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Are Eggs Gluten Free? What The Research Says In 2023
If you are gluten-free and want to experience the benefits of eating eggs, then you need to know the answer to the question: “Are eggs gluten-free?” Luckily for you, the answer is yes! Eggs are naturally gluten-free.
Of course, eggs can be prepared in ways that make them not gluten-free. Keep reading to learn how to include eggs in your gluten-free diet and explore gluten-free recipes.
Do Eggs Have Gluten?
Eggs are naturally gluten-free. The only foods containing gluten are wheat, rye, and barley. If you add any of those to your meal with eggs, then you consume gluten together with eggs. So eggs do not have gluten unless you add gluten-containing products or any cross-contamination occurs.
Why People Adopt A Gluten-Free Diet
Some people need to follow a gluten-free diet for health reasons. People who have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy may need to follow a gluten-free diet. These individuals need to follow a gluten-free diet to limit the symptoms of their disease.
When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, their body attacks the small intestine causing malabsorption, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. A gluten-free diet cannot cure celiac disease but can eliminate symptoms and prevent damage to the intestines.
Technically, people with a wheat allergy could have rye and barley, which contain gluten, but do not contain wheat. However, it may be easier to follow a gluten-free diet than a wheat-free diet because of product marketing and labeling.
For people with severe gluten sensitivity, cross-contamination can be a major concern. To avoid cross-contamination, they may keep a gluten-free kitchen. This means that no gluten enters the kitchen at all; thus, anyone who lives with them may also follow a gluten-free diet.
Some people also eat gluten-free because they want to lose weight or for a healthier diet. There is no scientific evidence that eating a gluten-free diet is effective for weight loss beyond the normal effects of caloric restriction or healthier than a balanced and nutritious diet, including gluten. You should consult a registered dietitian anytime you alter your diet or use supplements like gluten-free fat burners to lose weight.
Are All Eggs Gluten Free?
All eggs are naturally gluten-free. Eggs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, but they are all gluten-free! You are probably most familiar with the chicken egg. However, duck eggs, quail eggs, and fish eggs (also known as caviar) are also popular in several dishes. Some people even eat ostrich eggs as well.
Prepared eggs could incorporate wheat flour or be contaminated during preparation. In this case, the eggs would no longer be gluten-free. For example, popular egg dishes that are not gluten-free include quiche, strata, egg burritos, and eggs-in-a-basket. These egg dishes could all be made gluten-free by substituting gluten-free flour, bread, or tortillas.
Another important thing to note is that some restaurants put pancake batter in their pre-made egg mixtures. This is another reason that you should always notify restaurant staff of your food allergies.
Other foods that may sound gluten-free, like egg rolls or egg noodles actually do contain gluten. You could make gluten-free egg rolls or gluten-free egg noodles by replacing the wheat flour with a gluten-free substitute.
How To Know If Your Eggs Are Gluten-Free
Since cross-contamination can occur, you need to be vigilant about ensuring your food is gluten-free. The only way to be 100% certain that your food is gluten-free is to prepare it yourself at home. When eating at a restaurant, you simply have no idea if the utensils were properly cleaned.
If you are eating out, you should always inform the restaurant staff of your gluten-free diet. They may be able to modify items to meet your needs or help you pick the right item. You can ask them to provide you with a gluten-free certification for particular foods having the potential to include gluten that they use in meals and deserts
The industry standard for the term “gluten-free” refers to 20 particles per million of gluten. In packaged food, the term “gluten-free” is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration so that manufacturers can only use the label accurately. The FDA limits gluten to 20 ppm because most people with celiac disease can tolerate this small trace of gluten.
Suppose you are following a gluten-free diet plan due to celiac disease. In that case, you need to be extra strict about avoiding cross-contamination when preparing food at home and always look for gluten-free labels on packaged products.
Incorporating Eggs Into A Gluten-Free Diet
There are many ways that you can incorporate eggs into a gluten-free diet. Many egg dishes are already gluten-free, and even gluten-containing dishes can be modified to fit a gluten-free diet. Some people actually eat an egg-based diet, which could be gluten-free.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. It includes all essential amino acids. As such, they are typically paired with a food high in carbohydrates to create a balanced meal or snack. If you are on a gluten-free diet, you must be careful about which carbohydrates you pair with your eggs. Some gluten-free options include gluten-free toast, fruit, vegetables, potatoes, or beans.
Egg whites are also a popular product for their unique properties. Egg whites are nearly 100% protein and can be beaten into a stiff foam that is used in pastries. Additionally, egg white protein powder is a good option for individuals avoiding dairy or lactose. That being said, there are many other gluten-free protein powders available as well. One fun way to incorporate new things into your diet is using a gluten-free meal delivery plan.
Although eggs are a good source of some vitamins and minerals, you should always speak with a registered dietitian about your specific needs. You may want to try a personalized vitamin supplement to ensure you get all the necessary vitamins.
Here are some gluten-free egg dishes ideas:
- High-protein salads by including boiled eggs, greens, other vegetables, and fruits.
- Scrambled eggs with smoked meat.
- Shakshuka: An Israeli dish that consists of poached eggs in a spiced tomato sauce.
- Deviled eggs: A dish featuring peeled and halved hard-boiled eggs with a creamy egg yolk-based filling.
- Frittatas: An Italian dish similar to an omelet that typically includes beaten eggs, vegetables, and cheese.
- Cilbir: A Turkish dish combining poached eggs with garlicky yogurt sauce.
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Eggs are a great addition to a gluten-free diet. If you avoid gluten, then you only have to worry about what is added to your eggs. You should be especially careful of unexpected glutenous ingredients and cross-contamination at restaurants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, eggs are naturally gluten-free, so as long as you do not add any gluten-containing foods, then you can eat eggs on a gluten-free diet.
Eggs are gluten-free and dairy-free. Eggs are not considered dairy because they do not come from a mammal’s milk. Eggs are either their own category or sometimes categorized with poultry.
Scrambled eggs are gluten-free if no wheat ingredients are used. Always inform your restaurant staff of your allergy so that they can verify your food will be gluten-free.
Hard-boiled eggs are gluten-free. The only reason they may not be gluten-free is due to added ingredients or cross-contamination.
Eggs can be an excellent part of a well-balanced diet. Their nutritional value comes in the form of protein and fat. Egg products also provide some valuable vitamins and minerals.
Omelets are typically gluten-free; however, you should always clarify this with restaurant staff because some restaurants add pancake batter to their egg mixture.
+ 7 sources
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- Bascuñán, K.A., María Juliana Vespa and Araya, M. (2016). Celiac disease: understanding the gluten-free diet. [online] 56(2), pp.449–459. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-016-1238-5.
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- Luo, X., Wang, Q., Wu, Y., Duan, W.-S., Zhang, Y., Geng, F., Song, H., Huang, Q. and An, F.-P. (2022). Mechanism of effect of heating temperature on functional characteristics of thick egg white. [online] 154, pp.112807–112807. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2021.112807.