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Unveiling the Hidden Dangers of Store-Bought Eggnog

Why you should rethink drinking store-bought eggnog

Eggnog is a popular holiday beverage that many people look forward to enjoying during the festive season. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when it comes to store-bought eggnog. In this article, we will explore why you should think twice before reaching for that carton of store-bought eggnog and consider alternative options.

The Risks of Homemade Eggnog

Traditionally, eggnog is made with raw eggs, which carries the risk of salmonella contamination. While the risk can be reduced by using pasteurized eggs or cooking the eggs, there is still a chance that you could end up with bits of scrambled egg in your drink. This is certainly not a pleasant experience and can be off-putting to many people.

The safety of store-bought eggnog

One of the safest ways to enjoy eggnog is to choose the store-bought variety. Store-bought eggnog goes through a pasteurization process that eliminates the risk of salmonella. It is held to strict safety standards before it reaches store shelves, ensuring that it is safe to consume.

The downside of store-bought eggnog

While store-bought eggnog may be safer from a food safety standpoint, it comes with its own set of concerns. Many brands of store-bought eggnog contain additives, thickeners, stabilizers, and preservatives to extend its shelf life. These additives may not be ideal for those looking for a more natural and healthy beverage.

Questionable ingredients

Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Real Nutrition, points out some problematic ingredients commonly found in store-bought eggnog. High fructose corn syrup, often used as a sweetener, has been linked to weight gain and other health problems. Carrageenan, an emulsifier, has been shown to be carcinogenic and can disrupt the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, artificial colors found in some store-bought eggnogs may cause agitation in individuals with ADD or ADHD.

The benefits of homemade eggnog

For those who want more control over the ingredients and sugar content of their eggnog, making it at home is a great option. By making eggnog from scratch, you can choose high-quality ingredients and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Homemade eggnog allows you to customize the flavors and create a unique beverage that suits your preferences.

Bottom line

When it comes to eggnog, there are pros and cons to both store-bought and homemade options. Store-bought eggnog offers convenience and safety from salmonella contamination, but it often contains additives and questionable ingredients. Homemade eggnog allows for more control over ingredients, but requires careful handling of raw eggs. Ultimately, the choice between store-bought and homemade eggnog comes down to your priorities and preferences.
If you choose store-bought eggnog, it is important to read labels and choose brands that emphasize natural ingredients and avoid additives. Alternatively, you can make your own eggnog using pasteurized eggs and high-quality ingredients for a healthier and more personal experience. Whichever way you choose, enjoy your eggnog responsibly and have a wonderful holiday season!


Raw eggs used in traditional homemade eggnog may pose a risk of salmonella contamination. Cooking the eggs or using pasteurized eggs can reduce the risk, but may result in scrambled egg bits in the drink.

Is store-bought eggnog safer to drink?

Yes, store-bought eggnog is generally safer to consume because it goes through a pasteurization process that eliminates the risk of salmonella. It is also held to strict safety standards before it is sold.

What additives are commonly found in store-bought eggnog?

Store-bought eggnog often contains additives such as thickeners, stabilizers and preservatives to extend its shelf life. Some brands may also use high fructose corn syrup, carrageenan, and artificial colors.

Why is high-fructose corn syrup a concern?

High-fructose corn syrup, commonly found in store-bought eggnog, is highly processed and has been linked to weight gain and other health problems.

What is the issue with carrageenan in eggnog?

Carrageenan is an emulsifier found in some store-bought eggnogs. It has been shown to be a carcinogen and can disrupt the gastrointestinal tract.

Can store-bought eggnog affect people with ADD or ADHD?

Some store-bought eggnogs contain artificial colors, which may contribute to agitation in individuals with ADD or ADHD.

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