I'm hearing a lot of confusion around this. Some people say that they were taught that egg yolks had gluten. So they've only been eating egg white omelets, or I've heard people had heard that pasteurized eggs don't have gluten, but unpasteurized do so they're looking for pasteurized eggs in the United States.
Or I also heard people looking only for eggs where the chickens eat a gluten-free diet so that the eggs don't have gluten in them. So what's the deal, Ashley, what's the truth?
I'm happy to clarify in this blog, I'm Ashley Oswald functional medicine dietitian and founder of Oswald Digestive Clinic, where we help people improve and eliminate bothersome gut issues like gas, bloat diarrhea, constipation, and more.
So let's get into it.
Long story short, eggs do not have gluten period.
Let me explain why. So first of all, the yolks have phospholipids, saturated fats, and some other nutrients, but not gluten. So really you're not, it's no different if you're eating the yolk or the white, if the chicken is eating gluten grains, its body and digestion break down that gluten into the resulting amino acids that are then found in the egg.
So no, you do not have that gluten structure in the eggs. Pasteurization does not matter at all. In the United States, most eggs are not pasteurized, which is why it's recommended to not eat raw eggs.
But if you want to be more cautious, maybe you have a poor immune system and you're going through chemotherapy. You can find pasteurized eggs in the United States. So again, no gluten and eggs period.
Now, another question I often have about eggs is regarding the omega 3's:
Ash, I'm looking at these cartons. Some of them say high omega-3s, some of them don't, why is that? What are the farmers doing?
So what's going on is that the farmers are feeding the chicken flax seed. And yes, that can result in a higher amount of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats in the egg, which is a great thing, because most people are low in omega-3 fats.
And if you have too much of a ratio of, or a too high ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s, that per the research shows a more inflammatory state, you want to get those omega-3s up, which is why it's recommended to eat, you know, fresh, clean, well-sourced fish to get those up and eggs, with the chickens eating flax. So high omega threes is another way to do this.
And it's probably better for the chicken's health as well to be getting some of those flax seeds in. Because of cross-contamination, you can find and buy gluten-free oats. What can happen? What often happens is that people go on a gluten-free eating plan or diet because they want to feel better, their gut's wonky, and they just wanna feel better.
They do it, they feel better. So then they continue avoiding gluten, which is fine. But I also want to share that it might be because of how much you've decreased fructans in your eating that you're feeling better. So if your gas and bloat diarrhea, and constipation got a lot better, it might be the fructans.
It might not actually be the gluten, which means you might tolerate just regular oats that have a little bit of cross-contamination of gluten. And it's really certainly a bigger conversation than this.
If you think this is going on with you or if you've avoided gluten, but you're still having gut issues, I would really encourage you to book an appointment at our clinic.
We do accept some health insurance now, so many of our clients get full coverage, which is awesome. So you can schedule that on this website. We also have a FREE GUIDE: 5 ways to improve gut health.