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Are Eggs Considered a Dairy Product?

Health + Wellness
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By Adda Bjarnadottir, MS

For some reason, eggs and dairy are often grouped together.


Therefore, many people speculate whether the former are considered a dairy product.

For those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk proteins, it's an important distinction to make.

This article explains whether eggs are a dairy product.

Eggs Are Not a Dairy Product

Eggs are not a dairy product. It's as simple as that.

The definition of dairy includes foods produced from the milk of mammals, such as cows and goats (1Trusted Source).

Basically, it refers to milk and any food products made from milk, including cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt.

On the contrary, eggs are laid by birds, such as hens, ducks, and quail. Birds are not mammals and don't produce milk.

While eggs may be stored in the dairy aisle and are often grouped with dairy, they're not a dairy product.

Summary

Eggs are not a dairy product, as they're not produced from milk.

Why Eggs Are Often Categorized With Dairy

Many people group eggs and dairy together.

Though they're not related, they do have two things in common:

  • They are animal products.
  • They are high in protein.

Vegans and some vegetarians avoid both, as they're derived from animals — which may add to the confusion.

Furthermore, in the United States and many other countries, eggs are stored in the dairy aisle of grocery stores, which could lead people to believe they're related.

However, this could simply be because both products require refrigeration (2Trusted Source).

Summary

Eggs and dairy products are often grouped together. They're both animal products but otherwise not related.

Eggs and Lactose Intolerance

If you're lactose intolerant, it is perfectly safe to eat eggs.

Lactose intolerance is a digestive condition in which your body cannot digest lactose, the main sugar in milk and dairy products.

It's estimated that about 75% of adults worldwide cannot digest lactose (3Trusted Source).

People with lactose intolerance may develop digestive symptoms like gas, stomach cramps, and diarrhea after ingesting this substance (3Trusted Source).

However, eggs are not a dairy product and don't contain lactose or any milk protein.

Therefore, similarly to how eating dairy won't affect those with an egg allergy, eating eggs will not affect those with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance — unless you're allergic to both.

Summary

Since eggs are not a dairy product, they don't contain lactose. Therefore, those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk proteins can eat eggs.

Extremely Nutritious and Healthy

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat (4Trusted Source).

Despite being relatively low in calories, eggs are rich in good-quality protein, fat, and a variety of nutrients.

One large egg contains (5):

  • Calories: 78
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Selenium: 28% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Riboflavin: 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 23% of the DV

Eggs also contain smaller amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral that your body needs.

What's more, they're one of the very few dietary sources of choline, a very important nutrient that most people don't get enough of (6).

Plus, they're very filling and have been shown to be a great weight loss food (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

In fact, studies indicate that the simple act of eating eggs for breakfast can cause people to eat up to 500 fewer calories over the course of the day (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

Summary

Eggs are low in calories but highly nutritious. They're also very filling and may aid weight loss.

The Bottom Line

Though eggs and dairy products are both animal products and often stored in the same supermarket aisle, they're otherwise unrelated.

Dairy is produced from milk, whereas eggs come from birds.

Thus, despite the widespread misunderstanding, eggs are not a dairy product.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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