Are Egg Whites Vegan?

By Olivia

Yes, egg whites are considered vegan. They do not contain any animal flesh or embryos, making them a suitable option for those following a vegan diet. However, it is important to note that the concept of veganism extends beyond the absence of animal products in food. It also encompasses ethical considerations and the avoidance of any form of animal exploitation. Therefore, some vegans may choose to avoid egg whites due to concerns about the egg industry and animal welfare.

Nutritional Value of Egg Whites

Egg whites are known for their high protein content and are often consumed by individuals looking to increase their protein intake. A single egg white, which typically weighs around 33 grams, contains approximately 3.6 grams of protein and only 17 calories. In addition to protein, egg whites are low in fat, cholesterol-free, and contain essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Eggs vs. Egg Whites

While egg whites are considered vegan, the same cannot be said for whole eggs. The yolk, which is the yellow part of the egg, contains cholesterol and is derived from the reproductive system of a chicken. Therefore, it is not suitable for those following a vegan diet. However, some individuals who classify themselves as “eggs-vegetarians” may consume eggs but exclude other animal products from their diet.

Alternatives to Egg Whites

For individuals who avoid egg whites due to ethical reasons or allergies, there are several vegan alternatives available. These alternatives can be used in a variety of recipes that call for egg whites, such as meringues or angel food cakes. Some popular vegan alternatives to egg whites include:

  • Aquafaba: The liquid obtained from cooked chickpeas or the liquid found in canned chickpeas. It can be whipped and used as a replacement for egg whites in many recipes.
  • Flaxseeds or Chia Seeds: When mixed with water, these seeds form a gel-like consistency that can be used as a binding agent in baked goods.
  • Commercial Egg Replacers: Many brands offer egg replacers made from plant-based ingredients, which can be used in various dishes.

The Egg Industry and Animal Welfare

While egg whites themselves do not contain animal products, the egg industry raises concerns among some vegans due to the treatment of hens. Hens in conventional egg production systems are often confined to small cages with limited room to move, which raises ethical concerns. Additionally, the practice of culling male chicks, as they are not suitable for egg-laying, is a common practice in the industry, raising further ethical questions. Therefore, some vegans choose to avoid not only egg yolks but also egg whites to reflect their commitment to animal welfare.

Egg Whites in Various Cuisines

Egg whites play a significant role in various cuisines around the world and are featured in numerous dishes. Here are a few examples:

CuisineExample Dish
JapaneseMatcha Sponge Cake


In summary, egg whites are considered vegan as they do not contain animal flesh or embryos. However, the decision to consume egg whites depends on an individual’s personal beliefs and commitment to animal welfare. For those who avoid egg whites, there are various vegan alternatives available that can be used in a wide range of recipes. Ultimately, the choice comes down to understanding the ethical considerations associated with the egg industry and aligning them with personal values.