For many Americans, eggs are a staple. They’re inexpensive, versatile, and easy to cook. From frittatas to sandwiches, they’re a quick and easy solution for a sudden hunger pang. But when you’re counting calories or trying to lose weight, should eggs be off the menu?
According to the Egg Nutrition Center, an egg contains at least 13 essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a rich source of B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, iron, zinc, and choline. It even includes the elusive vitamin D that is hard to find in dietary sources. Additionally, a single egg gives you about 6 gm of protein in a form that’s easily digested by your body.1
A Raw Egg Yields 72–90 Calories
A raw egg can contain anywhere from 72 to 90 calories, depending on its size. Specifically, it comes from 4.8–6 gm of fat and 6–8 gm of protein.
An Egg Yolk Yields About 55 Calories
On average, 55 of these calories (and 4.5 gm of fat) come from the yolk. So if you’re trying to watch your caloric count, skipping the yolk may be an option.2
A Hard-Boiled Egg Has 78 Cal; An Omelet Has 94 Cal
Now that you know what a basic raw egg contains, here’s the catch. The number of calories that you consume from an egg depends on the method of cooking. It also depends on the trimmings that you eat with them. If an egg is poached or boiled, you’d be able to keep a moderately low caloric intake. But if you add oil, cream, or cheese, the calorie count significantly increases. The same goes for the bread, baked beans, and hash browns you might have alongside the egg.
If there are 72 calories in a regular-sized egg, that can increase to 94 when whisked into an omelet, 90 calories if fried, and 91 if scrambled. However, it will stick to 78 calories if it’s hard boiled.3
Your healthiest move is to keep it simple. If you don’t like the thought of a plain boiled egg, make an omelet with plenty of fresh veggies. Limit the oil by using a spray. You can also swap cream for skimmed milk to make scrambled eggs.
Dieters Can Easily Eat 1 Egg A Day
If you are watching your weight, an eggy breakfast is a great way to keep the hunger pangs away. Not only do eggs provide you with energy, they also fill you up with protein, vitamins, and antioxidants. Often, the standard serving includes 3 egg whites and 1 yolk.
For a healthy person, the exclusion of the yolk has more to do with its saturated fat content than the cholesterol content. The cholesterol in your diet does not raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. In fact, your body starts producing less cholesterol. Eggs may even raise your good cholesterol levels.4 So you can easily eat at least 1 egg a day.
Don’t Skip Eggs Entirely If You Have High Cholesterol
Even if you have high cholesterol, don’t skip eggs entirely. They have many more nutrients to offer. Cut down on your intake of the egg yolk and focus on reducing saturated fat intake from foods like fatty meat or dairy.5 6
Diabetics Should Have Just Egg Whites Or About 2 Eggs A Week
Diabetics, however, may want to avoid eating more than 1 egg a day. Ideally, consider having it even less often – say, a couple of times a week. A study confirmed that regular egg intake actually increased heart risk among diabetics. And while further studies are needed to corroborate this, it may be wise to limit intake and practice an “egg-whites only” rule.7
Of course, keep in mind that you’ll still need to supplement with other dietary sources to make up for the nutrients that you aren’t getting from the yolk. For instance, vitamin D and some antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein (both good for the eyes) are mainly in the yolk. You will, however, still fuel up on protein, selenium, and riboflavin by having the whites.8
The Eggy Bottomline
If you’re in good health and want to have an egg a day, you should be able to so without any problems. It will not increase your heart disease risk. Instead, the antioxidants can benefit other parts of the body, like your eyes, by fighting free radical damage.9 When part of a diverse and well-rounded diet, eggs can do you a world of good.
Your Doubts Answered
Is It Unhealthy To Eat Eggs Daily?
[expert_opinion expertname=’andreacaprio’ opinion=”Unless there is an intolerance, allergy or specific counter indications, eggs can be beneficial for most. However, like with everything else, too much of a good thing is not beneficial and it would be more advantageous to have a balanced diet of a variety of foods including eggs 2-3 times a week. It is more important to ensure the eggs are of best quality and to choose organic, free range eggs from a reliable source.”]
Is It A Good Idea To Eat Eggs During A Weight Loss Routine? If Yes, What Are Some Healthy Ways To Eat It?
[expert_opinion expertname=’andreacaprio’ opinion=”Protein in eggs is really important to help support weight loss. A great way to eat eggs is in an omelet together with vegetables such as spinach.”]
|↑1, ↑8||Nutrients In Eggs. Egg Nutrition Center.|
|↑2, ↑3||Egg, whole, cooked, omelet, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. USDA.|
|↑4, ↑9||Fernandez, Maria Luz. “Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care 9, no. 1 (2006): 8-12.|
|↑5||Can I eat eggs?. Heart UK, The Cholesterol Charity.|
|↑6||Eggs and Heart Disease. Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.|
|↑7||Hu, Frank B., Meir J. Stampfer, Eric B. Rimm, JoAnn E. Manson, Alberto Ascherio, Graham A. Colditz, Bernard A. Rosner et al. “A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women.” Jama 281, no. 15 (1999): 1387-1394.|