Onion Rings

Our series on American food has included a number of finger foods; we’ve done Chicken Wings, Hamburgers, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and French Fried Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. But we can’t leave out onion rings.


You’ll need with a batter, made of 4 egg whites, 1 tbsp cream (or milk), and a pinch of paprika, salt, and pepper to taste:

Slice a yellow onion (we like the taste better than sweet onions) and separate it into rings:

Finally, prepare a coating. We like puffed rice, or puffed rice with mixed nuts, ground in a food processor:


Place the rings from one onion with 1 tbsp potato starch and salt and pepper in a Ziploc bag:

Shake until the rings are evenly coated. Then dip them in the batter:

And then the coating:

Lay them out on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 400ºF (200ºC):



They taste great alone or with a dipping sauce: we tried melted butter, ketchup, and our Pacific sweet and sour sauce.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Hrmm some folks (eg Guyenet) have concerns over Maillard reaction browning and blood sugar control. What do you guys think?

  2. Hi Ed,

    Definitely gentle cooking to avoid browning is better. We had one batch that came out perfect, another that got a bit overcooked. Unfortunately that one had the picture.

    However, the toxins that are produced in Maillard browning (advanced glycation endproducts) are mostly destroyed in digestion. So the biggest danger comes from AGEs created in the body, not AGEs created in cooking.

    One reason we oven-cooked these instead of frying them is that oven-cooking probably generates fewer toxins.

    So, it’s a good point, and one definitely wants to minimize browning damage, but I don’t think a little bit of browning during cooking is a big deal.

  3. Paul, I have finished reading PHD in the last 3 days and really enjoyed the book. I also enjoy reading your blog and plan on reading all the posts in the next few weeks. I have found them – the book and the blog – both very helpful. Thanks for all the time you put into both. Being Asian who live in the West, I am aware of the health benefits of coconut and it’s a big part of my diet while growing up. I remember my mother has even trained our househelp/chef to always use coconut oil for cooking- stir fry, deep frying, etc. And coconut milk was always used for cooking everything – fish, meat but even vegetables and desserts. And my mom used to tell me that her parents lived long, over a 100, because not only did they use coconut milk in cooking everything but also, that they drink hot chocolate (from ground cocoa beans from the cocoa trees in their backyard). When I left home and went abroad for studies, somehow I have lost the fondness for coconut milk and other food I was familiar with, and have adopted a more ‘foreign’ or should I say a ‘western diet’ and consequently gained weight. After getting married to an Englishman who loves his bread and pudding, I am now out of shape haha! I am 5’6″ and used to be 105 lbs but not 128 lbs (from US size 0, now size 6). And yes, I am having a tough time losing the fat despite working out at the gym cycling or running and doing weight lifting 5-6 days a week. I tried Atkins and couldn’t take it – only lasted 2 days haha! I have read a lot of health and diet books and though I haven’t tried all the diets available out there, your book has helped me a great in understanding more about how to eat ‘healthily’ and to shed off the fat ‘slowly’ but ‘surely’ because I am not after the ‘quick’ fix but for a long term healthy lifestyle. I have already bought virgin coconut oil from WholeFoods (thank goodness London got one already!) and yesterday I have also made coconut oil from scratch. It’s kind of like going back into my ‘roots’ you know, eating coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut flour once again. Tomorrow is the start of a new adventure, an exciting one, as I start eating coconut oil one tablespoon each day. Many thanks to you and your wife for the many years of research you put into the book and for continually sharing with us your knowledge over the internet. By the way, thanks for responding to my email re: my question about diet based on blood type. 🙂

  4. Hi Elna,

    Traditional Asian food is very healthy, and Asians kept their traditions into recent times. You’re lucky you have those memories to return to.

    It’s a pleasure to help! Let me know how things go.

    Best, Paul

  5. Here is a University of Basel PhD in biochemistry on AGEs:
    “Does this mean that there are differences between endogenously
    formed and dietary AGEs?
    Indeed, there are some significant differences. One basic
    difference between dietary AGEs and those generated endogenously
    is their chemical form. Endogenous AGEs are
    generally protein-bound while dietary AGEs are absorbed
    as free AGEs or AGEs in short peptides. While the free
    AGEs are rapidly cleared by the kidney, the endogenous
    protein-bound AGEs require degradation before they can
    be excreted. Research has shown that glycation can alter
    protein functionality, but glycated proteins are also recognized
    as aberrations that are degraded by the proteolytic
    systems. Part of the association of increased free AGEs in
    diabetic complications can be ascribed to the impaired renal
    handling of AGEs in this disease. Furthermore, our own
    research has shown that some physiological activities of
    AGEs are quite different between free and protein-bound

    Are there any differences in biological effects between dietary
    and endogenous AGEs?
    There are only limited toxicity data available for dietary
    AGEs. But a major problem is that adequate toxicology
    studies have not been performed so far. AGEs are a very
    heterogeneous class of chemicals and we don’t even know
    what the most relevant AGEs to be tested are. On top of
    that, we have very little information on the bioavailability
    of AGEs to assess the exposure to individual AGEs. The
    only information on the toxicity of endogenous, proteinbound
    AGEs comes from cellular assays that are of very
    limited usefulness to assess their in vivo toxicity.
    Also, it should not be forgotten that certain dietary AGEs
    also possess beneficial properties such as antioxidant capacity
    or the ability to induce cellular defence systems.

