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What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have an Egg Allergy?

An Insight into Egg Allergy

Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies affecting children and adults. 

This type of allergy occurs when the immune system recognizes specific proteins in eggs as harmful. 

Consuming eggs by individuals with egg allergies triggers the immune system to perceive these proteins as threats, releasing chemicals like histamines that cause allergic reactions.

Recognizing the symptoms of an egg allergy is crucial for quick and effective management. Typical skin symptoms include hives, redness, or eczema. Digestive problems such as nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea may also occur. 

Additionally, respiratory symptoms can manifest as wheezing, coughing, or nasal congestion. It’s important to note that in severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur, causing life-threatening reactions that require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, even loss of consciousness. Therefore, it’s vital to be aware of the symptoms of an egg allergy and seek medical attention if necessary.

General Guidelines for Egg Allergy

If you, your child, or someone close to you has been diagnosed with an egg allergy, it is essential to take certain precautions to avoid allergic reactions. 

Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

1. Eliminate all forms of eggs from your diet. Read food labels carefully to stay clear of hidden sources of eggs in processed food.

2. Familiarize yourself with alternative names for eggs and egg-derived ingredients, such as Albumin, Ovalbumin, ovomucin, and others.

3. Educate your family members, friends, caregivers, teachers, and coworkers about your egg allergy to minimize the risk of accidental exposure.

4. When dining out, you must share your allergy with the staff and ask about ingredient details. Some restaurants may have allergen-free menus or may be able to make accommodations to ensure safety.

5. Always carry an epinephrine auto-injector(EpiPen) with you, and make sure your family members, friends, and coworkers know how to use it. If you or your child accidentally ingests eggs and experiences an allergic reaction, epinephrine can help reverse the symptoms and prevent a life-threatening situation.

6. Consult with an allergist for professional advice based on your needs.

General Guidelines For Egg Allergy

How Do You Read a Label for an Egg-Free Diet?

When following an egg-free diet, it is crucial to carefully examine food labels to ensure no hidden egg ingredients are present in the products. 

1. Scan the ingredient list for any mention of eggs or egg-derived products. Be aware of different terms that may indicate the presence of eggs.

2. Consider allergen warnings such as “May contain eggs”. If you come across “Processed in a facility that also processes eggs”, it is important to take these warnings seriously, as cross-contamination can occur.

3. Check for updated information, as food product formulations can change. Even if you’ve purchased a particular item before, recheck the label periodically for any ingredient updates or changes.

4. If you need clarification on a product, you can contact the manufacturer directly. 

5. Consider using food allergy apps or online databases to help quickly identify whether a product is safe for an egg-free diet. Some apps allow you to scan barcodes for instant information.

By following these practices, individuals on an egg-free diet can make informed choices, reduce the risk of accidental exposure, and enjoy a safe and satisfying eating experience.

Read A Label For An Egg Free Diet

What Foods Should One Avoid if One Has an Egg Allergy?

Exercise caution regarding your food if you are allergic to eggs. Several ingredients and food items may contain egg proteins. Here’s a list of some of them to watch out for:

  1. Albumin
  2. Apovitellin
  3. Eggnog
  4. Items with Egg wash – Egg wash is made from beaten eggs and is used to glaze pastries and bread before baking.
  5. Globulin 
  6. Livetin 
  7. Lysozyme 
  8. Mayonnaise – Yes, traditional mayonnaise is made with eggs as an emulsifier.
  9. Ovalbumin 
  10. Ovoglobulin 
  11. Ovomucin 
  12. Ovomucoid 
  13. Ovovitellin 
  14. Simplesse – Simplesse is a brand name for a fat substitute, typically made from egg or milk proteins. It may contain eggs, depending on the specific product.
  15. Vitellin 

These terms may appear on food and ingredient lists, so always read labels carefully. By being careful and avoiding these ingredients, you can safely reduce the risk of accidentally coming into contact with eggs and manage your egg allergy.

Unexpected Products Containing Eggs

Eggs are a versatile ingredient used in a wide range of food products. The list of surprising items made with eggs is extensive and includes many everyday products we might need to consider containing eggs.

