bit makes it into my food. Its just easy to seperate them over the garbage can and be done with it. I'm a believer in limiting protein intake to just what is adequate as excess protein is correlated with reduced longevity. So, I really never have much opportunity to incorporate empty protein into my diet.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on December 13, 2012
at 01:27 PM

From a nutrition perspective, I think that having eggs as your sole source of protein would be too limited. For example you'd need to eat about 17 eggs a day to get your RDA of vitamin B.

From an ethical perspective, you're going to have the same problem finding ethically-raised eggs as with ethically-raised meat. Supermarket eggs generally come from chickens that are confined and abused. In my area, pastured eggs are available from a few sources but are generally $3.00-4.50 per dozen, about twice the price of supermarket eggs.

An egg has roughly 100 calories, so a dozen eggs has about 1200 calories. A pound of ground beef has about 1100 calories. Paying $4.50 for a dozen high quality eggs is more cost effective than paying $6.00 for a pound of ground beef, but not hugely different.

This is the dilemma of trying to eat Paleo, it's generally more expensive and harder to find quality food made from animals. Interestingly, the food that is the most ethically raised generally tends to be the most nutritious. Unfortunately, most factory-raised food is neither.

Deciding which animals you're comfortable eating from an ethical perspective is a delicate question and based largely on personal beliefs and preferences, so you can determine what your options are there. I am also concerned with the ethics of the food that I eat. I think that labels ("organic", "free range", etc) are misleading and a lot of times a fancy label doesn't necessarily mean better ethics (i.e. "organic" eggs are usually often laid by abused chickens). I do research into the supply chain of the food and try to determine exactly how it gets from pasture to the store.

I have a butcher shop in my town that sells (very expensive) organic beef, but it is delicious and they give a lot of good information about where it came from. I checked into their sources, and got ahold of one of the farmers that raises the cows, talked to him for over an hour, and was so impressed by how they treat and raise their animals that I bought a half steer from him (about 220 pounds of meat, came out to about $5.50/lb fully prepped). This kind of thing is time consuming but you can do it once and be set on meat for a year.

There are some inexpensive options though. I have been seeing ground grass-fed beef at supermarket chains (Trader Joe's, Wegman's, and my local Giant) for about $6/pound. Whole Foods has it for $10/pound and it sometimes goes on sale. Wegman's also has bison and buffalo, which I think is generally more pastured / ethical (though every food source requires some checking into), and in my area is $6-8 per pound. Bison and buffalo are generally very lean and don't have a lot of fat (which is not a good thing, you need a source of omega 3 fats), but is a good source of protein.

You did not mention seafood, there are a lot of wild-caught seafood options, and many feel that seafood is easier to eat from an ethical standpoint than land animals. Some types of fish are being overfished in many areas (i.e. cod) but there are usually plentiful, local options, for example in my area rockfish and bluefish are local and plentiful.

3d026326a7512616b108c9a1b2086bef

(78)

on December 13, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Well...problem is I'm looking at spending at most about $6 dollars per day to feed myself, which doesn't leave me with a lot of options. $6 a pound starts making me nervous when its $50 for the week for me. I just don't want to be another college student eating ramen.

1
42d2659b00602d58a378356006d0c737

(140)

on December 13, 2012
at 01:14 PM

I'm in a similar situation as a (former) vegetarian transitioning into paleo, and eggs are my primary protein. They are wonderful, but it's easy to get burnt out on them. If you can handle dairy, I highly recommend adding Greek yogurt to your diet, or perhaps sprinkling some parmesan cheese on salads/veggies (it has one of the highest protein contents of cheeses). If you have intolerance issues, try goat or sheep milk-based dairy--people with lactose issues generally handle them better. Redwood Farms plain goat milk kefir is amazing.

Also, if you can save enough money, consider splurging on a bag of hemp hearts and adding that to savory dishes for extra protein and fat. They have a great, earthy taste. (Hemp hearts are technically seeds, and I see no problem eating seeds on a primal diet.) I have just started eating wild caught fish again, and I feel so much better between that and upping my fat content, so if you are not opposed to fish, I second the recommendation of adding fish, shrimp, and bivalves to your diet. You might also consider protein shakes with a whey or hemp powder. In general, I'm not fan of drinking meals, but they might work for you just because of your lack of other options right now.

1
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 13, 2012
at 12:51 PM

I think you mean ease your "conscience". Just curious, how do you feel about animals killing and eat other animals? I guess that's how I see it - humans are just animals. And for millions of years we've eaten other animals. I just make sure I buy all my meat from local farms where the animals were treated well while they were alive.

3d026326a7512616b108c9a1b2086bef

(78)

on December 13, 2012
at 02:43 PM

That's the thing Renee---I can't afford to buy ethically raised and slaughtered meat. I know we are just another animals and it doesn't bother me at all if the cat comes in chewing on half a mouse. But it bugs me that larger animals die in factory farms and slaughterhouses to feed me. Without money for local ethical meat thats what I'm eating, and I'm not ok with it.

1
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on December 13, 2012
at 12:26 PM

I think with careful planning you could be okay. I'd say be careful, though, if you start getting inflammation-related issues. Some people prone to inflammation can have issues with egg whites in too great a quantity.

How do you do with dairy? If you find yourself sick of eggs, you may consider Greek yogurt or cheese or whole fat kefir or another fermented dairy product to supplement.

Would you be okay with eating bivalves? They have no central nervous system and if you end up okay with insects you might want to venture into mussels, clams, etc. I buy mussels for my family because they're the cheapest. We like them, but they're also pretty nutrient-dense--so I feel a little goes a long way. We eat them once in a while; I'm not suggesting you eat them on a budget every day.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on December 13, 2012
at 01:15 PM

Great answer! I agree completely.

1
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on December 13, 2012
at 12:02 PM

I think that if you really wanted to make it work you could. I like to get protein from Greek yogurt as well, would that be an option for you? What about shrimp or fish? I realize that animals do die but I think it is easier to find wild caught seafood and shrimp is pretty inexpensive. If you were willing I add some of that then I think you could have a wonderful diet.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on December 13, 2012
at 01:17 PM

+1. This is how I have been eating lately and it seems to work out well.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!