    Besides receptor-mediated processes, are there other
    mechanisms that could explain the biological effects of
    It is important to stress that the toxicity of AGEs is unproven.
    AGEs probably have fewother effects as they are
    rather unreactive. However, if one considers that AGEs are
    formed from reactive precursors under the influence of oxidative
    stress, perhaps the focus should be shifted to these.
    The dicarbonyl intermediates are very reactive and are
    formed from breakdown products of the Maillard reaction
    but also from side products of glycolysis and from lipid peroxidation.
    These compounds have the potential to modify
    cellular proteins that could lead to alterations in their function
    that could ultimately lead to a disruption of cellular

    And finally, it should be noted that tests should also include
    AGE-related molecules, such as advanced lipoxidation
    end-products or ALEs. These are similar to AGEs and some
    AGEs are formed both during lipid peroxidation and from
    the Maillard reaction. CML is a good example of this. What
    has been said for the AGEs also applies for the ALEs, i. e.
    they are end-products and as such relatively unreactive.
    And as for AGEs, their importance probably lies in the formation
    and reactivity of the precursors. And again as for
    AGEs, lipid peroxidation only occurs in the presence of oxidative
    stress. Thus, by reducing oxidative stress, both lipid
    peroxidation and formation of AGEs/ALEs can be attenuated
    resulting in host protection where diet plays an important

    Although AGEs/ALEs are present in the diet, I strongly
    believe that dietary AGEs are of little health concern. Moreover,
    the presence of dietary antioxidants most likely largely
    outweighs the potential minor influence these compounds
    may have on human health. Thus, although we are
    constantly exposed to AGEs, ALEs and their precursors, we
    should not worry too much about them. As long as we eat a
    balanced diet, we ingest large amounts of antioxidant power
    to fight against oxidative stress, the reactive intermediates
    and their toxicity. After all, we have lived well with AGEs/
    ALEs for many thousands of years.” from http://is.gd/TSngGS ‘AGE interview.pdf’

    But what do you make of these ALEs and arachidonic acid?

  6. Hi Lance,

    Thanks much for an excellent contribution.

    I would generally agree that ALEs are worse than AGEs, that PUFAs are worse than fructose although they are worst together, that endogenously produced products in the body are worse than exogenously produced ones that may be broken down in digestion, and that reactive intermediates may be worse than endproducts. However endproducts may be a good index of past toxic exposure. Gentle cooking and low PUFA oils are generally desirable.

  7. Also from DrGreger’s (a vegan, not vegetarian) PDFs re: AGEs and microflora:

    may oxidise to dicarbonyls, e.g. glyoxal and methylglyoxal
    which are particularly reactive towards arginine residues in
    protein to form hydroimidazolones. When a reducing sugar
    reacts with the epsilon amino group of lysine, a reaction
    intermediate, known as an Amadori rearrangement product
    (ARP) is formed. ARPs are pre-AGEs and when the initial
    reducing sugar is glucose, the ARP is known as fructoselysine
    (FL). ARPs are unstable reaction intermediates that
    degrade to AGEs, including those reported to be the most
    abundant representatives in food, i.e. Ne-(carboxymethyl)-
    lysine (CML) and pyrraline [2]. AGEs comprise a diverse
    group of compounds and the structures of l20 have been
    elucidated to date. So far, most research on AGEs have
    been directed to their effects in vivo, where they are associated
    with the complications of diabetes, especially renal,
    retinal and cardiovascular disease [3].”

    “Up to 80% of dietary ARPs are not absorbed but are
    degraded by the gut microflora.”
    from http://is.gd/TSngGS ‘AGE con.pdf’

  8. Looks like DrGreger does think eating AGEs Glycotoxins are major biologically active toxins
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU-DiCUZCxA&list=PL53AA35449C7DD652&index=63&feature=plpp_video&hd=1#t=7m and in uncooked animal foods like cheeses too

  9. But…aren’t there issues with extruded grains like puffed rice?


    • Hi Michelle,

      Yes, so they’re to be used sparingly.

      • Actually there is a traditionally puffed rice that you can buy online. The heat it in a pan filled with hot salt or something like that and it puffs up like popcorn. I don’t remember the traditional name for it but it is easily found online.

  10. Where do you guys get your puffed rice? Maybe what brand? Thanks!!! I’ve been dying for onion rings.

  11. Hi Paul,
    I’ve been using your diet protocol for awhile now to heal my gut and have developed rashes due to fermented foods, then chicken, then pork, then avocado, etc. etc. which is very disappointing as I had hoped my food sensitivities would improve once I began eating healthy.
    A neuropath at my local health food store has kept prodding me to try the Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type diet for just 10 days to see if it helps my rash, so I have been on it for several days . I haven’t added any foods that strayed from your diet, but I did stop eating the foods that the diet saId were “bad” for my blood type I.e. chicken,pork, avacodo, coconut oil 🙁 , etc. and guess what? My rash is going away. I’m still unsure about eating foods based on blood type.
    I did a search on your comments and and you stated that type O blood type diet was ok but not the others. Since I am B positive blood type, I was wondering if you could address your concerns a little more in depth about the blood type B part of the diet.
    I really trust your opinion when it comes to these matters ,and I appreciate your time.
    I love your diet and want to get rid of my sensitivities so I can eat even the healthy foods without reacting to them. ;(

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