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Egg Nutrition Facts You Might Not Know

  • 3 min read

Eggs owe their popularity to the fact that they are high in protein, extremely versatile, and inexpensive. An egg contains antioxidants plus 13 essential vitamins and minerals. Eggs can also help you maintain a healthy weight and healthy brain function. That’s a lot of goodness in a little package!

Nutrition Facts

One large chicken egg (52 mL) is approximately 22 mL of yolk and 30 mL of white and contains:

78 calories
6g of saturated fat
187 mg of cholesterol
62 mg of sodium
.6g of carbohydrates
.6g of sugar
No dietary fiber
6 grams of protein
Small amounts of Vitamins A, C, D, B-16, B-6

A Valuable Source of Protein

For many, the real value of eggs is that they are high in protein, a significant fact for vegetarians. The USDA recommends adults eat .066 grams of protein for every two pounds of body weight, and the Mayo Clinic recommends you get 10 to 35 percent of your total daily calories from protein. Athletes, pregnant women, and those recovering from surgery have higher protein needs. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you have questions about how much protein you need per day.

The Cholesterol Factor

It’s true that eggs are high in cholesterol, but the Mayo Clinic states that the connection between eggs and heart disease probably has more to do with the sodium in traditional accompaniments such as breakfast meats or the saturated fat or oils with trans fats used to fry eggs than it has to do with eggs themselves. The 2015 version of Dietary Requirements for Americans[1] states that there is “no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum (blood) cholesterol, consistent with the AHA/ACC (American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology) report” and that “cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for over consumption.”

Egg Whites

Egg Whites are fat free and have about half the calories of an entire egg with yolk, but contain most of the protein. For that reason, egg whites have a big nutritional impact for dieters without adding a lot of calories.

Allergies

About 2% of children are allergic to eggs but studies show that about 70% of children with an egg allergy outgrow the condition by the time they reach 16 [2].

Weight Management

For those trying to lose weight, eggs can be an important dietary staple. The high-protein count helps the body build muscle and helps reduce feelings of hunger. Eggs also provide sustained energy without the dreaded blood sugar crash. For older adults, eggs may help prevent age-related muscle loss.

Cage free vs. Organic vs. Free Range vs. Vegetarian

Your local grocery may carry a dizzying array of eggs. What’s the difference?

Cage free – Cage free eggs come from chickens that are raised in open barns or open floor systems instead of in cages. These birds have bedding made of natural materials like straw or pine shavings and they have access to perches and nest boxes. However, cage free hens may still live in close quarters with other hens.

Free range – Free-range eggs come from hens that are allowed to roam back and forth between an outside area and a barn at-will during the day.

Organic – Organic eggs may be laid by hens raised in close quarters in cage systems, but the birds eat organic feed free of genetically modified grains and don’t receive vaccines or antibiotics.

Vegetarian- Vegetarian eggs are laid by hens that are not fed meat, fish by-products, grubs or worms.

[1] Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/
[2] http://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/egg-allergy

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