Egg Nutrition Facts

Calories in Eggs and Their Health Benefits

Close-Up Of Brown Eggs In Crate
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There are so many ways to prepare eggs that it's hard not to love them, and egg nutrition facts support including them in a healthy diet. The calories in eggs are low and they provide several health benefits.

Egg Nutrition Facts

Egg Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 large (50 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 78 
Calories from Fat 45 
Total Fat 5g7%
Saturated Fat 1.6g8%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7g 
Monounsaturated Fat 2g 
Cholesterol 187mg62%
Sodium 63mg2%
Potassium 63mg1%
Carbohydrates 0.6g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 0.6g 
Protein 6g 
Vitamin A 5% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% · Iron 3%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Eggs are packed with nutrition, and even though eggs contain fat, they can be a healthy part of a weight loss or weight maintenance diet. The combination of fats and protein in eggs makes them both filling and satisfying—there are 5 grams of fat and 78 calories in a hard-boiled egg. Eggs are a low-carb food, providing less than one gram of carbohydrate. And even though they're healthy, as with any food, you should be mindful of portion sizes.

Calories in Egg White vs. Yolk

Most of the fat in a hard boiled egg is contained in the yolk. The yolk provides about 55 calories worth of combined fat and protein. Egg whites, on the other hand, are packed with fat-free nutrition. You'll consume 4 to 5 grams of protein, just 17 calories, and virtually no fat in a single large egg white. Egg whites are also a good source of leucine, an amino acid that may help you lose weight.

Most of the online nutritional info for hard-boiled eggs is provided for a single large egg.

Keep in mind that you'll need to increase the numbers if you eat an extra large egg. Extra large eggs are easy to find in the grocery store and often a better deal for healthy eaters on a budget.

Calories Depend on Preparation

So how does egg nutrition change when you prepare eggs at home? 

  • If you eat one egg fried in butter, you'll consume 94 calories, 0 grams of carbohydrate, 6 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 188 milligrams of cholesterol.
  • If you eat one egg scrambled with butter you'll consume 107 calories, 1 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 192 milligrams of cholesterol.
  • If you eat one serving of Egg Beaters (Original) you'll consume 25 calories, 0 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, and 0 milligrams of cholesterol.

Health Benefits of Eggs

Eggs provide several health benefits. First, eggs are a good source of protein. Eating foods with protein can help you to build and maintain strong muscles and also helps you to feel full and satisfied at mealtime. Weight loss experts often recommend that dieters consume foods with protein to help maintain a healthy metabolism.

Eggs also provide other important vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin D (important for the absorption of calcium), phosphorus, vitamin A (for healthy vision, skin, and cell growth), and two B-complex vitamins that your body needs to convert food into energy. They are a very good source of riboflavin, selenium, and choline. Choline helps boost brain development in utero and may also protect us from age-related memory loss. Eggs are also high in carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) that help protect our eyes from macular degeneration.

What About the Fat and Cholesterol in Eggs?

Some healthy eaters are concerned about the cholesterol in eggs, but dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol (which is tested to determine your risk for heart disease) are two different things. Current medical evidence suggests that eating foods that are high in cholesterol will not significantly impact your risk for heart disease. Instead, experts recommend that you reduce your saturated and trans fat intake to keep blood cholesterol levels at a healthy level.

While some of the fat in eggs is saturated fat, eggs also provide both a small amount of polyunsaturated fat and slightly more monounsaturated fat.

These are considered  "good" fats because they have been shown to be helpful in lowering your LDL or "bad" cholesterol and boosting heart health. For this reason, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that you choose foods with both poly and monounsaturated fats instead of saturated fat.

Choosing and Storing Eggs: Are Brown Eggs Healthier?

When you purchase eggs, buy the freshest that you can find. There is no difference in nutritional quality between brown and white eggs. There are, however, some eggs that may provide more nutritional value.

For example, you'll see "Omega-3 eggs" in some stores. These eggs come from hens that have been fed flax seeds to raise the level of omega-3 fat. Also, hens that have been allowed to feed greens, grubs, and other natural foods produce eggs with more omega-3 fat. These eggs may be labelled as "pastured eggs."

At home, store eggs in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. You can usually store eggs for about three weeks from the date of purchase according to the American Egg Board.

Eggs can be frozen for up to one year if they are removed from the shell, beaten and sealed in air-tight containers.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Eggs

To keep your egg dishes healthy, nutrition experts recommend that you avoid adding butter or high calorie, creamy sauces. A poached egg on whole wheat toast makes a delicious meal, or have a hard boiled egg served with a bowl of oatmeal. If you enjoy scrambled eggs, try adding spinach and just a tiny bit of cheese to make a delicious and filling breakfast. 

You can also decrease calories in hard boiled eggs. The easiest way is to remove the yolk, because that's where most of the fat and calories are stored. If you don't like the taste of plain egg whites, replace the yolk with savory hummus. The flavor of the middle eastern spread pairs provides a similar flavor as the yolk with a little extra spice. Make your own hummus at home to control the ingredients and decrease the fat and calories even further. And since hummus is made with garbanzo beans, you'll boost your protein intake (although you can make it with other vegetables, like beets, too).

Eggs should be cooked long enough to avoid food safety issues.  

  • Scrambled eggs and omelets should be cooked until there is no liquid egg visible.
  • Fried eggs and poached eggs should be cooked until whites are completely set and yolks are beginning to thicken.
  • When you hard boil eggs, they will reach a temperature high enough for food safety. After hard boiling, keep eggs in the refrigerator for up to one week. 
  • Casseroles and other dishes with eggs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Egg Recipes and Tips

Ready to try some egg recipes? Try any of these dishes and use the tips to experiment with egg recipes of your own.

Sources:

Egg Nutrition Center. Egg Nutrition. http://www.eggnutritioncenter.org/egg-101/

Miranda JM, Anton X, Redondo-Valbuena C, et al. Egg and Egg-Derived Foods: Effects on Human Health and Use as Functional Foods. Nutrients. 2015;7(1):706-729. doi:10.3390/nu7010706.

United States Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/

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