Are Eggs Dairy?
Are eggs dairy? You might think this is a silly question, of course they’re not. But the reason some people still ask this question, is because in the olden days eggs were roped in with milk and yogurt under the term “dairy”. But just because you find them in your supermarket near the milk cartons, doesn’t make them part of the milk family.
The nutritional makeup of eggs are very different from dairy products. An egg contains 75 calories vs. 42 calories in a glass of milk. It comprises of 5 grams fat, 7 grams high-quality protein, 1.6 grams saturated fat and 1 gram carbohydrates. It also contains vitamins, iron, minerals as well as carotenoids and potent nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Why would people think eggs are dairy?
Both milk and eggs are animal byproducts, so this could be the reason why some people might ask the question, ”Are eggs dairy?” To elaborate on the dairy definition, it is the byproduct of mammary glands such as cows or goats milk. Dairy includes any milk-based product. This official definition dates back to 1915, formulated by the American National Dairy Council.
Eggs come from birds, which are not mammals, so they are very far removed from dairy. Further good news, is that eggs are gluten free as well. The protein mixture that creates gluten, is not present in eggs. So you can order that delicious eggs benedict breakfast as many times as you like!
The two things that eggs and dairy do have in common, are that they are animal byproducts and both are quite high in protein.
Are eggs meat?
If eggs aren’t dairy, could you classify them as a meat? They are high in protein, so that would kind of make sense. Like I said, they are classified as an animal byproduct, but they are not included in the dairy category. The United State Department of Agriculture includes eggs in the "meat and beans" category on the food pyramid.
I do understand people asking the question, ”Are eggs dairy?” when they look at a raw egg. But once the egg is cooked and hard, one would rather ask, “Are eggs meat?” If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you would definitely agree with the meat classification. But the eggs you buy in the supermarket are not fertilized, so you don’t have to worry about consuming a chick.
Studies claim that eating eggs for breakfast can help you to eat up to 500 less calories during the day.
So, what are eggs?
I hope I don’t put you off from eating eggs ever again with the following analogy, but this is basically what eggs are - a hen’s body works like a human female body. Whether or not they get, uhm, laid – their bodies will still produce an egg. But unlike their human equivalent, the hen produces more than just one or two eggs at a time.
But this process of hens producing eggs so regularly is not natural, it is the handiwork of genetic manipulation. Modern hens are bred to lay between 250 to 300 eggs per year. In the wild, hens lay only about 10 to 15 eggs each year, and only during breeding season. To set your mind at ease, eggs are not baby chickens because they remain unfertilized. It takes about a day for a hen’s body to produce an egg. This includes creating the shell that will hold the yolk and the egg white.
Benefits of eating eggs
Eggs are considered to be among the most nutritious foods you can consume. Eggs contain various nutrients necessary for your daily nutritional intake, including Vitamin A; Vitamin B2, B5, B6 and B12; Phosphorus, Folate and Selenium. It also contains Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Zinc as well as Calcium.
If you don’t overdo it, eggs are good for your cholesterol levels. The more eggs you eat, the less cholesterol your liver will produce each day. The trick is to keep moderation in mind, especially if you already struggle with maintaining your cholesterol levels.
In fact, eggs can help you raise your HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, the “good” type. Eggs can also help regulate the “bad” type of cholesterol, LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) by changing the particles from small to large LDL, which in turn will reduce your heart disease risk.
Furthermore eggs contain the antioxidants, Zeaxanthin and Lutein, responsible for keeping your eyes healthy. These two antioxidants help to counteract the natural degenerative processes. They accumulate in the retina and can considerably reduce macular degeneration and cataracts risks.
Eggs are a very good source of high-quality protein and it also contains all the essential amino acids. Proteins are called the main building blocks of your body, so it is crucial that you consume enough of them in your everyday diet. A single, large egg can contain up to 6 grams of protein. The amino acids found in eggs in turn help your body process the proteins.
Eating eggs regularly can also help you to lose weight more effectively. They score high on the Satiety Index, measuring the ability of foods to create a feeling of fullness and to help reduce further calorie intake. So by eating an egg for breakfast, you will eat less the rest of the day.
Wrapping up - Are eggs dairy?
So if anyone asks you, ”Are eggs dairy?” or “Are eggs meat?”, you can just explain that eggs are what they are – an integral part of our diets, providing us with a wide range of vitamins and nutrients that we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We’ve been eating them for centuries and breakfast just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Whoever decided to try the first egg, was a brilliant person and we shall forever be grateful for their discovery! What’s your favorite egg dish? Mine is French Toast.