It’s difficult not to like eggs because there are so many different ways to prepare them. Eggs are nutrient-dense, which means they contain a lot of vitamins and minerals for the number of calories they have. Eggs are high in protein and choline, and they also contain a number of B vitamins, as well as vitamins A and D. Whether you boil, scramble, fry, or bake your eggs, they are convenient and healthy (and, contrary to popular belief, will not raise your blood cholesterol levels).
Nutritional Values of Eggs
The USDA provides the following nutritional information for one big hard-boiled hen’s egg (50g).
- 78 calories
- 5 g fat
- Sodium (mg): 62
- 0.6 g carbohydrate
- 0g fiber
- 0.5 g sugar
- 6 g protein
- 147 milligrams of choline
Eggs are a low-carb food, with one big egg-containing less than 1 gram of carbohydrate. They have very little sugar and no fiber.
Each large egg has 5 grams of fat. Saturated fat makes up about 1.6 grams, while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat makes up the balance. Cooking eggs in fat (such as frying them in butter or oil) will increase the amount of fat and calories in your meal. The yolk contains the majority of the fat in an egg. The combined fat and protein content of the yolk is roughly 55 calories.
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Eggs are a good source of complete, high-quality protein. The egg white contains the majority of it: a single big egg white contains 4 to 5 grams of protein, 17 calories, and very little fat. Leucine, an amino acid that may aid weight loss, is also abundant in egg whites.
Minerals and vitamins
Vitamins and minerals are abundant in eggs. They contain vitamin D (essential for calcium absorption), phosphorus, vitamin A (essential for healthy vision, skin, and cell growth), and two B-complex vitamins, which help your body convert food into energy. Riboflavin, selenium, and choline are all found in abundance in eggs.
Eggs’ protein and fat, in addition to the health benefits supplied by their micronutrients, are also useful.
Assists in the preservation of muscle mass
Eggs are a high-protein food. Protein-rich diets can aid in the development and maintenance of strong muscles, which can be problematic as we age.
Provides a Good Source of Fat
While eggs include saturated fat, they also contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, both of which are considered “good” fats since they have been found to help decrease LDL cholesterol and improve heart health. If you consume about 2,000 calories per day, the American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats to roughly 13 grams per day.
Enhances eye health
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect our eyes from macular degeneration, are also abundant in eggs (age-related loss of vision).
Supports the development and health of the brain
Choline, which is abundant in eggs, aids in brain development in the womb and may also protect us from memory loss and other cognitive damage as we age.
One of the most frequent allergies, especially in youngsters, is egg allergy. Symptoms may include a slight rash or stomach pains, as well as anaphylaxis, a life-threatening disease in severe cases. If you feel you have an egg allergy, seek tailored advice from a skilled healthcare expert.
It’s possible to have an egg white and/or egg yolk allergy. If you’re allergic to hen eggs, you might also be allergic to goose and duck eggs. Because eggs are used in so many dishes, managing an egg allergy can be difficult. However, because eggs are a major allergy, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires that they be identified on food labels.
Some vaccinations, notably the seasonal flu vaccine, were previously manufactured with eggs. Egg-free immunizations are now available, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that everyone, even those sensitive to eggs, obtain the flu vaccine. 6
Some people are concerned about the cholesterol in eggs, but there is a difference between dietary cholesterol (186 milligrams in a large egg) and blood cholesterol (which is measured to evaluate your risk of heart disease).
According to current medical knowledge, eating foods high in dietary cholesterol has no substantial impact on your risk of heart disease. Reduce your saturated and trans fat intake instead to maintain a healthy blood cholesterol level.
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There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs (or any other color shell). Some eggs, on the other hand, may have a higher nutritious value. Some stores, for example, sell “Omega-3 eggs.” These eggs are from chickens who were fed flax seeds to boost the omega-3 fat content of their eggs. Additionally, hens fed greens, grubs, and other natural diets naturally produce eggs with higher omega-3 fat content. “Pastured eggs” could be a label for these eggs.
“Free-range” eggs are “produced by hens who are able to roam vertically and horizontally in indoor houses and have access to fresh food and water, as well as continuous access to the outdoors during their laying cycle,” according to the US Department of Agriculture. The sort of feed that these hens consume is not regulated.
In the same way, there is a standard for “cage-free” eggs. The hens who lay these eggs, according to the USDA, must be “allowed to move vertically and horizontally in indoor houses, and have access to fresh food and water… [Cage-free systems] must allow hens to show natural behaviors and offer enrichments such as scratch areas, perches, and nests.”
The most common type of egg purchased by Americans is hen eggs. Other poultry eggs, on the other hand, are occasionally accessible and have slightly different nutritional profiles. Per 50g (equivalent to one large chicken egg).
Goose egg: 105 calories, 7.8 grams of protein, 7.5 grams of fat (2 grams saturated fat), 119 milligrams of choline, and 481 milligrams of cholesterol
Duck egg: 105 calories, 7.2 grams of protein, 7.8 grams of fat (2.1 grams saturated fat), 119 milligrams of choline, and 499 milligrams of cholesterol9
Quail egg: 79 calories, 6.5 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of fat (1.8 grams saturated), 132 milligrams of choline, and 422 milligrams of cholesterol10
Food Storage and Safety
Refrigerate eggs at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Eggs can normally be stored for three weeks after they’ve been purchased. Eggs can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week after hard boiling. If eggs are taken from the shell, beaten, and placed in airtight containers, they can be stored for up to a year.
Because raw eggs can have bacteria that can cause foodborne illness, be cautious while handling them. Refrigerate until ready to use, then cook thoroughly:
Cook scrambled eggs and omelets until there is no visible liquid egg.
Cook fried eggs and poached eggs until the whites are totally set and the yolks are thickening.
Casseroles and other egg-based foods should be cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit on the inside.
Pasteurized eggs are available in most supermarket stores. These have been heated in their shells in order to eliminate bacteria, but they have not been cooked. In recipes that call for uncooked or partially cooked eggs, such as Caesar salad dressing or pasta carbonara, they are safer to use.
How to Get Ready
Eggs are a must-have for bakers, as well as a versatile item for any home chef—and not just for breakfast. Any time of day, a poached egg over whole-wheat toast is a great supper. If you like scrambled eggs, add spinach and a little cheese for a satisfying, healthy meal. You can even microwave scrambled eggs in a mug (add some veggies for even more nutrients and fiber).