Eggs really are incredible when we look at their nutritional value. The Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) is the place to go for egg nutrition facts. This link breaks down the nutritional value for a whole egg, egg yolk, and egg white. Eggs pack a lot of nutrients into a small space, plus they are inexpensive – about 15 cents an egg. And, they can be prepared any number of ways – and quickly. So they are quite versatile.
Let’s now look deeper into these egg nutrition facts.
Eggs Are Nutrient Dense
This means eggs provide much nutritional support for the calories they contain. Soft drinks are nutrient sparse – lots of calories, but little if any nutrition. Eggs are a source of high quality protein. They are also high in important vitamins and minerals that provide the building blocks to make neurotransmitters that make our brains function smoothly.
Eggs and Protein
Eggs are a source of complete protein. This means they contain all the essential amino acids to support bodily functions. They are high in phenylalanine and tyrosine, 2 amino acids important for dopamine production, the energy neurotransmitter. The protein content in the egg is somewhat evenly divided between the egg white and the egg yolk with eggs white containing slighly more protein.
Eggs and Choline
More egg nutrition facts. Eggs are a great source of choline which is an essential nutrient related to the B vitamins. Choline makes up phosphatidylcholine that makes up our cell membranes. Choline is also the precursor for acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter important for memory and learning. Low acetylcholine is seen in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Acetylcholine triggers muscle stimulation, too. Many individuals are deficient in choline.
Eggs and Vitamin D
Eggs are one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Many individuals are vitamin D deficient and we’ve written several articles on vitamin D. Vitamin D is mostly found in the yolk.
Eggs and Vitamins and Minerals
Whole eggs are good sources of other vitamins and minerals important for bodily functions. Egg yolks are high in vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 works to keep calcium in the bones and out of blood vessels where it leads to atherosclerosis.
Why Did Eggs Get a Bad Rap?
For a long time eggs received some bad press related to their cholesterol and fat content which is mostly found in the yolk. But in recent years the American Heart Association (AHA) has lifted “its ban” on eggs though it recommends that daily dietary cholesterol not exceed 300 mcg a day. Here’s a review on eggs from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JCAN). In short, though eggs contain cholesterol and fats, research has not shown that eating eggs increases heart disease.
We sometimes get lost in this argument about cholesterol and fats and forget that we can measure cholesterol levels in any patient to see the effect of any dietary change on that person’s cholesterol profile. In other words, we can measure your cholesterol, change your diet, and then repeat your cholesterol to see if there has been any adverse effect resulting from the change diet.
Eggs are also have an equal amount of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Eggs will increase blood cholesterol in some individuals, but that increase comes in the form of large fluffy cholesterol particles, which do not cause heart disease (the small dense LDL particles are the culprits in heart disease). Have your cholesterol levels monitored if you have concerns about this.
Now that you know your egg nutrition facts consider adding this nutrient-packed food to your diet. Be careful not to overcook eggs as some of their nutritional value is lost.
See related articles.