Leggo My Eggo?

Why we should shelve most ready-made waffles for good!

Leggo My Eggo! I think more than any other commercial of my youth, those three little words were burned into my memory. Why? I’m not exactly sure. Perhaps it’s that two of the three words are totally made up. Or maybe it’s because the ad’s underlying premise of a father taking food from his son caught my attention. 😕

What's in your waffle? Is it healthy? Unfortunately it's probably not!

But what should we think of this whole fuss over a frozen waffle? Is this waffle worth fighting over? No—especially not in a good way.

What’s in Eggo Waffles?

In fact, after looking at what’s in an Eggo Waffle, I think that’s one battle I’d gladly lose. Why? Here’s a quick run-down of what’s in the top-selling Eggo Homestyle waffles:

Are frozen waffles healthy? Most frozen waffle brands, like Eggo, contain tons of processed ingredients and aren't good for you!

Although these Eggo waffles may be called homestyle, its ingredient list looks anything but homey!

  • Highly processed, white wheat flour is nutritionally empty and quickly digested into sugars, causing one’s blood sugar to spike.
  • Highly processed fats from vegetable oils that are anything but natural—extracted using chemicals like hexane and most likely sourced from GMO crops (soybean and canola).
  • Artificial colors are the secret to Eggo’s golden waffles. Unfortunately Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 have been linked to a whole host of issues: hyperactivity in children (Yellow 5), may be contaminated with cancer-causing substances 4-aminobiphenyl and benzidine (both Yellow 5 and 6), adrenal gland and kidney tumors (Yellow 5), and allergy-like hypersensitivity reactions (both Yellow 5 and 6). 1
  • Eggs most likely sourced from inhumanely raised chickens
  • Soy lecithin, an emulsifier that’s a staple of processed foods, has historically been thought to be fairly innocuous. New research, however, has linked this additive to increased rates of “obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease by interfering with microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, known as ‘gut microbio.'” 2
  • Phosphates and aluminum are common additives used in processed food leavening agents (sodium aluminum phosphate and monocalcium phosphate). While the jury is still out on these additives, the Environmental Working Group has put them on their Dirty Dozen Food Additive Watch List due to potential health concerns.

How about popular waffle mixes? Are they any less processed? Let’s take a quick look.

What’s in Waffle Mixes?

Are frozen waffles healthy? Most frozen waffle brands, like Eggo, contain tons of processed ingredients and aren't good for you!

Unfortunately highly processed ingredients make up the base of most popular, boxed waffle mixes (white flour, sugar, soy flour, dextrose, soy lecithin, and leaving agents like sodium aluminum phosphate and monocalcium phosphate). Some, like Krusteaz brand waffle mix, have artificial flavors and even partially hydrogenated oils which the FDA recently declared no longer GRAS (generally recognized as safe) and ordered banned as an additive in all food products by June 2018.

What should you do? My Recommendations:

I try my best to avoid processed mixes and frozen waffles and either look for products with cleaner labels, or make my waffles from scratch. My homemade waffle recipe is super easy to make and they freeze well—making it a great option for super quick breakfasts as well.

And if you’re trying to avoid all the butter and syrup that often goes with waffles, definitely check out my upcoming recipe for Syrup-Free Waffles. We love them since it’s one more way of cutting added sugars from our diet!

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