Eggs: Definition, Nutritional Value, Types, Health Benefits, and Risks


Eggs are a good source of protein and vitamins. They can be a healthy part of a diet if eaten in moderation. It’s important to cook and prepare them properly. People have been eating eggs for thousands of years. There are many types of eggs, but chicken eggs are the most common. Eggs have many vitamins and minerals that are important for a healthy diet. In many places, eggs are a cheap and easy to find food. In the past, there was a debate about whether eggs were healthy, especially because of cholesterol. Now, people think that eggs are healthy if eaten in moderation as they provide good protein and other important nutrients. For more research you can also visit Wikipedia. 

What are Eggs?

Eggs are rich in phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and contain moderate amounts of sodium (142 mg per 100 g of whole egg). It also contains all essential trace elements including copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc, with egg yolk being the major contributor to iron and zinc supply. 

What is the Nutritional Value of Eggs?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one medium boiled or poached egg weighing 44 grams provides the following nutrients:

  • Energy 62.5 calories
  • Protein: 5.5 grams
  • Total fat: 4.2 g, of which 1.4 g are saturated
  • Sodium: 189 milligrams
  • Calcium: 24.6 mg
  • Iron: 0.8 mg
  • Magnesium: 5.3 mg
  • Phosphorus: 86.7 mg
  • Potassium: 60.3 mg
  • Zinc: 0.6 mg
  • Cholesterol: 162 mg
  • Selenium: 13.4 mcg
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin: 220 mg
  • Folate: 15.4 mcg

Eggs also provide vitamins A, B, E, and vitamin K. Both the egg white and yolk are rich in protein. About 12.6% of an egg’s edible part is protein. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that adults aged 19 and over should eat 45-56 grams of protein per day, depending on their age and sex. This should be 10-35% of their daily calories. In 2018, researchers concluded that eggs have high quality protein and are unlikely to cause heart disease. While meat is also a good source of protein, it may contain high levels of unhealthy elements like saturated fat.

What are the Types of Eggs?

There are different type of eggs on the market, including:

  • Non-cage-free
  • Cage-free
  • Free-range     
  • Organic

The USDA grades eggs that meet their standards. For eggs to be graded as free-range, they must come from hens with:

  • Unlimited access to food and water
  • Freedom to roam within an area
  • Continuous access to the outdoors during their laying cycle

One study conducted in 2017 found that organic eggs from hens with the freedom to choose their own food had higher levels of certain nutrients compared to eggs from caged hens. Specifically, the organic eggs had significantly higher levels of protein, potassium, and copper. Another study published in 2014 found that hens allowed to roam outside in the sunlight produced eggs containing 3-4 times as much vitamin D-3 as eggs from hens kept indoors. The researchers suggest that allowing hens to roam freely may serve as an alternative to fortifying eggs with vitamin D.

What are the Health Benefits of Eggs?

Here’s some potential health benefits of eggs. Such as: 

High in Cholesterol, but don’t Adversely Affect Blood Cholesterol:

It’s true that eggs are high in cholesterol. One egg contains 186 mg. However, dietary cholesterol doesn’t necessarily impact blood cholesterol levels or increase the risk of heart disease. The liver produces a lot of cholesterol daily. When you eat more cholesterol the liver compensates by producing less to balance it out. People’s responses to eating egg vary:

  • For 70% of people eating cholesterol doesn’t raise blood cholesterol much or at all (these people are called “hypo responders”).
  • For the other 30% (“hypo responders”) eating eggs or other cholesterol rich foods can significantly raise blood cholesterol.
  • People with genetic disorders like familial hypercholesterolemia or those with a gene variant called APOE4 should consider eating eggs in moderation.

Contain Choline an Important Nutrient that Most People Don’t Get Enough of:

Choline is a nutrient that many people are unaware of yet it is very important and is often grouped with the B vitamins. Choline helps build cell membranes and plays a role in producing signaling molecules in the brain, among other functions. Choline deficiency symptoms are serious but it is rare in most healthy, non-pregnant people because the body can make choline. Whole eggs are an excellent source of choline. One egg contains more than 100 mg of this essential nutrient.

Raise HDL the Good Cholesterol:

HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and is often called the “good” cholesterol. People with higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, strokes, and other health problems. Eating eggs is a great way to increase HDL. In one study, eating 1-3 eggs daily for four weeks increased HDL levels by 6-13% in young healthy adults.

Are Linked to a Reduced Risk of Heart Disease:

LDL cholesterol is commonly known as the “bad” cholesterol. High levels of LDL are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. LDL is divided into subtypes based on particle size: small, dense, HDL particles and large LDL particles. Studies have shown that people with mostly small, dense LDL particles have a higher risk of heart disease compared to those with mostly large LDL particles. Even if the eggs slightly raise LDL cholesterol in some people they tend to increase the larger more buoyant LDL particles rather than the small, dense ones. This might explain why eating eggs is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. However, some recent studies have linked egg consumption to an increased risk of death from heart disease, so the research is mixed. More randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the benefits of egg consumptions for heart health.

Contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin-antioxidants that have Major Benefits for Eye Health:

As people age, their eyesight often worsens. Several nutrients can help slow down the degenerative processes that affect our eyes. Two important nutrients are lutein and zeaxanthin. These powerful antioxidants accumulate in the retina of the eye. Studies show that consuming enough of these nutrients can significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two common eye disorders. Egg yolks contain large amounts of both lutein and zeaxanthin. In one study, eating 1 egg daily for 5 weeks increased blood levels of lutein by 26% and zeaxanthin by 38% in older adults. Eggs are also high in vitamins A, which is worth mentioning again. Vitamin A deficiency is the most common cause of blindness worldwide.

Omega-3 or Pastured Egg Lower Triglycerides:

Not all eggs have the same nutritional value. Their nutrient content depends on how the hens were fed and raised. Eggs from hens raised on pastured or fed omega-3 enriched diets tend to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to lower blood levels of triglycerides, which are a risk factor for heart disease. Research shows that eating omega-3 enriched eggs is an effective way to lower blood triglycerides. In one older study, consuming just five omega-3 enriched eggs per week for three weeks reduced triglycerides by 16-18%. In a more recent small study 2020 involving 20 participants, eating 2 omega-3 enriched eggs daily for five weeks reduced triglycerides by 10%.

High in Quality Protein with all the Essential Amino Acids in the Right Ratios:

Proteins are essential for the human body, serving as the main building blocks. They are used to create various tissues and molecules, providing both structure and function. Getting sufficient protein in the diet is crucial, and research suggests that current recommended amounts may be too low. Eggs are a top-notch source of protein with a single large egg containing six grams of it. Moreover, eggs contain all the essential amino acids in the correct proportions making them a highly effective source of protein for the body. Adequate protein intake can aid in weight loss, increased muscle mass, lower blood pressure, and optimize bone health, among other benefits.

Are Filling and Tend to Make You Eat Fewer Calories Helping You Lose Weight:

Eggs are remarkably satisfying. They are rich in protein which is the most filling macronutrient by far. On the satiety index, a scale that measures how foods make you feel full and reduce later calorie intake, eggs score high. In a study involving 50 overweight and obese adults, those who had eggs and toast instead of cereal and milk with orange juice felt less hungry after the meal stayed full for longer and ate about 180 calories less at lunch four hours later. In another study, eating eggs was linked to a 38% lower risk of excessive body fat and a 34% lower risk of central obesity, particularly the visceral fat around the abdomen which is a known risk factor for metabolic syndrome.     

How Much Protein Does One Egg Contain?

The amount of protein in an egg varies depending on its size. Here’s the protein content for different sizes of eggs:

  • Small egg (38 grams): Approximately 4.79 grams of protein
  • Medium egg (44 grams): Approximately 5.54 grams of protein
  • Large egg (50 grams): Approximately 6.3 grams of protein
  • Extra-large egg (56 grams): Approximately 7.06 grams of protein
  • Jumbo egg (63 grams): Approximately 7.94 grams of protein

To give some context, an average sedentary man needs about 56 grams of protein per day, while an average sedentary woman needs about 46 grams.

Protein Content of the Yolk and White:

Now let’s look at the protein content of different parts of the egg.

Protein in Egg Yolk:

Egg yolks contain nearly all of the egg’s nutrients and fat. But in addition to these, the yolk also holds about half of the egg’s protein content. For instance, in a large egg with approximately 6.3 grams of protein, about 2.7 grams come from the yolk.

Protein in Egg White:

Eggs white consist of approximately 88% water. There are approximately 150 different types of proteins in egg whites. In 33 grams of raw egg white there are about 3.6 grams of protein.

Do Raw Eggs Have More Proteins?

  • Whole eggs generally contain similar amounts of protein whether consumed raw or cooked.
  • A large, whole raw egg contains about 6.3 grams of protein.
  • A large, whole hard-boiled egg also contains approximately 6.3 grams of protein.
  • A large, whole fried egg contains slightly less protein, at around 6.26 grams of protein.
  • However, it’s essential to note that consuming raw eggs carries some risk of sickness due to Salmonella bacteria.

What are the Good Sources of Protein?

Egg’s aren’t the only good source of protein. Other protein rich foods include:

  • Tempeh: 20.3 grams of protein per 100 grams
  • Tofu: 18.8 grams of protein per 100 grams of fried tofu
  • Lentils: 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams of raw lentils
  • Chickpeas: 8.86 grams of protein per 100 grams
  • Black Beans: 21.6 grams of protein per 100 grams of raw black beans
  • Kidney Beans: 22.5 grams of protein per 100 grams of raw kidney beans
  • Almonds: 21.2 grams of protein per 100 grams

Other Health Benefits of Eggs:

Eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods you can eat. They are relatively low in calories, with one large raw egg containing about 71 calories. Despite being low in calories they provide a balanced source of almost every nutrient you need. One of these nutrients is choline, which is important for many processes in the body including metabolism, gene expression, and brain development. Eggs also provide a range of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Selenium

Aside from their nutrient content, eggs have been linked to numerous health benefits including aiding in weight loss and weight maintenance. Eggs may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes.

