Caviar. Whether you’re a foodie or not, chances are you have some opinions on this food. For some people, the thought of eating fish eggs even once is gross enough to turn them into vegans.
But, what if you only ate caviar for a month? How much money would you spend? Could caviar improve your love life? Or, would it break your heart?
Once, only royalty could eat caviar. But in the 19th century, this salty snack became a bar food in the United States. This seafood treat took the world by storm and nearly wiped out the sturgeon fish.
The high demand for a nearly extinct fish’s eggs raised caviar prices. Once again, only the rich could afford to enjoy these precious bite-sized morsels. Today, airlines purchase 50% of the world’s supply of caviar to feed their first-class passengers. But, if this was all you ate, would you get the nutrition you need to survive?
The rules are simple. No vitamin supplements or spreading caviar on toast. You’ll only be consuming caviar and water. And, ditch the fancy silverware. Metals taint the taste of the fish eggs, so use your favorite plastic spork instead.
In polite society, you might take two spoonfuls of caviar at the most. But, since this is your only source of nutrition, that’s not going to be enough. And don’t expect this stuff to be cheap. We’ll get to that in a minute.
While it takes some adjusting to get used to this food, you might feel some positive effects during the first part of this diet. For example, caviar has a high level of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter involved in retaining memories. Your mom always told you that fish is brain food. Acetylcholine also lines the stomach and increases your body’s tolerance to alcohol. And, 16 g (.56 oz) of caviar contains 1,086 mg (0.04 oz) of omega-3 fatty acids, which can prevent blood clots and lower your cholesterol.
For the first few weeks, your skin might improve, and your joints could even feel better. And, your dating life may improve too. After all, caviar contains arginine, which increases blood flow. So, this slimy treat might be a powerful aphrodisiac.
But, you may not want to get your heart pumping too fast. As you get further into the month, you could start to feel the effects of all the sodium racing through your system. The FDA recommends only consuming 2,300 mg (.08 oz) per day. If you’re eating caviar for every meal, you might consume up to 11,280 mg (.4 oz) of sodium, more than five times the daily requirement. Your blood pressure might go through the roof, increasing your risk of having a stroke or developing heart disease.
A study from the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism found that eating more than 3 g (.1 oz) of salt a day can increase your chances of developing stomach cancer by up to 68%. Remember, caviar was introduced as a bar food to get patrons craving more beer. Consuming only this salty seafood would make you very thirsty.
And your kidneys can only take so much sodium before they start to retain water. You could start to feel bloated, and your hands and feet would swell. You might suffer from hypernatremia if the amount of sodium in your body is too high. You could also have problems sleeping, breathing, urinating, have seizures, go into a coma, or even die. And, since you’re not eating anything that provides vitamin C, you’re at risk of getting scurvy. Early symptoms include nausea or diarrhea, but later on, you might have bruised, scaly skin or bleeding gums.
So, how could you keep eating the caviar? Fine dining experts agree that the best way is to feel the eggs with your tongue instead of chewing them. Since your teeth might be falling out, so that would be easy for you. And all that animal magnetism you had earlier would definitely gone now.
If you think your medical bills might be high, check out the price of the caviar. Sturgeon roe can cost anywhere from $65 to $85 for 30 g (1 oz). Your body needs at least 2,000 calories a day to survive. To get that amount, you would have to eat almost 1 kg (2.2 lb) daily. This month’s supply of caviar could cost you over $60,000. And that’s eating the cheap stuff.
Going into debt and dying slowly from sodium poisoning probably isn’t the way you want to spend any month. Maybe you’d better stick to the two spoonfuls rule, and leave the rest of the caviar for other people.
- “What You Didn’t Know About The Quirky History Of Caviar”. Peggy Trowbridge Filippone. 2021. The Spruce Eats.
- “What Is Caviar?”. 2021. The Spruce Eats.
- “Why Caviar Is Good For Hangovers And Memory Retention”. 2021. The Spruce Eats.
- “Caviar Is An Eastern European Favorite”. 2021. The Spruce Eats.
- “Caviar Nutrition – Is Caviar Good For You?”. 2020. Caviar Star.
- “Urinary sodium and potassium excretion, mortality, and cardiovascular events”. O’Donnell, Martin, Andrew Mente, Sumathy Rangarajan, Matthew J. McQueen, Xingyu Wang, Lisheng Liu, and Hou Yan et al. 2014. New England Journal Of Medicine 371 (7): 612-623. doi:10.1056/nejmoa1311889.