Nutritional Analysis of Eggs

March 22, 2023 9 mins to read
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Eggs are an amazing superfood loaded with significant amounts of vitamins and minerals (1) essential for maintaining good health. They also help you to feel fuller longer, and are used in a variety of delicious recipes. Despite containing cholesterol, eggs can actually help lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

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Eggs 🥚🍳are an egg-ceptional source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. But did you know just how nutrient dense eggs are? Here I rundown the nutrient content of eggs, and one of the main foods that give a vegetarian diet advantages over a vegan diet. Follow me 🙏 for more nutrition facts, tips and ways to improve your health 😀 As with everything there is too much of a good thing and yes there are disadvantages to eating eggs (esp too much), particularly for the prostate. Always contact your doctor (and a nutrition expert or naturopath) before making significant dietary changes, especially if you have a health issue, digestive or autoimmune issues. I also recommend you get an ELISA food allergies test, if you’re allergic to eggs. If you are allergic to chicken eggs, you may be able to try duck or quail eggs (although the nutritional content is different). #eggs #superfood #vegetarianfood #egghack #nutritionfacts #nutritiontok #nutritiontip #integrativenutrition #nutritionstudent #nutritonspecialist #healthyfood #superfoods #healthtips #food #vegetarian #vegetarianfood

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Proteins, Fats & Carbs | Egg Nutrition Facts

In addition, the nutrients in eggs support healthy eyes, help prevent certain birth defects in babies and can improve brain function. Read below for a full list of egg nutrition facts, per 1 large (50g) egg:

  • Protein: 6 grams (DV 12%)
  • Fat: 5 grams (DV 8%)
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 grams (DV 8%)
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2 grams
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 0.6 grams (DV 0%)
  • Sugar: 0.6 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams (DV 0%)
  • Cholesterol: 211 milligrams (DV 70%)

Vitamins | Egg Nutrition Facts

  • Vitamin A: 66 IU (DV 1%)
  • Vitamin D: 44 IU (DV 11%)
  • Vitamin E: 1 milligram (DV 7%)
  • Vitamin K: 0.1 micrograms (DV 1%)
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1): 0.01 milligrams (DV 1%)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 0.23 milligrams (DV 15%)
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 0.04 milligrams (DV 0%)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.05 milligrams (DV 5%)
  • Folate: 22 micrograms (DV 6%)
  • Vitamin B12: 0.6 micrograms (DV 10%)

Minerals | Egg Nutrition Facts

  • Calcium: 28 milligrams (DV 3%)
  • Iron: 1 milligram (DV 6%)
  • Potassium: 69 milligrams (DV 2%)
  • Magnesium: 1 milligram (DV 0%)
  • Phosphorus: 99 milligrams (DV 10%)
  • Zinc: 1 milligram (DV 7%)
  • Copper: 0.04 milligrams (DV 4%)
  • Manganese: 0.02 milligrams (DV 1%)
  • Selenium: 15 micrograms (DV 22%)
  • Sodium: 70 milligrams (DV 3%)

Phytonutrients | Egg Nutrition Facts

  • Lutein (Unknown DV)
  • Zeaxanthin (Unknown DV)

Health Benefits of Eggs

Below are the health benefits of eggs backed by studies (references in brackets):

  1. Lower cholesterol: Eggs can lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol (4, 5).
  2. Weight loss – Eggs help you to feel fuller, which helps to reduce overall calorie intake and can help with managing weight. (2, 3)
  3. Reduce risk of heart disease: Studies found moderate egg consumption (up to one egg per day) isn’t associated with an increased risk of heart disease, and may actually be protective (6, 7).
  4. Improve eye health: The lutein and zeaxanthin found in eggs may help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, two common eye conditions (8, 9).
  5. Reduce risk of birth defects: Adequate folate intake is essential for pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects in their babies. Eggs are an excellent source of dietary folate (10).
  6. Improve brain function: Choline, a nutrient found in eggs, is important for brain health and development. Some studies have suggested that higher choline intake may be associated with better cognitive performance (11, 12).
  7. Reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a set of conditions which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Several studies suggest that regular egg consumption may help reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome by improving blood sugar & insulin levels, and reducing inflammation (22, 23).
  8. Reduce inflammation: Chronic inflammation is associated with various chronic diseases, including: heart disease, cancer & diabetes. Some studies found egg consumption can help reduce inflammation, likely due to the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds like choline and selenium (24, 25).
  9. Protect against some types of cancer: Although more research is needed, some studies found egg consumption may be protective against certain types of cancer, including breast & colon cancer (26, 27).

Negative Health Effects of Eggs

While eggs are generally considered a healthy food, there have been some concerns about their potential impact on health. Below are some of the negative health effects of eggs, backed by studies:

