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Published on Feb. 7, 2022

The Eggceptional egg, nutritional facts and figures

For centuries, eggs have been considered as Eggceptional foods. Not only because they are so delicious, but also a wholesome food. Many consider eggs as being nature’s most complete food, as they serve as the basis for life. The egg is an encapsulated reserve of proteins, lipids, minerals, and vitamins, which is remarkable for the diversity of nutrients, their high digestibility or availability and also for the balance between the various essential constituents. The avian egg has an incomparable nutritional value, not only for birds but also for humans. The protein value of eggs is among the highest of all animal food proteins.

Eggs are easily digested and absorbed, the hen’s egg as a nutrient is therefore appropriate for most of the human population. Eggs are defined as low calorie source as both its calories and fat content are in moderation. Nature’s original superfood is packed with many essential vitamins and nutrients in each serving. And with just 131 calories (or 547 kilojoules) per 100 grams of egg, they are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

Eggs contain essential nutrients for the growth and development of young children, and when boiled or cooked, they are among the most nutritious foods that a woman can consume during her pregnancy. But also, for the elderly, an egg a day is an easy way to get their essential nutrients, that can be easily digested and absorbed. Moreover, the egg is the only animal food that can be stored uncooked/unprocessed at room temperature for a noteworthy period, although we do recommend storing your eggs in the fridge to keep them fresh for an even longer period.

The levels of energy, fat, carbohydrates and protein in eggs.

Eggs are highly valued due to their protein content, but how many grams of protein does an egg contain? Another rising question is if there are carbohydrates in eggs? Essentially eggs don’t contain carbohydrate, while the amount of protein is over 12% from a fresh egg. More details can be found in the table below.

Egg nutrition information Per Small Egg (48 grams) Per Medium Size Egg (58 grams) Per Large Egg (68 grams) Per Very Large Egg (78 grams) Per 100 grams
Energy kcal (calories) 54 66 78 90 131
Energy kJ 227 277 326 377 547
Fat (g) 3.7 4.6 5.4 6.2 9.0
Carbohydrate (g) trace trace trace trace trace
Sugars (g) trace trace trace trace trace
Protein (g) 5.2 6.4 7.5 8.7 12.6

Eggs as a source for vitamins and minerals

As already mentioned, eggs contain all elements for a basis of life. This includes many different minerals and vitamins. What is the function of different vitamins and minerals and how do eggs contribute on a daily basis?

Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins, meaning they will be absorbed together with fats. Fats will be discussed further in the text. Your body is able to store significant amount of fat-soluble vitamins for days till months.

  • Vitamin A is involved in the development of new tissues and therefore vital for growth and development, but also involved in supporting the immune function and promoting general reproductive health. Mostly vitamin A is recognized as the vitamin for vision, as it is highly important for eye health.
  • Vitamin D is a vitamin present in food and endogenously produced via UV from sunlight. It regulates calcium and phosphorus metabolism, making it necessary for health bone and teeth mineralization. Vitamin D also supports the immune system., as broadly communicated in the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Vitamin E is mostly known for its antioxidant function, in which is reduced the effect of free radicals to contribute to tissue protection. Further it enhances the immune function.
  • Vitamin K is involved in blood clotting and coagulation, and therefore counteracting with blood thinners. Additionally, it is involved in bone mineralization and cell growth.

B-group vitamins, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin C are water soluble vitamins acting as co-enzymes. Each co-enzyme has a specific function, and a shortage often results in metabolic disorders. Water soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body, the excess will leave via your urine. Therefore, you should consume them on a regular basis.

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is an important co-enzyme and involved in the carbohydrate metabolism, to be more specific in the breakdown of glucose to energy and therefore lowering the blood sugar levels.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): is necessary for energy metabolism, synthesis of steroids and red blood cells, and the antioxidant status within cells.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) contribute to several coenzyme functions. As co-enzyme it is involved in mainly energy metabolism.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) plays a significant role in fat metabolism and energy production due to a significant role in the citric acid cycle.
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is essential for red blood cell formation and amino acid metabolism. Furthermore, it is essential for energy production and immune system integrity.
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin) is involved in the fatty acid and energy metabolism. It is well known to contribute to keratin, the protein involved in skin, hair and nail production.
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid) is well known for the importance of nervous system development during early pregnancy. As it is involved in amino acid and DNA metabolism.
  • Vitamin B12 is essential growth and blood cell synthesis. Furthermore, it is a co-enzyme involved in different metabolisms like the formation of DNA and proteins as well as the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.

Some substances are classified as vitamin-like substances, like betaine, choline and folate. They have similar functions as vitamins but are not required in high amounts in the body, as you are able to synthesize them yourself.

  • Betaine has similar functions as Choline, but additionally it is important in maintaining he osmotic balance, therefore it protects cells against osmotic stress.
  • Choline its most important functions are related with fat metabolism, development of cell wall structures and supporting the nervous system, like brain development.

