Egg Nutrition

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Fresh farm eggs

You've probably heard both good and bad things about the nutrition content of eggs, such as that they're loaded with nutrients but are high in dietary cholesterol. Knowing the facts about eggs will help you determine if adding them to your regular meal plans is beneficial.

Calorie Content

One whole large egg (the white plus the yolk) provides you with 72 calories, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database. Of those 72 calories, 55 are from the yolk and 17 calories come from the white part of the egg.

Egg White Nutrition

Egg whites are much lower in calories than egg yolks but are an excellent source of protein. One large egg white provides you with 3.6 grams of protein, 0.24 grams of carbs, and almost no fat. Egg whites are also a source of potassium, but are free from dietary cholesterol.

Egg Yolk Nutrition

Because egg yolks contain quite a bit more fat than egg whites, they are higher in calories, as well (55 calories in egg yolks vs. 17 calories in egg whites). Egg yolks are also a source of protein, providing 2.7 grams per yolk. One large egg yolk provides about 4.5 grams of dietary fat, 0.6 grams of carbs, phosphorous, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and vitamin E.

One large yolk also contains about 184 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. While heart-healthy guidelines used to recommend limiting dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams daily, the updated version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 - 2020 lacks this recommendation -- as evidence doesn't appear show a relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol as once thought.

Saturated Fat and Eggs

However, these updated dietary guidelines do recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 10 percent of total calories (less than 23 grams daily for 2,000-calorie meal plans) to lower disease risks. One large egg yolk contains 1.6 grams of saturated fat. If you need to limit saturated fat, you may want to stick to just the whites.

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Egg Nutrition