Eggs 101: Nutrition, Health Benefits, And More

Eggs 101: Nutrition, Health Benefits, And More

Eggs are great for making filling and nutritious breakfast recipes.  

Eggs contain plenty of nutrients and provide numerous health benefits.

Eggs are also part of some vegetarian dietary regimes, including ketotarian. They are a good source of high-quality protein, a macronutrient that is hard to find in plant-based diets. Besides, they contain all the essential amino acids in the right amounts. 

In this article, you will read about their nutrition, health benefits, downsides, labels, and more.

 

Eggs-Nutrition-Facts

Eggs Nutrition Facts/Data

Here are the nutrition values for 1 medium( 44g) raw egg:

  • Calories: 62.9
  • Carbohydrates: 0.3g
  • Fats: 4.4g, out of which 1.4g saturated fat
  • Protein: 5.5g 
  • Vitamin A: 214 IU - 4% of RDA
  • Vitamin D: 15.4 IU- 4% of RDA
  • Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol): 0.4mg - 2% of RDA
  • Riboflavin: 0.2mg - 12% of RDA
  • Folate: 20.7mcg - 5% of RDA
  • Vitamin B12: 0.6mcg - 9% of RDA
  • Choline: 110m
  • Calcium:23.3mg - 2% of RDA
  • Iron: 0.8mg - 4% of RDA
  • Phosphorus: 84.0mg - 8% of RDA
  • Potassium: 59.0mg - 2% of RDA
  • Zinc: 0.5mg - 3% of RDA
  • Selenium: 13.9mcg - 20% of RDA
  • Cholesterol: 186mg - 62% of RDA

As you can notice, eggs contain a variety of nutrients, even if in low to moderate quantities. This is what makes them so healthy. 

The nutritional value of eggs changes according to the cooking method. 

For example, a fried egg (46g) has more calories, fat, and cholesterol. Try this delicious breakfast recipe: Gouda Eggs.

The nutrition values of a hard-boiled egg and a poached egg are very similar to those previously mentioned for raw eggs. These are the healthiest cooking methods.

We HIGHLY recommend having electric egg cookers as they make boiling and poaching eggs much easier! Check out these high rated products on Amazon:

You can still enjoy fried eggs, omelets, or scrambled eggs, as long as you don't add too much oil, butter, or other ingredients that increase the fat content of the dish.

Most breakfast recipes with eggs are considered optimal for health, as long as the dietary cholesterol doesn't exceed the RDA. Adding bacon, other types of processed meats, foods high in saturated fats or trans fats, or refined carbohydrates, will just make things worse. Instead, try to add greens, avocado, non-starchy vegetables, and complex carbohydrates to your dish.

 

Difference-White-Eggs-and-Brown-Eggs

What's The Difference Between White Eggs and Brown Eggs?

While egg color can range from white to olive green, the two most common types of eggs are white and brown.

The question is: Do we choose white or brown?

The answer is: It does not really matter because the nutritional value stays the same.

The egg color is given by the chicken. Some breeds produce white eggs, others brown, while some hens lay blue or blue-green eggs. The color comes from the pigment of the hen.

Other factors, such as a hen's diet, health, and habitat, can also change the shade of the shell color, but not the color entirely.

 

Does-Yolk-Color-Matter

Does The Yolk Color Matter?

Yolk color can tell a lot about a hen's diet. 

  • Dark-orange egg yolks usually come from pasture-raised hens. If the chicken has access to an area where grass grows, and it has the freedom to roam around, the yolk will have a dark shade. 
  • Light-orange egg yolks come from chicken with little to no access to outdoors. And, even if they do go outside, their diet is mainly composed of grains. Some producers can gain the right to label their eggs organic as long as they provide a small pen where the hens can be set free for a while. 
  • Yellow egg yolks come from chicken raised in factories. These are the cheapest eggs on the market. Sometimes, producers might feed the chicken something which makes the yolk darker. This doesn't mean the eggs have the same quality as those which come from pasture-raised hens.

Studies show that the nutritional value of eggs depends on the chicken's diet. Eggs from hens that have a poor diet have lower amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A.

 

Difference-Between-Free-Range-Organic-Cage-Free

What's The Difference Between Free-Range, Organic, And Cage-Free?

Free-Range

If you see the free-range label on the egg carton, it means that the hens have access to an outdoor area most of the time, meaning they can freely move and eat what nature provides.

Cage-Free

This simply means that the hens are not kept in cages all the time. They might not have the freedom the others have, but they still get to move around a bit. Their cage-free environment doesn't have to be outdoors.

