Eggs are a common food item laid by various bird species consisting of a protective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vitellus (egg yolk). The most commonly consumed eggs are chicken/hen eggs, duck and quail.
Egg yolks and whole eggs contain large amounts of protein and choline and are used in many recipes. Although eggs contain a high nutritional value health issues linked to eggs include cholesterol, salmonella contamination, egg intolerance and allergies to egg proteins.
A versatile ingredient, they are used in baking, mayonnaise, sauces, mousses, margarines, meringues, ice cream and as a binder to many processed foods. Eggs can be easily separated into the white and yolk with sometimes only part of the egg being used.
An egg intolerance or sensitivity is where the body presents digestive symptoms after the consumption of some egg products. A less severe condition than egg allergy, this condition can still be uncomfortable and embarrassing for the individual. Sometimes a person can be intolerant to the egg white or egg yolk and therefore not be affected by the other.
An egg allergy is a common food allergy in infants. Allergic reactions against egg white are more common than reactions against egg yolks. Reactions can be more severe than a digestive intolerance.
Common Lactose Intolerance, dairy sensitivity, and dairy allergy shared symptoms (less severe):
Nausea; sometimes vomiting
More acute egg allergy symptoms:
Swelling of the lips or face
Tightness in throat
Alternatives used in baking include rising agents or binding agents including ground flax seeds or potato starch flour.
Tofu can act as a binding agent and also makes a good substitute scrabbled egg
Extracted soya lecithin is used in processed foods as an inexpensive substitute for egg-derived lecithin. Chickpea brine also known as aquafaba, can replace egg whites in desserts such as meringues and mousses.
Vegetable derived emulsifiers and thickeners such as xanthan gum or guar gum are commonly used in sauces and processed foods.
Eggs are highly nutritious and are a good source of protein, containing omega 3 and 6 as well as vitamin A, B2, B6, folic acid, B12, vitamin D, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. Preparation can positively or negatively affect the nutrient value.
Replacing key nutrients when eliminating eggs
It is important to use alternative items in your diet when undertaking either a short or long term elimination diet to maintain nutrient balance.
Below a good examples or nutritional alternatives when eliminating eggs:
Vitamin A (Retinol)
Liver, beef, lamb, cod liver oil, mackerel, salmon, tuna, cheddar, cream cheese, butter, goat’s cheese
Beta Carotene (vitamin A)
Sweet potato, carrots, kale, spinach, collards, swiss chard, pak choi, butternut squash, pumpkin, cos lettuce, romaine lettuce, mango, dried apricots, prunes, peaches, melon, red peppers, tuna fish, mackerel
Brewer’s yeast, oats, buckwheat, brown rice, whole wheat, rye, peanuts, mushrooms, soybean flour and soybeans, split peas, pecans, sunflower seeds, lentils, cashews, chickpeas, broccoli, hazelnuts, peppers
Dried apricots, salmon, mackerel, tuna, monkfish, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, avocado, butternut squash, spinach, mushrooms, bananas, potatoes,
Brazil nuts, brown rice, rye, whole wheat, mushrooms, shrimp, sardines, oysters, tuna, sunflower seeds, liver, beef, turkey
Oats, brown rice, rye, whole wheat, quinoa, chicken, turkey, pork, liver, sardines, scallops, salmon, mackerel, crab, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews
Oysters, mussels, scallops, liver, mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines, crab, beef, milk, yogurt, Swiss cheese
Salmon, trout, swordfish, mackerel, tuna, buttermilk, some yogurt, mushrooms, fortified products
Watercress, kale, broccoli, tofu, low-fat mozzarella, low-fat cheddar, yogurt, pak choi, sugar snap peas, almonds
Intolerance and sensitivity tests
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IgE antibody blood-spot tests for acute or immediate symptoms. Which test is for you?