There are so many ways to prepare eggs that it's hard not to love them. Eggs are nutrient-dense, which means that they provide a high level of vitamins and minerals relative to the calories they contain. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and choline, and they also contain several B vitamins, along with vitamins A and D. Whether you boil, scramble, fry, or bake your eggs, they are handy and healthful (and won't raise your blood cholesterol levels, as was once feared).
Egg Nutrition Facts
A large egg contains 78 calories, 5g of fat, less than 1g carbohydrate, 6g of protein, and 147mg of choline, which supports memory and mood. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one large hard-boiled hen's egg(50g).
- Calories: 78
- Protein: 6g
- Choline: 147mg
Eggs are a low-carb food, providing less than 1 gram of carbohydrate in one large egg. They have a tiny amount of sugar and no fiber.
There are 5 grams of fat per large egg. About 1.6 grams is saturated fat, and the rest is polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.Preparing eggs with fat (like frying them in butter or oil) will add fat and calories to your meal. Most of the fat in an egg is contained in the yolk. The yolk provides about 55 calories worth of combined fat and protein.
Eggs area good source of high-quality, complete protein. Most of it is found in the egg white: There are 4 to 5 grams protein, 17 calories, and virtually no fat in a single large egg white. Egg whites are also a good source ofleucine, an amino acid that may help with weight loss.
Vitamins and Minerals
Eggsprovide important vitamins and minerals. Theycontain vitamin D (important for the absorption of calcium), phosphorus, vitamin A (for healthy vision,skin, andcell growth), and two B-complex vitamins that your body needs to convert food into energy. Eggs are also a very good source ofriboflavin, selenium, and choline.
In addition to the health benefits provided by eggs' micronutrients, the protein and fat in eggs is beneficial as well.
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Helps Maintain Muscle Mass
Eggs area good source of protein. Eatingfoods with proteincan help you tobuild and maintain strong muscles, which can become more difficult as we age.
Provides Healthy Fat
While eggs do contain saturated fat, they also provide both polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat, which are considered"good" fats because they have been shown to be helpful in lowering your LDL or "bad" cholesteroland boosting heart health. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats to about 13 grams per day if you typically consume about 2,000 calories daily.
Promotes Eye Health
Eggs are also highin the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, whichhelp protect our eyes frommacular degeneration (age-related loss of vision).
Supports Brain Health and Development
Choline, of which eggs are an excellent source, helpsboost cognitive developmentin utero and may alsoprotect us from age-related memory loss and other cognitive impairment.
Egg allergies are one of the most common allergies, especially in children. Symptoms may include mild rash or stomach pains and in severe cases may include anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition. If you suspect an egg allergy, seek the care of a qualified healthcare professional for personalized advice.
It is possible to be allergic to the egg white and/or egg yolk. An allergy to hen eggs may also mean that you are allergic to goose eggs and duck eggs, as well. Managing an egg allergy can be complicated because so many foods are prepared with eggs. However, since eggs are a major allergen, they must be identified on food labels, under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.
In the past, some vaccines—including the seasonal flu vaccine—were made with eggs. Egg-free vaccines are now available and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone get the flu vaccine, even people who are allergic to eggs.
Some people have concerns about the cholesterol in eggs, but dietary cholesterol (186 milligrams in a large egg) and blood cholesterol, which is tested to determine your risk for heart disease, are different. Current medical evidence suggests that eating foods that are high in dietary cholesterol will not significantly impact your risk for heart disease.Instead, reduce your saturated and trans fat intake to keep blood cholesterol levels at a healthy level.
There is no difference in nutritional quality between brown and white eggs (or any other color shell).There are,however, some eggs that may provide more nutritional value. For example, you'll see "Omega-3 eggs" in some stores. These eggs come from hens that have been fedflax seedsto raise the level of healthy omega-3 fat in their eggs. Additionally, hens that have been allowed to feed on greens, grubs, and other natural foods naturally produce eggs with more omega-3 fat. These eggs may be labeled as "pastured eggs."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines "free-range" eggs as: "produced by hens that are able to roam vertically and horizontally in indoor houses, and have access to fresh food and water, and continuous access to outdoors during their laying cycle." There is no regulation of the type of feed that these hens receive.
Similarly, there is also a standard for eggs labeled "cage-free." The USDA says the hens that lay these eggs must be "able to roam vertically and horizontally in indoor houses, and have access to fresh food and water... [Cage-free systems] must allow hens to exhibit natural behaviors and include enrichments such as scratch areas, perches and nests."
Most often, Americans purchase hen eggs. But other poultry eggs are sometimes available, and these have slightly different nutritional profiles. Per 50g (the serving size of one large chicken egg):
- Goose egg: 105 calories, 7.8g protein, 7.5g fat (2g saturated), 119mg choline, 481mg cholesterol
- Duck egg: 105 calories, 7.2g protein, 7.8g fat (2.1g saturated), 119mg choline, 499mg cholesterol
- Quail egg: 79 calories, 6.5g protein, 5.5g fat (1.8g saturated), 132mg choline, 422mg cholesterol
Storage and Food Safety
Store eggs in the refrigerator at 40 degrees F or colder. You can usually store eggs for about three weeks from the date of purchase. After hard-boiling, eggs will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.Eggs can be frozen for up to one year if they are removed from theshell, beaten, and sealed in air-tight containers.
Since raw eggs can carry bacteria that cause foodborne illness, be sure to handle them safely. Keep refrigerated and cook thoroughly:
- Scrambled eggs and omelets should be cooked until there is no liquid egg visible.
