Eggs are so versatile. They taste great scrambled, poached, hard-broiled or fried – and you can combine them with antioxidant-rich veggies as an omelet for a balanced morning meal. Eggs are filling and low in fat, but what about their protein content? Are eggs high in protein?
The Protein Content of Eggs
A large egg has 6 grams of protein and only 70 calories. If you’re looking for a low-calorie protein source, eggs fit the bill and if you use only the egg white, the calorie count drops by half. No wonder bodybuilders love the incredible, edible egg.
Even more importantly, the protein in eggs is high-quality, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids in ratios the body can easily use. Some amino acids are “non-essential”, meaning the body can make them from other amino acids. Others are “essential”, which means they must be supplied through diet since the body can’t produce them.
Eggs are a good source of all essential amino acids, unlike many vegetable protein sources that usually lack one or more of them. This makes eggs a viable alternative to meat as a source of high-quality protein. Because the protein in eggs is of such high-quality, the United States Department of Agriculture allows eggs to be classified as comparable to meat as a protein source.
Other Benefits of Eating Eggs
Not only do eggs offer a superior form of protein, they also contain choline, a compound similar to a B-vitamin that plays a role in memory and brain health. Some studies show it also has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering homocysteine levels. Many athletes and vegetarians don’t get enough of this compound in their diet, and eggs are the best source of choline next to beef liver. Eggs are also filling, and some studies show that people who start the day with an egg breakfast are less likely to gain weight.
The Power of Eggs
Egg whites are highly sought after by bodybuilders. It is the perfect protein due to its amino acid composition and its ability to produce muscle development, and it does not taste too bad when seasoned properly.
Moreover, the yolk, never received the acceptance it deserves. Thanks to its fat and cholesterol content, bodybuilders and others concerned about their health, tried to avoid it. But you must welcome it back as part of a healthy diet.
What Studies Say
Research suggests that not only do the saturated and monounsaturated fats in the bud turn out to be health-positive, but they also do not easily accumulate as fat. It seems that even people with cholesterol problems can take egg yolks without having to worry about it.
To take just one example, a University of Connecticut study tested the cholesterol response of 25 men and 27 women to a diet rich in eggs (640 mg of added cholesterol daily) and a diet free of eggs. The cholesterol in the yolks did not increase LDL (“bad cholesterol”, associated with cardiovascular disease) cholesterol.
So don’t be afraid to eat egg yolks, adding them to your favorite egg white tortillas even if you have high cholesterol. In any case, consult your doctor first. If your budget allows it, buy eggs from hens not raised in captivity. The quality of the nutrients is superior and we reduce the suffering of the animal.
Are Eggs High in Protein: The Bottom Line?
The figures below show you the nutrient composition of a large raw egg:
- Calories: 74
- Proteins: 6,9
- Carbohydrates: < 1g
- Total Fat: 5g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 2g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 22mg
- Omega-6 fatty acids: 570mg
- Calcium: 26mg
- Iron: 1 mg
- Magnesium: 6mg
- Potassium: 67 mg
- Sodium: 70mg
- Selenium: 16mcg
Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein and low in calories as well. Whether they’re scrambled, fried, poached or broiled, eggs are a great way to start the day. Plus, they’re less expensive than meat. If you have an elevated cholesterol level, use egg whites in place of whole eggs or restrict your egg intake to one a day, but don’t neglect this “perfect” source of protein.