Eggs are part of almost everyone’s breakfast. In addition, they have been part of our breakfast for ages as they are a great way to start the day. This is because the calories in eggs give you the energy to stay active for the day. (Calories are nothing but units of energy that we get from the foods that we eat).
This post talks of the calories and protein in eggs, their nutritional value, and the health benefits they impart to our body.
Of late, they are being avoided by a lot of us due to their cholesterol content and the rise in health awareness levels. However, this recent fashion comes from inadequate knowledge. Eggs are good for you and they do not increase your cholesterol levels if you stick to limits.
In 2000, The American Heart Association revised its guidelines and suggested that healthy adults can have one egg per day provided the daily recommended intake of 300 mg of cholesterol is not crossed.
This does become tricky as one large egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol which accounts for two-thirds of the daily requirement. You should therefore be careful and keep your cholesterol consumption to about 70 mg for the rest of the day.
Calories in egg
The number of calories in an egg depends on whether it is raw or cooked and if cooked how it is prepared.
Calories in raw egg
When we talk of eggs, we refer here to raw eggs of chicken. The calorie content varies depending on the size of the egg and how it is prepared.
There are between 55 and 80 calories in a raw egg depending on its size.
- One small size raw egg contains about 55 calories
- Medium size – 65 calories
- Large size – 72 to 78 calories
- Larger size – 80 to 90 calories
Most of these calories come from the yolk part of the egg, which contains most nutrition including many essential vitamins and minerals.
In a large-sized egg, calories are distributed as follows:
- Calories in uncooked or slightly cooked egg yolk: about 55 calories
- Calories in uncooked or slightly cooked egg white: 17 calories
From the above, you cannot consider the calorie content of eggs as high. Besides, eggs contain 7 grams of proteins, 0.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fats along with vitamins and minerals, which make them good nourishing food.
Clinical studies show that the dietary cholesterol present in eggs has a mild effect on blood cholesterol levels.
Calories in cooked eggs
You usually eat cooked eggs with toasted bread slices. Two 2 slices of white bread toast provide you with 150 calories.
You may cook your eggs in different ways. Here is how they provide you with calories.
- Two large fried eggs contain 185 calories
- Two scrambled eggs cooked in the microwave with a little salt, pepper and some skimmed milk will provide you with about 170 calories. The same, if fried in the pan with small amount of butter will contain 200 to 245 calories depending on the amount of butter added.
- Two hard-boiled eggs contain 129 calories
- A two-egg omelet without butter contains 188 calories
- Two poached eggs contain 150calories
Is egg good for weight loss?
About 60 percent of the calories in eggs come from their fat content. Eating eggs makes you feel full which then decreases your appetite and you eat less during the day.
This is because of the combination of proteins and fat, which increases the secretion of the satiety hormones gives the feeling of fullness.
Secondly, the protein in the egg causes the release of the hormone glucagon, which stimulates the release and subsequent use of the stored fat and carbohydrates in the body. Eggs, therefore, contrary to popular belief do not increase weight but help in weight loss to maintain a healthy weight.
Nutrition in eggs
Eggs contain a ton of nutrients that provide vital health benefits. Most of the nutrients in eggs are present in the yolk, so be sure you don’t leave it out.
Eggs contain the following nutrients, which provide various benefits.
- Iron carries oxygen to the various parts of the body. Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin (Hb), a protein that is present in red blood cells. It carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. Your body also uses iron to make myoglobin, which is also a protein that provides oxygen to muscles. Your body also makes some hormones with the help of iron.
- Vitamin A gives you healthy skin and assists in night vision.
- Vitamin D builds strong teeth and bones, improves your immunity, and prevents cancer and autoimmune diseases.
- Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that prevents diseases.
- Vitamin B12 keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy and prevents anemia.
- Folate is needed by the body for producing red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, for producing DNA and RNA, and converting carbohydrates into energy.
- Proteins build strong muscles, organs, skin, hair, and other body tissues. They are also needed to produce hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
- Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that reduces your risk of cancer and protects you from various diseases.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin help to maintain good night vision and prevents cataract and macular degeneration
- Choline plays a significant role in the development of the brain and its function.
- Fats. Two-thirds of the fat present in eggs is unsaturated fat, which is the healthy fat and which is not lost in cooking. They are important for a healthy brain and nervous system and lower the risk of heart disease.
Proteins in egg
Eggs are a great source of high-quality proteins, which contain all nine essential amino acids in the right proportion.
Proteins help build better bones and muscles and are important for better overall health.
The amount of protein content in an egg depends on the size of the egg.
- Small egg (38 grams): 4.9 grams of protein
- Medium egg (44 grams): 5.7 grams of protein
- Large egg (50 grams): 6.5 grams of protein
- Extra-large egg (56 grams): 7.3 grams of protein
- Jumbo egg (63 grams): 8.2 grams of protein
A man of average build and a sedentary lifestyle needs about 56 grams of protein per day, while the same styled woman needs about 46 grams.
The protein content of the egg yolk and white
The egg yolk contains almost all the nutrition of the egg. People are under the wrong notion that most of the protein in an egg is found only in the white of the egg. In fact, the yolk of the egg contains about half of the protein content of the egg.
For example, in a large egg with about 7 grams of protein, 3 grams will come from the yolk and 4 grams from the white.
Therefore, eat the whole egg and not just the white to savor all its nutritious value.
Is cooking an egg more beneficial to the body?
The benefit of the premium-quality high protein content in eggs depends on how they are prepared.
Raw eggs provide the least amount of protein.
Studies reveal that 94% of the cooked egg protein is absorbed, compared to only 74% of protein absorbed from eating a raw egg.
Cooking the egg, therefore, makes the protein in the egg easier to digest and gets absorbed faster from the gastrointestinal tract.
Cooking breaks down the egg protein, making it easier for digestion and readily available for the body. It also helps make vitamin B7, biotin, found in the egg yolk more readily available for your body.
Should you eat eggs daily?
According to Mayo Clinic eating one cooked egg daily is a healthy practice. Most healthy people can eat up to seven eggs a week without any negative impact on the heart.
However, another study advocates that a healthy person eat two eggs daily for six days a week. This will significantly increase HDL levels by 10%.