What Food Category Are Eggs? Dairy Or Protein

There’s been a lot of dispute over what food category eggs belong to. Eggs have been called many things. They have also been made into many things.

Some people call eggs dairy, some call them meat, and some call them poultry. If you have called eggs any of these, I’m afraid you’ve been getting it wrong.

Eggs belong to the protein food category, along with seafood, poultry, nuts, seeds, meat, and beans. They are classified as proteins because of their high levels of protein.

There are other reasons why eggs are best classified as protein. Read this article to find out.

What are eggs?

Eggs are the hard shell byproducts of birds, most especially from domestic chickens. Although their primary role is to reproduce the species, most of them are not fertilized. They are collected for consumption.

Nutritional information on eggs

According to the USDA, a 44g serving of egg, whether poached or boiled, contains:

  • Calories: 62.5g
  • Protein: 5.5g
  • Fat: 4.2g
  • Sodium: 189mg
  • Calcium: 24.6mg
  • Iron: 0.8mg
  • Phosphorus: 86.7mg
  • Magnesium: 5.3mg
  • Zinc: 0.6mg
  • Lutein: 220mg
  • zeaxanthin: 220mg
  • Selenium: 13.4mg
  • Potassium: 60.3mg
  • Cholesterol: 162mg
  • Folate: 15.4mg

It also contains Vitamin A, B, D, E, and K, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, sugar, and cobalamin.

What food category are eggs?

According to the USDA, eggs are classified under the protein food category. Eggs are animal byproducts, not live animals. They are very high in protein which is why protein is the most ideal category for classification.

Why are eggs not considered meat?

Eggs are not considered meat because they are not flesh. Meat is the flesh of mammals. On the other hand, eggs are a byproduct of birds; they are not cut from the chicken itself.

Why are eggs not considered dairy?

Eggs are not milk products; they cannot be called dairy products. Just because eggs, milk, and cheese are mostly sold in proximity at grocery stores doesn’t mean they are classified in the same category.

Diary refers to milk products from living animals such as cows and goats. They include cheese, butter, cream, and yogurt. By this definition, it is only logical to say that eggs are not dairy products.

Why are eggs not considered poultry?

Eggs are not poultry because they are not birds. Poultry refers to the meat from avian species such as chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and guinea fowl. 

Remember that eggs are the byproducts and not the specie itself. So by this definition, they are not classified as poultry products.

The eggs sold in the grocery store are unfertilized, which means they cannot become real chickens. If they were fertilized, then there is a chance that they could develop into chickens.

Are eggs healthy?

Yes, eggs are very healthy. They contain similar amounts of nutrients in red meat and even poultry. Eggs are a great source of protein which your body needs to build bones, muscle, blood, enzymes, and hormones.

The zinc in eggs helps to boost the immune system. Iron helps in circulating oxygen through the bloodstream. It also contains vitamins that boost energy, tissue, and blood production.

Can vegetarians eat eggs?

By the definition of eggs, vegetarians can eat eggs because they are not flesh from chicken but are a byproduct.

Since they are not fertilized, they have no potential to become chickens. This makes it possible for vegetarians to include them in their diet without compromising their beliefs.

Can vegans eat eggs?

No, eggs are not suitable for a vegan diet. All eggs, fertilized or unfertilized, are considered animal products. A vegan diet, on the other hand, leaves out all food items with animal traces.


Is boiled egg healthier than fried?

Yes, it is. Boiled eggs are low in calories and fat, which makes them healthier than fried eggs. Fried eggs are prepared with other ingredients, such as oil and butter, that raise the calories and fat content.

Should you replace meat with egg?

No, not entirely. Eggs can be considered meat serving, but they are not meat. You can replace meat with eggs in a meal, but it shouldn’t be a permanent thing.

Both foods are great sources of proteins, but they also contain other nutrients you could benefit from. Moreover, the proteins in each have different amino acid compositions.

Can you eat eggs on a gluten-free diet?

If you are asking for ordinary boiled eggs, yes, you can. When you cook your eggs with other ingredients, they may no longer be gluten-free. Soy sauce and flour made from gluten grains are some of these ingredients.

What should you call eggs?

Eggs are protein foods. They are grouped with other protein foods such as meat, poultry, and fish. All foods in the protein category are rich sources of this nutrient.

Eggs are not poultry because they are byproducts and not actual chicken. Eggs are also not dairy or true meat.

No matter what eggs are called, they are highly nutritious and versatile. Now that you know what eggs are, go for the healthiest and freshest eggs.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, you should also see how long you can keep scrambled eggs before they go bad.

Thank you for reading this article.