The table below show the vitamin levels per 100 grams of egg, this equals an intake of 2 medium sized eggs.

Vitamins and Vitamin like substances per 100 grams of egg NRV Vitamins and Vitamin like substances per 100 grams of egg NRV Vitamins and Vitamin like substances per 100 grams of egg NRV
Betaine 0.3 mg
Choline, total 335 mg 84%
Vitamin A 180 μg 23%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.077 mg 7%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.419 mg 30%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) <0.2 mg <1.25%
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.05 mg 1%
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.063 mg 4%
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) 19.5 μg 49%
Vitamin B 9 (Folic acid),
total
71 μg 36%
Vitamin B12 1.02 μg 41%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units 98.4 49%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) 2.46 μg 49%
Vitamin E, total 1.29 11%
Vitamin K, total 13 μg 19%

Eggs contain various essential minerals; we have listed the most important ones below.

  • Iron is an essential in various primary functions, including red blood cell formation and therefore the oxygen transport throughout the body, development of connective tissue and providing energy.
  • Phosphorus is an element in all body cells, mostly known as part of the bone ant teeth matrix. It also contributes to the energy metabolism and muscle growth
  • Iodine is mostly known as wound sanitizer and maintaining a healthy skin. However, it is an important mineral in supporting your thyroid to produce hormones, promoting cognitive function and optimal brain development and maintaining healthy skin.
  • Selenium is an important antioxidant prevents damage due to free radicals. Further it is essential in the immune system, and reproductive and thyroid health.
Minerals per 100 grams of egg RDI
Calcium, Ca 48 mg 6%
Iron, Fe 1.67 mg 12%
Magnesium, Mg 11.4 mg 3%
Phosphorus, P 184 mg 33%
Potassium, K 132 mg
Sodium, Na 129 mg
Zinc, Zn 1.24 mg 12%
Copper, Cu <0.1 mg <11%
Manganese, Mn <0.05 mg <2.5%
Iodine, I 49.1 µg 33%
Selenium, Se 31.1 µg 57%

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 of them, 10 of which are essential, meaning our bodies cannot make them and they must therefore be provided in our diets. Not only does the egg contain 18 of the 20 amino acids, it contains all of the 10 essential amino acids in abundance. It has the best amino acid profile known — better than meat, milk and soy products.

Amino acids per 100 grams of egg
Isoleucine 684 mg
Leucine 1120 mg
Lysine 922 mg
Methionine 424 mg
Cysteine + Cystine 311 mg
Phenylalanine 711 mg
Tyrosine 536 mg
Threonine 609 mg
Tryptophan 193 mg
Valine 824 mg
Arginine 798 mg
Histidine 309 mg
Alanine 726 mg
Aspartic acid 1300 mg
Glutamic acid 1650 mg
Glycine 432 mg
Proline 546 mg
Serine 929 mg

What about Cholesterol?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion around cholesterol and eggs. As shown in the table below, the level of cholesterol is high. However, there are different types of cholesterol, known as the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol). LDL can build up in your blood vessels and is therefore called the “bad cholesterol”. While HDL carries LDL from your blood vessels to your liver, where it will be broken down and used by your body, therefore called the “good cholesterol”. Research has shown that egg consumption does increase blood levels of both LDL as well as HDL, but the ratio between them remains unchanged. Other research has shown that egg consumption does not increase the risk on heart diseases. But why? Therefore, the negative effects of LDL cholesterol on cardiovascular diseases is probably counteracted by the positive effects of HDL cholesterol. Nevertheless, it is still recommended to keep an eye on the dietary cholesterol intake if you have diabetes or hypertension.

Lipids per 100 grams of egg Lipids per 100 grams of egg
Fatty acids, total
saturated
3.2 g
Fatty acids, total
monounsaturated
3.63 g
Fatty acids, total
polyunsaturated
1.82 g
Cholesterol 411 mg

"The Eggceptional egg. Delicious, nutritious and simply the perfect element for adding nutritional value into any meal – at any time of day. Not only are they readily accessible and easy to prepare, but eggs are also jam-packed with an impressive variety of vital nutrients – making them one of the healthiest foods to eat on the planet."

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References

  • Agriculture, U. D. (29 de 12 de 2021). Eggs. Obtenido de FoodData Central U.S Department of Agriculture : https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/748967/nutrients
  • Kuang, H., Yang, F., Zhang, Y., Wang, T., & Chen, G. (2018). The Impact of Egg Nutrient Composition and Its Consumption on Cholesterol Homeostasis. Cholesterol
  • Roe, M., Pinchen, H., Church, S., & Finglas, P. (213). Nutrient analysis of eggs - Analytical Report (revised version). Institute of Food Research. Obtenido de http://www.dh.gov.uk/publications

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