Eggs are highly nutritious, delicious, and versatile. Consumption of eggs also benefits your health in several ways. This explains why they are widely used in various recipes like baking or stan- alone food.
In many cases, eggs are used alongside milk, or they can perfectly substitute one another. And for some reason, eggs can be grouped together with dairy as one thing. This has brought marked confusion, with many people wondering whether eggs are really a dairy product. There are clear differences between the two, such as lactose intolerance or sensitivity to milk protein. This article will focus on highlighting these differences and tell if eggs can be grouped as or are dairy products.
Are Eggs Really a Dairy Product?
Your confusion should end right here. Literally, eggs are not and will never be a dairy product. It is just simple like that. The National Institutes of Health defines dairy as all kinds of foods derived from the milk of mammals, such as sheep, cows, and goats. In other words, dairy is any food product containing milk like yogurt, cheese, cream, and butter.
On the contrary, eggs are obtained from birds which are literally not mammals and do not give out milk. These include quail, hens, and ducks. In as much as eggs can be stored together with dairy or grouped with dairy, they are not a product of dairy. Then why do people often group eggs with dairy?
Eggs and Dairy – Why the Grouping?
At the shops or eateries, many people categorize eggs together with dairy. Why? You have just seen the clear differences between these two superfoods. However, they both have two things in common. One, eggs and dairy are products from animals, and secondly, they are excellent sources of high-quality protein. Eggs and dairy are not on the list of foods allowed for vegans and vegetarians since they are obtained from animals. This just worsens the confusion.
Some people also group together eggs and dairy, storing eggs in the same place as for dairy in grocery stores. Such a practice easily sways people into thinking that eggs are dairy. It would be best to say that they are both stored in the dairy aisle because they require the same storage condition of refrigeration.
Can I Develop Lactose Intolerance with Eggs?
Logically, no. Those who are intolerant to lactose can safely take eggs. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and dairy products. In some people, lactose cannot be digested, which results in an uncomfortable condition called lactose intolerance. The National Institutes of Health estimates that globally, up to 75 percent of adults cannot digest lactose. Lactose intolerance presents with uncomfortable feelings such as bloating, gassing, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
On the other hand, there is no association between eggs and lactose intolerance. In fact, eggs do not contain lactose or milk protein. Therefore, eating eggs can’t affect a person with lactose intolerance or allergic to milk, and consumption of any dairy product can’t affect a person with an egg allergy. This will only be otherwise if at all you are allergic to both.
The Health Benefits of Eggs
Eggs Are Highly Nutritious and Healthy
Eggs are a popular food because of their nutritional profile. Even if they are low in calories, eggs still pack high-quality protein and other beneficial nutrients. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one large egg provides 6 g of protein, 78 calories, 5 g of fat, 1 g of carbs, 78 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for selenium, 20 percent of the RDI for riboflavin, 23 percent of the RDI for vitamin B12, 6 percent of the RDI for vitamin A, 5 percent of the RDI for folate, 7 percent of the RDI for vitamin B5, and 9 percent of the RDI for phosphorus.
May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease, which is the leading cause of global fatalities, tends to occur when cholesterol, especially the “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, accumulates in the body. Fortunately, eating eggs may help lower their level while increasing that of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Evidences indicate that with increased “good” HDL cholesterol, your risk of heart disease and other health issues is lowered significantly. According to published studies, eggs may increase “good” HDL cholesterol by up to 10 percent.
Eating Eggs May Improve Your Eye Health
Macular degeneration and cataracts are common eye problems associated with aging. Including some nutrients and foods like eggs in your diet may help inhibit the degenerative processes that may cause poor eyesight. A good example of these nutrients includes zeaxanthin and lutein – powerful antioxidants that concentrate on the retina of your eye. These two nutrients are most abundant in the egg yolk. Frequently eating egg yolk may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Additionally, eggs contain decent amounts of vitamin A, which is an important nutrient in the prevention of blindness.
May Help Lower Triglycerides
Increased triglycerides in the blood increase the risk of heart disease. The nutritional profile of eggs varies greatly depending on what the hens were fed on and how they were raised. Hens fed on feeds enriched with omega-3 and pasture produce eggs with high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may significantly lower the levels of triglycerides in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
Eggs Provide High-Quality Protein
Eggs provide not only high-quality protein but also essential amino acids in a balanced ratio. Protein has several functions in the body, including building muscles, acting as enzymes, and many more. It would therefore be best if you consumed enough protein in your diet to help prevent some diseases. It may promote weight loss, lower blood pressure, and increase your muscle mass.
Eggs are often grouped together with dairy, and this makes some people think that eggs are dairy. However, eggs are laid by birds while milk is obtained from dairy mammals. Milk contains lactose while eggs don’t. With these few differences, eggs are not a dairy product.