Here’s a list of surprising items made with eggs: 

  1. Artificial flavoring – Some artificial flavorings may contain egg derivatives as stabilizers or carriers.
  2. Baked goods – Many baked goods contain eggs as a key ingredient for structure and moisture.
  3. Ice cream – Some ice cream recipes include eggs for richness and texture.
  4. Lecithin – Lecithin is often derived from eggs, although it can also be sourced from other ingredients like soy.
  5. Marzipan – Traditional marzipan recipes often include egg whites.
  6. Marshmallows – Many marshmallow recipes include egg whites as a key ingredient.
  7. Natural flavorings – Natural flavorings can sometimes contain egg-derived ingredients.
  8. Nougat – Some nougat recipes contain egg whites as a binding agent.
  9. Pasta – Some pasta recipes include eggs for texture and flavor.
  10. Pretzels – Pretzel recipes may include eggs as an ingredient.
  11. Protein mixes – Some protein mixes may contain egg protein as one of their components.
  12. Soups – Certain soups may use eggs as a thickening or binding agent.
  13. Wine – Wine does not typically contain eggs or egg-derived ingredients. However, some winemakers may use egg whites during the clarification process.

What Can Eat If You Have an Egg Allergy?

If you suffer from an egg allergy, there is still a wide variety of foods that you can incorporate into your diet.

Here are some options:

  • Lean meats like chicken, turkey or fish. 
  • Plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, tofu, or edamame. 
  • Whole grains like quinoa, rice and oats. Bread and pasta made without eggs (check labels for egg-free options). 
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and more
  • Avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil. 
  • Baked goods made using egg substitutes.
  • Snacks such as popcorn, pretzels, and chips (check labels for added ingredients)
  • Egg-free desserts like sorbet, dairy-free ice cream, and certain types of cookies or cakes made without eggs. 

With careful consideration and wise food choices, sustaining a nutritious and pleasant diet is possible despite an egg allergy.

When Should One Visit An Allergy Expert?

If you suspect that you or someone you know is allergic to eggs, seeking medical attention for a proper diagnosis and help to manage it is important. Our expert allergists perform tests to confirm the allergy and recommend ways of managing it.

If you experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis, seek emergency medical care immediately. Egg allergies can be a severe and potentially life-threatening condition, but with proper management and precautions, individuals with an egg allergy can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

If you’re interested in further discussion regarding your individual needs related to egg allergy, consider contacting Dr. Reshamwala for personalized advice and assistance. You may contact our team at Frontier Allergy at 512-382-1933 to schedule a consultation or to discuss any questions or concerns related to your egg allergy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Egg Allergy:

Why are some individuals allergic to eggs?

Egg allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly identifies proteins in eggs as harmful invaders, triggering an allergic reaction. The exact cause of why some individuals develop allergies while others do not is not fully understood, but genetics and environmental factors likely play a role.

Which part of the egg contains the allergic proteins?

The eggs’ allergic proteins are found in egg whites and yolks. The two main proteins responsible for most egg allergies are Ovalbumin (found in egg whites) and ovomucoid (found in whites and yolks).

Can I eat foods that contain egg whites if I am allergic to egg yolks?

No, eating foods containing egg whites is not safe if you are allergic to egg yolks, as the allergenic proteins are found in both parts of the egg.

 Do I need to avoid all forms of eggs?

Yes, individuals with an egg allergy should avoid all forms of eggs, including cooked, raw, and partially cooked eggs. 

Can I eat eggs from other birds, such as quail or duck, if I am allergic to chicken eggs?

 Eating eggs from other birds is not safe if you are allergic to chicken eggs, as the allergenic proteins are similar across various egg types.

Are there hidden sources of eggs in processed foods?

Yes, eggs can be hidden in processed foods under various names (e.g., Albumin, Globulin, lecithin). Always read food labels carefully, as manufacturers are required to list common allergens.

Can I develop an egg allergy as an adult?

Yes, it is possible to develop an egg allergy as an adult, even if you have previously consumed eggs without any issues. If you have any concerns or questions about egg allergies, speak with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and management tips.

 Is there a cure for egg allergies?

Currently, there is no cure for egg allergies. Management involves strict avoidance, developing an allergy action plan, and having emergency medication (epinephrine) on hand.

 Can I outgrow an egg allergy?

While some children may outgrow their egg allergies, it is less common in adults. It’s essential to consult with an expert before reintroducing eggs into your diet.

Written/Reviewed by: Dr. Neha Reshamwala
NPI number: 1780874578
Page last reviewed:

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