- Fried eggs and poached eggs should be cooked until whites are completely set and yolks are beginning to thicken.
- Casseroles and other dishes with eggs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
You may find pasteurized eggs in your grocery store. These have been heated in their shells to kill bacteria, but are not cooked. They are safer to use in recipes that call for uncooked or partially cooked eggs, such as Caesar salad dressing or spaghetti carbonara.
How to Prepare
Eggs are a necessity for bakers and a versatile ingredient for every home cook—and not just at breakfast time. A poached egg on whole-wheat toast makes a delicious meal at any time of day. If you enjoy scrambled eggs, try adding spinach and a bit of cheese for a healthful, filling dish.You can even scramble eggs in a mug in the microwave (add some veggies for even more nutrients and fiber).
One egg has about only 72 calories, but 6 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. The egg is also a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin.Is it healthy to eat an egg every day? ›
Is it OK to eat eggs every day? Because of their numerous benefits, it's OK to eat one whole egg, including the egg yolk, every day if you don't have cardiovascular disease and you do have a healthy level of blood cholesterol.What are the nutritional health benefits of eggs? ›
- They're highly nutritious. Whole eggs are nutritionally rich, supplying almost every nutrient you need. ...
- A complete source of protein. ...
- A source of choline. ...
- May support heart health. ...
- May support eye health. ...
- May prevent sarcopenia. ...
- May support weight management. ...
- May support optimal body composition.
Is 2 eggs a day enough protein? Two eggs give you 12 grams of hunger-satisfying protein. Although 2 eggs does not complete your daily protein needs, it's a great start. Eating two eggs in the morning ensures you are on the right track to hit your protein consumption goal by the end of the day.What are the key nutritional facts of the egg? ›
Eggs are naturally rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and iodine. They also contain vitamin A and a number of other B vitamins including folate, biotin, pantothenic acid and choline, and other essential minerals and trace elements, including phosphorus.What is the healthiest way to eat eggs? ›
Overall, shorter and lower-heat cooking methods cause less cholesterol oxidation and help retain most of the egg's nutrients. For this reason, poached and boiled (either hard or soft) eggs may be the healthiest to eat.Is there any disadvantages of eating eggs daily? ›
Daily consumption of eggs can result in an increase in good cholesterol as well as bad cholesterol, which can predispose an individual towards the risk of cardiac disorders. Consuming eggs in excess can result in weight gain due to the high amount of saturated fats.Are eggs the best superfood? ›
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods you can find, providing virtually all the vitamins and minerals you need. To top things off, eggs are cheap, taste awesome and go with almost any food. They really are an exceptional superfood.What are the pros and cons of eating eggs? ›
- Eggs are efficient and nutrient-rich, they are a good source of protein and vitamins. ...
- Eggs might be known for offering many nutrients, but they are also high in sodium. ...
- Not only are eggs chock-full of essential nutrients, but they are also cheap, versatile, and delicious.
Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients. A large egg contains ( 1 ): Only 74 calories, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids. Rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5 (among others).
As part of a balanced diet, eggs contribute to a healthy digestive tract and can be helpful during acute digestive problems. In addition to being packed with nutrients, eggs are usually easy to digest compared to some other high-protein foods, such as meat and legumes.What is the healthiest source of protein? ›
Animal-based foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy foods) tend to be good sources of complete protein, while plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds) often lack one or more essential amino acid.What happens to your body when you start eating two eggs a day? ›
Eggs are also a great source of heart-healthy nutrients like potassium, folate and B vitamins. Some research suggests that up to two eggs per day actually improves heart health. As with anything, moderation is important, especially if you enjoy eggs daily.How healthy is peanut butter? ›
Peanut butter is loaded with so many good, health-promoting nutrients, including vitamin E, magnesium, iron, selenium and vitamin B6. Research shows that people who regularly eat nuts and nut butter, including peanut butter, are less likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes.Are eggs bad for cholesterol? ›
People with raised cholesterol often wonder if it's OK to eat eggs, as egg yolk is rich in cholesterol. Generally speaking, it should be fine for most people, as the cholesterol in eggs does not have a significant effect on blood cholesterol. It's much more important to limit the amount of saturated fat you eat.How much zinc is in an egg? ›
While the jury is still out on which came first, eggs also contain zinc — about 0.6 mg per large egg, per the USDA — so crack one open today to help optimize your levels of the nutrient. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, research shows that you can still get enough zinc if you carefully plan your diet.How many eggs is too many in a day? ›
The American Heart Association recommends up to one egg a day for most people, fewer for people with high blood cholesterol, especially those with diabetes or who are at risk for heart failure, and up to two eggs a day for older people with normal cholesterol levels and who eat a healthy diet.Is eating egg everyday good for weight loss? ›
Eating eggs may support weight loss, especially if a person incorporates them into a calorie-controlled diet. Research suggests that eggs boost metabolic activity and increase feelings of fullness. Eating an egg-based breakfast may stop a person from consuming extra calories throughout the day.How many eggs should I eat a day to build muscle? ›
Yes your trainer is right .. for muscle development, you need to have atleast 7-8 eggs in a day. You may take first set of 1 whole egg along with three whites once in the breakfast and then you may consume another set of 1 whole egg with 3 white after your workout regime.Do eggs raise your cholesterol? ›
But the cholesterol in eggs doesn't seem to raise cholesterol levels the way some other foods, such as those high in trans fats and saturated fats, do.