  1. Raise Cholesterol: Eggs do contain cholesterol which in some individuals may increase LDL bad cholesterol. But dietary cholesterol, studies have shown, has a minimal effects on blood cholesterol levels; far less than saturated or trans fats. A 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that higher intakes of dietary cholesterol and eggs were associated with a slightly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, but the association was modest and not statistically significant after adjusting for other factors (19).
  2. Salmonella Poisoning: If consuming raw or uncooked eggs there is potential for Salmonella poisoning, However, the risk of Salmonella is greatly reduced by cooking and handling the eggs properly (20).
  3. Source of Allergies / Food sensitivities: Eggs are a common food allergen, and some people may experience allergic reactions to them. Symptoms can range from mild (such as hives or stomach upset) to severe (such as anaphylaxis) (21).
  4. Cardiovascular disease: A study published in JAMA in 2019 analyzed data from six US cohort studies & discovered higher egg consumption was associated with a slightly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality (10). However, other studies did not find a significant association between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease (11, 12).
  5. Type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2015 found higher egg consumption was associated with a slightly increased risk of type 2 diabetes (13). However, a more recent 2020 meta-analysis from the same journal did not find a significant association between egg consumption and type 2 diabetes risk (14).
  6. Prostate cancer: A 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research showed higher egg consumption was associated with a higher risk of advanced prostate cancer (15). However, other studies have found no significant association between egg consumption and prostate cancer risk (16, 17).
  7. Biotin deficiency: Raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin, which can bind to biotin (a B vitamin) and prevent it from being absorbed. This can lead to biotin deficiency, which can cause skin rash, hair loss, and neurological symptoms. However, cooking egg whites denatures avidin and makes biotin available for absorption (14).

It’s worth noting that many of these potential negative health effects are associated with excessive consumption of eggs, or with consuming eggs that are not properly cooked or handled. For most people, eggs can be a nutritious part of a healthy diet.

It’s important to note that these studies have limitations and cannot prove causation. Other factors, such as lifestyle and dietary patterns, may also be contributing to the observed associations.

Overall, the majority of research suggests that moderate egg consumption (up to one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of negative health outcomes, and eggs can be part of a healthy and balanced diet for most people (9, 10).

References

  1. Ruxton CH, Derbyshire E, Gibson S. The nutritional properties and health benefits of eggs. Nutr Food Sci. 2010;40(3):263-279.
  2. Vander Wal JS, Gupta A, Khosla P, Dhurandhar NV. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008;32(10):1545-1551.
  3. Dhurandhar EJ, Dawson J, Alcorn A, et al. The effectiveness of breakfast recommendations on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100(2):507-513.
  4. Rong Y, Chen L, Zhu T, et al. Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ. 2013;346:e8539.
  5. Blesso CN, Andersen CJ, Barona J, Volek JS, Fernandez ML. Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolism. 2013;62(3):400-410.
  6. Shin JY, Xun P, Nakamura Y, He K. Egg consumption in relation to risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;98(1):146-159.
  7. Alexander DD, Miller PE, Vargas AJ, Weed DL, Cohen SS. Meta-analysis of egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016;35(8):704-716.
  8. Vishwanathan R, Schalch W, Johnson EJ. Macular pigment carotenoids in the retina and occipital cortex are related in humans. Nutr Neurosci. 2016;19(3):95-101.
  9. Ma L, Hao ZX, Liu RR, et al. A dose-response
  10. Zhong VW, Van Horn L, Cornelis MC, et al. Associations of dietary cholesterol or egg consumption with incident cardiovascular disease and mortality. JAMA. 2019;321(11):1081-1095.
  11. Rong Y, Chen L, Zhu T, et al. Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ. 2013;346:e8539.
  12. Alexander DD, Miller PE, Vargas AJ, et al. Meta-analysis of egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016;35(8):704-716.
  13. Djoussé L, Khawaja OA, Gaziano JM. Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(4):705-713.
  14. Zhang L, Wang F, Wang X, et al. Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020;112(1):85-93.
  15. Richman EL, Kenfield SA, Stampfer MJ, et al. Egg, red meat, and poultry intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer in the prostate-specific antigen-era: incidence and survival. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011;4(12):2110-2121.
  16. Richman EL, Carroll PR, Chan JM. Vegetable and fruit intake after diagnosis and risk of prostate cancer progression. Int J Cancer. 2012;131(1):201-210.
  17. Wilson KM, Kasperzyk JL, Rider JR, et al. Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk and progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011;103(11):876-884.
  18. Shin JY, Xun P, Nakamura Y, He K. Egg consumption in relation to risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;98(1):146-159
  19. McNamara DJ. Dietary cholesterol, heart disease risk and cognitive dissonance. Proc Nutr Soc. 1999;58(2):409-417.
  20. Huwe JK, Nash JH, Barbaree JM, Foley SL. Detection of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis in eggs from a commercial egg pasteurization plant in the southeastern United States. J Food Prot. 2013;76(7):1183-1186.
  21. Gupta RS, Springston EE, Warrier MR, et al. The prevalence, severity, and distribution of childhood food allergy in the United States. Pediatrics. 2011;128(1):e9-e17.
  22. Blesso CN, Andersen CJ, Barona J, Volek JS, Fernandez ML. Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolism. 2013;62(3):400-410.
  23. Fuller NR, Sainsbury A, Caterson ID, et al. The effect of a high-egg diet on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) study—a 3-mo randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(4):705-713.
  24. Kim J, Lee JH, Kim Y, et al. Egg consumption is associated with lower inflammation in Korean adults. Nutr Res Pract. 2015;9(1):30-36.
  25. Wu J, Cho E, Willett WC, et al. Intakes of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Other Carotenoids and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Prospective Cohort Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2015;181(9): 663-671.
  26. Larsson SC, Bergkvist L, Wolk A. Egg consumption and risk of breast cancer: a meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2007;114(3): 549-554.
  27. Cho E, Zeisel SH, Jacques P, et al. Dietary choline and betaine assessed by food-frequency questionnaire in relation to plasma total homocysteine concentration in the Framingham Offspring Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(4):905-911.

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