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Are Eggs Dairy?

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Ask Alisa, Nutrition Headlines with 12 Comments
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Q: Melinda – My son was diagnosed with a dairy allergy, does this mean he also needs to avoid eggs? Are eggs dairy?

A: Alisa – Be sure to have your doctor clarify your son’s allergy. Is he allergic to milk specifically, or is he also allergic to eggs? In most cases, a dairy allergy refers to milk products only, though some doctors may still use prior terminology. Plus, it is not that uncommon to see a milk and egg allergy combination in kids.

Though frequently found in or near the dairy section of grocery stores, eggs are rarely considered a dairy food by modern definitions. In the past, the term “dairy” often encompassed both milk and eggs, but today they are recognized as separate foods. This is important since the nutritional make-up of eggs is very different from milk (including those allergenic proteins). Lumping the two together can cause confusion to both allergic and non-allergic individuals.

To clarify, both eggs and milk are animal byproducts, but when specifically asked, “Are eggs dairy?,” my answer is “no.” We define dairy more specifically as the byproduct of the mammary glands of mammals like cows or goats; or in other words, milk. Thus dairy would include any  milk or milk-based product (cheese, cream, butter, etc.).

Who decided on this definition? Well, of course there is Wikipedia with a nice clear explanation. But, I went a bit further and looked to the big guys for clarification, the National Dairy Council. The NDC was established back in 1915, with the mission of educating the public on “milk and milk products.” Just like the bulk of U.S. dairy farmers, the National Dairy Council’s work revolves around milk, not eggs.

Aside from those who follow a vegan diet or who have an egg allergy or intolerance, eggs are suitable for dairy-free dieters. Nonetheless, to accommodate those who follow a vegan diet, or who have multiple food allergies, the recipes in Go Dairy Free have also been tested without eggs, and we post recipes on this website noting if they are also egg-free and/or vegan whenever possible. All of our recipes are milk-free, but look for either of those labels (and of course, check the recipe!) if you are also avoiding eggs.

For more dairy-free Q&A topics, see our Ask Alisa Page.

Are eggs dairy? Fortunately, no!

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About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

12 Comments

  1. Dreamy No Mayo Deviled Eggs - Go Dairy FreeNovember 16, 2012 at 5:35 amReply

    [...] diet party-goers. If you confuse eggs with dairy, don’t worry, you’re not alone! See my post Are Eggs Dairy? for a complete [...]

  2. Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free: The Whole Food Guide & CookbookDecember 13, 2012 at 8:48 amReply

    [...] egg-free recipes are noted. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone! See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? If you need a dairy-free cookbook that also has tested egg-free and vegan options, see my other [...]

  3. Apple Pecan French Toast Muffins Recipe - Go Dairy FreeDecember 23, 2012 at 6:19 amReply

    [...] If you prefer vegan or egg-free French toast muffins, a little experimentation may be in order. In this recipe, the egg acts primarily as a binder. Personally, I would trial flax eggs, or even some mashed banana or pumpkin! Both work great in making vegan French toast, so they could also translate well to French toast muffins! If you confuse eggs with dairy, don’t worry, you’re not alone! See this post for guidance: Are Eggs Dairy? [...]

  4. Broccoli "“Cheese”" Dairy-Free Souffle Recipe - Go Dairy FreeApril 6, 2013 at 9:34 amReply

    [...] you are someone who confuses eggs with dairy, don’t fret, you’re not alone. See the explanation of eggs here. If eggs aren’t a worry for you, then enjoy this dairy-free [...]

  5. Dairy-Free Lime Bars - Go Dairy FreeJune 9, 2013 at 8:43 amReply

    [...] texture. If you are someone who confuses eggs with dairy, you’re not alone! See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? For egg-free, try the filling in one of these vegan recipes, using lime in place of the lemon: Joy [...]

  6. Dairy-Free and Easy Angel Food Cake Recipe - Go Dairy FreeJuly 3, 2013 at 7:54 amReply

    [...] (If you are confusing eggs for dairy, you’re not alone, see this post for an explanation: Are Eggs Dairy?) As a result, angel food cake is virtually fat free, and can be kept light and delicious with a [...]

  7. Old-Fashioned Dairy-Free Blueberry Muffins Recipe - Go Dairy FreeSeptember 22, 2013 at 5:03 amReply

    […] As noted these are “just” dairy-free blueberry muffins when baked as is, not vegan or egg-free (though they are naturally soy-free, tree nut-free, and peanut-free). If you confuse eggs with dairy, you are not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? […]

  8. Artichoke Rice Salad Recipe with a Hint of Curry - Go Dairy FreeOctober 10, 2013 at 11:30 amReply

    […] Note that mayonnaise is naturally dairy-free – it is an emulsion of eggs and oil, often with some additives. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you are not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?. […]

  9. Easy Frosted Grapes Recipe - Go Dairy FreeNovember 8, 2013 at 11:23 amReply

    […] This recipe is naturally dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, tree nut-free and vegetarian. It does use egg whites. If you are someone who confuses eggs with dairy, you are not alone. For clarification, see this post: Are Eggs Dairy? […]

  10. Dairy-Free Sweet Potato Casserole - Go Dairy FreeNovember 12, 2013 at 7:13 pmReply

    […] pecans. For those of you who confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? Concerned about coconut? See this post: Are coconut products a concern for tree nut […]

  11. Decadently Dairy-Free Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipe - Go Dairy FreeNovember 15, 2013 at 9:20 amReply

    […] feat. For those of you who confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?. I don’t have a quick and easy modification for this recipe, but consider a completely […]

  12. Coconut Dairy-Free Creme Caramel Recipe - Go Dairy FreeJanuary 18, 2014 at 7:47 amReply

    […] This recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, and vegetarian. Note that this dairy-free creme caramel does contain eggs. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you are not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? […]

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