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Wednesday
Jan252012

Help, I have an Egg Allergy!

Written by Anika DeCoster, RD, CPT, CISSN – LifeTime WeightLoss

Aversions, sensitivities and allergies to eggs are on the high rise!  In fact, at Life Time we offer a food sensitivity test and our top food culprit continues to be the incredible, edible egg.  And why wouldn’t it be?  The egg is one of the most recommended high-protein, breakfast foods and is used as an ingredient in just about every baked good or processed food.  With our environmentally changing guts and overexposure to certain foods, many of us are developing sensitivities or even full blown allergies to this food.  If this isn’t you, consider yourself lucky!  But for my clients and members who have been instructed to avoid eggs due to sensitivity, allergy or elimination diet, read on below to learn your top five concerns answered!

Concern 1:  Can I consume egg whites or egg substitute?

No and no.  Most of the time, if you are sensitive to eggs, you are more likely to be sensitive to the white, or protein, of the egg.  It is actually possible to be sensitive to both egg white and egg yolk or to just one of them.  But unless your food sensitivity test differentiates between yolk and white, it is best to avoid the entire egg together.  Egg substitutes, found in the dairy section, do actually contain eggs and would not be safe to consume if you have a sensitivity or allergy.

Concern 2:  What about Chicken?

A fully grown egg is actually okay!  In most cases, people that are sensitive to eggs are able to eat chicken and other poultry just fine.  The antibodies (produced by your immune system in response to allergies) that develop against eggs identify chicken as a non-egg.  So eat away, but of course, make sure for quality control you consume organic, pasture-raised chicken.

Concern 3:  What about Breakfast?

The egg has literally become the universal food for breakfast!  That’s because it packed with natural fat and complete protein surely to keep you satisfied throughout the morning and eliminate energy imbalances.  But, there are plenty of other options for protein in the morning.  Some favorite breakfast proteins include natural bacon, sausage or Canadian bacon, but don’t be scared to scramble up some steak and veggies or even blend up a protein shake to start your day!

Concern 4:  How do I know if a food contains eggs?

If a processed or packaged food contains egg, the federal government does require the food package to say so with a “contains egg” disclaimer.  But it is still important to know how to identify egg on the ingredient list as well as double check for the potential allergy warning.  Eggs are in a variety of our foods, including bakery items, mayonnaise, meringue, some protein shakes, canned soups and salad dressings, so make sure you are checking those labels .  Below is a list of different names for eggs that might be on your food label:

Egg (powdered, dried, white, yolk,  or solids), Egg substitute, Albumin, Lecithin, Globulin, Eggnog, mayonnaise, meringue, ovalbumin, ovomucin, livetin, ovomucoid, ovovitellin, and lysozyme.

Concern 5:  I love to bake.  What do I replace the egg with?

Eggs can be an important ingredient in baking, often used to hold the recipe together or to help it rise.  But there are a few substitutions you can utilize to help make your favorite recipes.  A couple of homemade options to substitute 1 egg include:

  • 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp liquid, 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened fruit puree
  • 1 ½ tbsp water, 1 ½ tbsp oil, 1 tsp baking powder

Otherwise, for convenience purposes, you can find powered, egg replacers (also called vegan egg substitutes) or xanthum gum found at your local grocery or health food store.

Do you think you have an egg sensitivity or allergy?  Check out our Food Allergy Panel to confirm! Share your experience or thoughts below. 

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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Reader Comments (6)

I've just recently removed egg from my diet to see if it's been contributing to my RA inflammation. I'm 1 1/2 weeks into it and it's been really difficult. I hadn't realized how often I was eating eggs - they were one of my "fall back" options when I needed something quick and easy. So for breakfast I've had to be creative. I've been eating ground beef or turkey with a veggie like okra, broccoli or cauliflower - sometimes a few diced red potatoes. A few times I even had a "dinner" type food for breakfast - mahi, brussels sprouts and parsnips one day and spaghetti squash with grnd beef and red sauce another day. Every time I've gone into an "elimination" mode I have been forced to be a little creative - change has been uncomfortable but rewarding. As much as I don't want to give up eggs, I'm hoping for good results. No food is worth the pain in my feet ...

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracie Tipton

Tracie - I've been off eggs for 3 months after discovering my sensitivity through blood testing. The results for me: amazing decline in levels of soreness and inflammation-type pain. one of my favorite non-egg breakfasts is similar to what you're suggesting (dinner-type foods): chicken breast chunks with a few strips of bacon, pico de gallo, and avocado. Creativitiy will save us from food bordem!

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Kriegler, RD/LD

Paul - that's encouraging for me to "hear." How long were you off of eggs before you started noticing a difference? I had allergy testing done back in 2009 and eggs were tested but didn't show up as an issue - but lots of other things did. I've wondered if I should have that test redone at some point. Chicken is a great idea for breakfast! I'll have to remember that for next week's meal planning! :)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracie Tipton

Tracie - I noticed a difference within the first 2 weeks. Then again, I had confirmed my sensitivity to both egg whites and yolks through IgG blood testing. Unfortunately for me, I was sensitive to a few other foods too, but have since eliminated them and will re-test for sensitivity changes in a few months. Can't wait to have a chance to order eggs at a restaurant or make them at home again!

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Kriegler, RD/LD

I didn't realize that the sensitivity would change over time. I thought that once something showed up like that, it was something I would have to avoid for the rest of my life. There were some things on my test like rabbit that I hadn't eaten in years but showed as a slight sensitivity to it (ate a lot of it as a kid). My tests were IgG and IgA. And I don't think that any blood test would convince me that I'm ok to ever eat wheat/gluten ever again. That's some bad stuff - for me anyway! But looks like it might be a good idea to budget the $$ for that allergy test again .. :) I'm at least curious now to see what might be different.

January 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracie Tipton

Great advice, definitely worth mentioning to all our friends, thanks again for the excellent suggestions.

March 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele

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