What Food Category Is Eggs? [See Answer Here]

Eggs are the usual go-to breakfast for most Americans, and many people consider eggs dairy. But what food category is egg exactly?

Well, eggs belong to the protein food category, along with seafood, poultry, nuts, seeds, meat, and beans. This is because they all contain high levels of protein.

In this article, I will discuss the nutritional value of eggs, and why they are not classified as meat, poultry, or dairy.

What are eggs?

Eggs are the hard shell bi-products of birds, most especially from domestic chickens. Although their primary role is to reproduce the species, most of them are not fertilized but are solely 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.

Why are eggs not considered meat?

They are not considered meat because they are not flesh. Meat is described as the flesh of mammals; since eggs are a byproduct, they are not cut from the chicken itself.

SEE: Are Eggs Considered Meat?

Why are eggs not considered dairy?

Because they are not milk products from chickens. Just because egg, 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 assume that eggs are not dairy products.

SEE: Is Ghee Dairy-Free or Not?

Why are eggs not considered poultry?

Because they are not birds. Poultry refers to the meat from avian species, and they include chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and guinea fowl. 

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

The eggs sold in the grocery store are not fertilized, and that means that they cannot become real chickens. If they were to be fertilized, then they could develop into chicken and be classified as poultry.

SEE: Substitute for Poultry Seasoning You Never Knew Existed

Why are eggs not considered vegetables?

Because they are not parts of plants. Vegetables are parts of plants that can be used as food; they include; carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, turnip, etc. By this definition, eggs are not classified under the vegetable or even fruit category.

SEE: Are Grapes A Fruit Or Vegetable?

What food category is eggs?

According to the USDA, eggs are classified under the protein food category. This is because they are not actual live animals but are animal products.

SEE: How Much Is 1 Egg White In Grams?

Are eggs healthy?

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

The zinc in them also aids your immune system and the iron, which helps in circulating oxygen through the bloodstream. It also contains vitamins that boost energy, tissue, and blood production.

SEE: Is Egg Fried Rice Healthy?

Is there any difference between eggs you eat and eggs that hatch?

While they are both identical by sight and have the same nutritional value. The only known difference is that one has the potential to develop into a full chicken while the other does not.

Can vegetarians eat eggs?

By the definition of eggs mentioned earlier, it is very okay for any vegetarian to eat eggs. This is because eggs are not flesh gotten 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, they can’t. A vegan is someone who excludes himself or herself from all animal products, and this is an attempt to reduce animal cruelty and exploitation. 

Since eggs are gotten from chickens, whether fertilized or unfertilized, they are considered animal products. Because of that, vegans abstain from eating eggs.

SEE: Are Bagels Vegan?


Is boiled egg healthier than fried?

They are both equal in nutritional value, so they are both healthy for you.

Should you replace meat with egg?

No, you shouldn’t. It would be best if you rotate between them since too much of anything has some side effects.

Does bread have eggs?

A certain variety of bread is made with eggs, but they are not common.

Conclusion: What food category are eggs?

Eggs are categorized under the protein food group, along with other proteins such as meat, poultry, and fish. This is because they are bi-products and not the actual chicken itself. And all eggs in grocery stores are unfertilized and have no potential of developing into chickens.

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you did, you should also see how long are scrambled eggs good for before they go bad.

Thank you for reading this article.