Organic

These hens eat organic food and don't get shots. Their diet contains non-GMO and pesticide-free products. Most of the time, they are also cage-free. You might read on the carton no antibiotics, but if they're not organic certified, it doesn't mean much.

Pasteurized eggs

If this label is on the egg carton, it means the eggs have undergone a process that killed bacteria, including salmonella. Those who are predisposed to infections because of a weak immune system might need to purchase pasteurized eggs to prevent food poisoning.

 

Top-Health-Benefits-of-Eggs

Top 6 Health Benefits of Eggs

  • Eggs increase HDL cholesterol. Eggs contain high amounts of dietary cholesterol, but this doesn't mean that they increase blood cholesterol. Foods high in saturated fats can affect cholesterol, but eggs contain low amounts of saturated fat and have a good impact on HDL (good cholesterol) levels. This means that consuming eggs can actually lower your risk for heart issues and other chronic diseases. 
  • Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that the body needs to function correctly. Choline helps with optimal health by having a positive impact on the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, the muscular system, and metabolism. Humans need choline from the moment they are born. Teenage boys, adult men, breastfeeding and pregnant women, need up to 550mg of choline per day.
  • Eggs help lower triglycerides. However, the quality of the eggs is dominant. Free-range eggs contain a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming omega-3s can reduce triglycerides levels, resulting in a lower risk of heart diseases. A study showed that consuming omega-3 enriched eggs helped people bring down their triglycerides by 18%. 
  • Eggs promote eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants essential for preventing eyesight damage; they take in blue light. Lutein also protects against age-related macular degeneration. Moreover, eggs contain vitamin A, which helps prevent night blindness. Egg yolks are a great source of both lutein and zeaxanthin. 
  • Eggs contain high-quality protein. This nutrient is a vital component of the living cell. It is essential for the body because it builds and repairs tissues. If your body gets enough protein, it recovers faster, but you need to include it in your diet every day. The good news is that you don't need large quantities. If you are trying to build muscle mass, you need foods with high-quality protein, such as eggs, which provide the body with all the essential amino acids. 
  • Eggs can prevent weight gain. They are filling because of the high-protein content. If you check the satiety index, a tool that allows you to check which foods satisfy hunger best, you will notice that eggs have a high score. Studies show that choosing eggs for breakfast instead of foods that are rich in carbs, increases fullness. This means your next meals will have fewer calories. Adding lean protein foods (chicken breast, lean meat, legumes, greek yogurt, etc.) to lunch and dinner will help you reduce your portion size. 

 

Eggs-Downsides

What Are The Downsides?

Food Poisoning

If eggs are not thoroughly cooked, they pose a high risk of food poisoning from the bacteria Salmonella. Whenever you eat outside, make sure you do not order dishes that contain eggs if you do not fully trust the place.

Excess consumption

Similar to many other foods high in cholesterol, eggs cannot be consumed in high quantities. Even if there is proof that they aren't harmful to the heart, they will increase your cholesterol levels over time if you eat too many. The American Heart Association recommends one whole egg per day or seven eggs per week. However, this statement is simply a guideline. There is no specific recommendation based on scientific research on how many eggs are too many.

The most important thing is to choose organic, free-range eggs as often as possible, and to try to abstain from adding high amounts of saturated fat, processed foods, or simple carbs to your egg dish.

Allergies

Egg allergy is common in children. They usually overgrow it by the time they're five, while some have hypersensitivity to eggs for the rest of their life. The egg white is the main culprit because it contains four allergens.

However, the egg yolk also contains substances that can trigger symptoms of an allergic reaction. The symptoms range from mild (rashes, swelling, nasal congestion, itchiness, watery eyes, nausea, digestive issues, etc.) to severe (drop in blood pressure and/or severe swelling of the face, anaphylaxis). People who are predisposed to anaphylactic shock because of egg consumption need to pay close attention to food labels. 

Egg substitutes are a great choice in case you have an egg allergy. Check out these high rated products on Amazon:

 

Did You Know...

  • Spin the egg to check how well you cooked it. If it spins effortlessly, you got yourself a winner. If it's still shaky, then it's raw. 
  • We all make accidents in the kitchen. The messiest thing to clean is a broken egg. If you dropped an egg by accident, just cover it with some salt. It will make the cleaning process easy. 
  • Refrigerate your eggs for them to last longer. If you keep them at room temperature, they age in one day as much as they age in seven if they're stored in the fridge. 
  • Older hens lay larger eggs.