What Mom Never Told You About Calories In Egg

A straight answer to the question “How many calories in egg?” is not always possible. It depends on whether the egg is cook or raw, and the species of bird it came from. It even depends on which part of the egg you are talking about. Although the yolk and the white of an average chicken’s egg contain almost equal amounts of carbohydrate (roughly 0.3 grams each in a large example), the yolk has 80% of the egg’s total calories. A chicken’s egg, such as you’d find in your local grocery store will contain between 70-80 calories, depending on how big it is.

What is the Calories Myth?

When it comes to dieting and weight loss, eggs have secrets of their own. For a start, some eggs can actually help you lose weight. Yes, it’s true. Before we get on to that, let’s take a look at how eggs can help keep you healthy.

When it comes to cholesterol, eggs have had an unfairly bad press. To say that eating eggs will increase the cholesterol levels in your blood is, quite frankly, incorrect. In 2009 a study of more than 21,000 people showed that eating up to six eggs a week (just under one a day) had no significant effect on a normal adult’s cholesterol levels. The only possible exception is people with diabetes. Who should be more careful and perhaps seek the advice of a doctor before increasing their egg consumption.

Eggs aren’t bad for you: on the contrary, they can do you lots of good. They are an important source of protein, iodine and vitamins A, B3 and D. In fact, egg yolks are one of the very few foods that contain vitamin D, which we normally extract by exposure to sunlight. Raw egg contains essential nutrients that said the nervous system, brain, hormones and glands; some of which are reduce by cooking processes. It is thought that sulfur amino acids can help to keep you young.

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Choline is an essential nutrient found in large doses in eggs. Not only is choline good for you, it’s vital for the body to remain healthy. Because it is usually found in foods like fatty meats and liver, dietary advice means that people are often deprived of choline. In 2005 a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that only 2% of postmenopausal women consume the recommended intake of choline. A large hardboiled egg contains approximately 113 mgs of choline and 80 calories. To get the same dose, you’d have to eat 1.5 cups of peanuts (1640 calories), more than two cups of kidney beans (980 calories) or a pound of spinach (154 calories)!

If you are concerned with the health effects of eating eggs, you can eat the white with almost impunity. Over 50% of the calories in eggs come from the fat in the yolk. Of that, only a quarter of that is saturated fat containing LDL (the “bad” type of) cholesterol. The egg white consists primarily of water (87%) and contains no cholesterol or fat.

Have you heard of the Egg Diet? This is basically a weight-loss plan that involves eating lots of eggs (which are packed with protein) and very little carbohydrate. Breakfast consists of something like 6-8 eggs eaten without toast. Recommended methods are to scramble your eggs (without butter or cream – maybe a glug of extra-virgin olive oil) or maybe you want to crack your eggs and make an omelette, with fried onions and perhaps peas, sweetcorn, cheese or maybe prawns. Lunch carries on the same way, adding low-carb vegetables and salad. And so it goes on…

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Another twist on the egg diet theme is the Egg and Grapefruit Diet. Which adds half an unsweetened grapefruit to each meal. Both of them are really variations of the Atkins weight-reduction program. Simply replacing meat protein with eggs – and maybe grapefruit. This is a fad diet and I do not recommend you follow it. Aside from the potential cholesterol problem, which follows consuming a week’s recommended intake of eggs at every meal, fad diets never work in the long run. Another downside is that fruit is doesn’t play a part in the egg diet, and the lack of fibre is quite alarming.

Can eggs be dangerous?

Aside from the dietary worries we go into elsewhere in this article, one very real danger from eggs is the possibility of food poisoning. This is especially true for vulnerable groups such as toddlers and young children, anyone who is already ill, the elderly and pregnant women. Eggs can contain salmonella bacteria, which is a bug that can cause serious illness.

Raw or lightly cooked eggs are the main cause of food poisoning, which in its mildest form may be hardly noticeable in fit, healthy adults. One way around this is to use pasteurised (or heat-treated) eggs. Storing eggs is also important. They should ideally kept in the special compartment in the refrigerator. Keep them away from other foods, especially ones that will be eaten raw.

Many health practitioners advocate that we eat raw eggs. Which can be a problem for some people, not least because of the dangers outlined above. Our advice would be to go ahead and eat raw egg. But only when you are confident with the source of your eggs. Infected eggs only come from chickens that are ill or when eggs are contaminate by exposure to them. Organic and free range eggs are best and if you can.

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Eggs come in all shapes and sizes and different types contain different amounts of calories. For example, a raw goose egg weighs around 150 grams and contains 240 calories, whereas the same from a quail weights 14 grams, with 20 calories. Much depends on how you cook your egg. A medium boiled hen’s egg comes in at around 75-80 calories. Fry it and you are adding as many calories as the fat you cook it in.

Nutritional Value Per 100 grams of a hard-boiled hen’s egg

140 μg (18%)

Energy 647 kJ (155 kcal)
Carbohydrates 1.12 g
Fat 10.6 g
Protein 12.6 g
– Tryptophan 0.153 g
– Threonine 0.604 g
– Isoleucine 0.686 g
– Leucine 1.075 g
– Lysine 0.904 g
– Methionine 0.392 g
– Cystine 0.292 g
– Phenylalanine 0.668 g
– Tyrosine 0.513 g
– Valine 0.767 g
– Arginine 0.755 g
– Histidine 0.298 g
– Alanine 0.700 g
– Aspartic acid 1.264 g
– Glutamic acid 1.644 g
– Glycine 0.423 g
– Proline 0.501 g
– Serine 0.936 g
Water 75 g
Vitamin A equiv.
Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.066 mg (6%)
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.5 mg (42%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.4 mg (28%)
Folate (vit. B9) 44 μg (11%)
Vitamin B12 1.11 μg (46%)
Choline 225 mg (46%)
Vitamin D 87 IU (15%)
Vitamin E 1.03 mg (7%)
Calcium 50 mg (5%)
Iron 1.2 mg (9%)
Magnesium 10 mg (3%)
Phosphorus 172 mg (25%)
Potassium 126 mg (3%)
Zinc 1.0 mg (11%)
Cholesterol 424 mg
The edible part of the egg only. For these figures the shell (12%) was discard. Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient Database/ Wikipedia

There is more to find out than the bare facts such as how many calories does an egg contain.