Eggs and Weight Loss:

Eggs have been shown to promote feelings of fullness, which can help support eating in moderation. This effect is especially noticeable when you eat eggs for breakfast. Eating eggs for breakfast has been shown to reduce feelings of hunger compared to eating cereal for breakfast. Additionally, eggs are a low-cost food option and very easy to prepare.

What are the Risks of Eggs?

Consuming eggs with some health risks:


Raw or undercooked eggs can contain bacteria, which can enter through pores in the shells. In the U.S, all eggs graded by the USDA undergo a sanitizing rinse before sale.


Some people have an allergy or sensitivity. A person with an allergy may experience a life-threatening reaction from coming into contact with eggs or egg products. It’s important for people with allergies to remember that baked goods often contain some egg, possibly as a powder. Check ingredients lists carefully. Additionally, they need to be aware if a product is made in a facility that uses eggs, as trace amounts can trigger severe reactions in some individuals.

Avoiding the Risks:

Consuming eggs comes with some health risks, but these can be minimized through proper handling and preparations:


In the U.S, eggs undergo pasteurization which involves rapidly heating them and keeping them at the high temperature for a while to kill off any Salmonella bacteria.

Buying and Using:

Don’t purchase it that have cracked shells or are past their expiration date.


Store it in the refrigerator. According to the USDA, eggs can sweat at room temperature, making it easier for bacteria to enter the shells and grow.


Cook it thoroughly until the yolks are firm and the whites are opaque to ensure any potential bacteria are killed.

Vegan Alternatives:

Some people do not eat it, such as those following a vegan diet. A wide variety of vegan egg alternatives are available. These products may contain tofu or protein powder and come in various forms. Some can be enjoyed on their own, like scrambled eggs, while others are suitable for cooking and baking. The nutrient content of these alternatives will likely differ from that of hen’s eggs. Vegan egg substitutes can be purchased in some supermarkets and health stores, as well as online.


Why eat 3 eggs a day?

People with higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, strokes, and other health problems. Eating it can be a great way to increase HDL levels. In one study consuming 1-3 eggs daily for four weeks led to an increase HDL levels by 6-13% in young, healthy adults.

Is 20 eggs a day bad for you?

Eating 10 or more eggs per day is not recommended because a healthy diet should be varied and diverse. It should include different types of foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, other protein sources and dairy products. This ensures that you get a wide range of nutrients necessary for overall health and well-being.

Is eggs good for skin?`

They contain lutein, can improve skin moisture and suppleness, and protein, which helps rejuvenate and tighten the skin. They enrich your skin holistically. Egg yolks, in particular, are ideal for enhancing the radiance of your complexion because they are high in fatty acids, which hydrate the epidermis.

Can eggs remove pimples?

They white have slight astringent properties and can help temporarily plump the skin. They are generally recommended for treating blackheads or individual pimples, rather than chronic or cystic acne.

Can we apply eggs on hair?

You can apply it directly to your hair if you are not allergic to them. To do so, crack two eggs into a bowl and mix them well. Then, part your hair into sections and apply the mixture directly to your roots. This can help provide much needed vitamins and minerals to your hair shafts and hair loss.

Can I rub an egg on my face?

They offer numerous benefits for the skin. They are packed with healthy fats that help maintain the skin’s luster and provide hydration and elasticity. Egg whites are particularly effective in preventing fine lines and wrinkles as they tighten the skin and increase its elasticity.

What foods have all 13 vitamins?

There is no single food that provides all 13 essential vitamins at once. However, some foods like eggs, leafy green, vegetables, and whole grains, are packed with a variety of important vitamins and minerals. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to eat a diverse range of nutritious foods to ensure you get all the essential nutrients your body needs.

Does lemon whiten skin?

Lemon juice possesses natural bleaching abilities, but it’s important to note that you cannot make drastic changes in your skin tone with lemon alone. While your skin may brighten a few shades temporarily, the effect isn’t permanent. It’s recommended to use fresh lemon rather than bottled lemon juice, as the latter may contain water and preservatives that could diminish its effectiveness.

How much protein per day?

The amount of protein you need depends on various factors, but generally, anywhere from 10% to 35% of your daily calories should come from protein. For example, if your calorie requirement is 2,000 calories per day, this would mean consuming 200-700 calories from protein, which translates to approximately 50-175 grams of protein. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) to prevent deficiency for an average sedentary adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.

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