Question: How Much Protein is Contained Within an Egg?
I'm on a Paleolithic diet and I want to know how much protein is found in an egg. What other nutrients are found in eggs?
Charlotte - About.com User
Answer: One egg contains about six grams of protein.
Looking Beyond ProteinEggs are nutrient-dense (lots of vitamins, protein and fats), and they're also energy dense, at about 80 calories per egg. That makes sense when you think about how a fertilized egg has to feed a baby chick until it hatches. The eggs you eat are not fertilized, but all of the nutrients are still present.
Eggs contain several important nutrients:
- Choline is necessary for healthy cell membranes in all of your body, and it's also good for your mental function and memory.
- Selenium is a mineral that your body needs for a strong immune system and it is a powerful antioxidant.
- B vitamins folate and riboflavin are necessary for your body to convert the foods you eat into energy.
- Vitamin A is important for good night vision, general cell growth and for healthy skin.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that works well with vitamin C and selenium to prevent damage to your body from free radicals.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin are related to vitamin A and are found in the yellow pigment of the egg yolk.
- One has 212 mg of cholesterol, which is quite a lot.
Since the recommendation for cholesterol consumption is about 300 mg per day, the large amount of cholesterol in eggs may prevent many people from eating them. However, most of the cholesterol in your body is made by your liver and the amount of cholesterol in your diet may not have as big an impact on your blood cholesterol as people once thought. Studies show you can eat one egg every day without harming your cholesterol levels.
A Satisfying Food
That's really good news for dieters because the combination of fats and protein means eggs are very satisfying. Eating one egg as part of a healthy breakfast may help you lose weight by keeping you from getting hungry later in the morning.
Eggs in a Healthy Diet
Eating one egg each day is good, but eating three or four eggs every day may add too much fat. You can reduce the fat by using just one whole egg and add extra egg whites if one egg just isn't enough.
You should also poach, hard boil or scramble your eggs, don't fry them in butter or margarine. If you want your eggs sunny side up or over-easy, use a non-stick skillet without the extra fat.
Here are some healthy egg recipes:
Healthier Eggs - the Omega-3 Eggs
Chickens that are fed healthier feeds with seeds containing omega-3 fatty acids actually lay eggs with healthier fats in the yolks. In fact, eating these omega eggs may improve your cholesterol and blood lipids.
Bourre JM, Galea F. "An important source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D and E, carotenoids, iodine and selenium: a new natural multi-enriched egg." J Nutr Health Aging. 2006 Sep-Oct;10(5):371-6.
Goodrow EF, Wilson TA, Houde SC, Vishwanathan R, Scollin PA, Handelman G, Nicolosi RJ. "Consumption of one egg per day increases serum lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations in older adults without altering serum lipid and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations." J Nutr. 2006 Oct;136(10):2519-24.
Qureshi AI, Suri FK, Ahmed S, Nasar A, Divani AA, Kirmani JF. "Regular egg consumption does not increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases." Med Sci Monit. 2007 Jan;13(1):CR1-8. Epub 2006 Dec 18.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 19 http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=8964.
Vander Wal JS, Marth JM, Khosla P, Jen KL, Dhurandhar NV. "Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects." J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6):510-5.
Zeisel SH, Mar MH, Howe JC, Holden JM. "Concentrations of choline-containing compounds and betaine in common foods." J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5):1302-7.