by Will Grumke August 03, 2018 5 min read
Eggs are one of the most common food staples in the world. They're full of protein, and can be eaten in a variety of ways on their own but they’re also part of many different dishes as well.
In this article, we’ll talk about how much protein is in an egg and if eggs are healthy for you. We’ll also mention some other high-protein foods out there that you can eat.
So, how much protein is in an egg?
The protein count in an egg varies depending on how you cook it. Different cooking processes create different chemical reactions within food products causing their nutritional value to change somewhat.
Here are a couple of examples of how much protein is in an egg, depending on which way it's cooked. Each of these examples measures the protein content in 100 grams of eggs.
• Fresh, raw egg – 12.56 grams of protein
• Fried egg – 13.61 grams of protein
• Poached egg – 12.51 grams of protein
• Dried egg – 48.05 grams of protein
• Egg omelet – 10.57 grams of protein
Notice how much higher the protein content is in the dried eggs than the other egg options provided. There are more grams of protein in 100 grams of dried eggs, because dried eggs do not contain any water. Keep in mind, if you add water to rehydrate your eggs, the protein number will change dramatically. Realistically though, no one will eat straight egg powder.
Another thing to consider when asking how much protein is in an egg is that different parts of an egg are nutritionally different from the egg as a whole. 100 grams of raw, fresh egg white contains 10.0 grams of protein whereas 100 grams of raw, fresh egg yolk has 15.86 grams of protein.
To get a better idea of what specific egg recipes and preparations look like from a nutritional and protein content standpoint, check out the USDA’s Food Composition Database.
The point is that it’s hard to give a straight answer regarding how much protein is in an egg. It depends on how you prepare your eggs, how many eggs you’re preparing, the size of the egg, and the parts of the egg you’re using. All of this will have an impact on how much protein your egg dish will have. Plus, eggs still contain other macros like fat and carbs, so it's hard to say that eggs are definitely the best source of protein.
Healthy is a subjective term in the world of nutrition.
What’s healthy to an active weightlifter is going to be different from what’s healthy to a desk jockey who watches a lot of TV. Their bodies need different things and use nutrients and protein differently.
The active weightlifter's body can handle more fat than the desk jockey’s body can. The weightlifter also requires more protein to grow and maintain muscle mass.
Even though the eggs have 9.51 grams of fat and .72 grams of carbs per 100 grams of eggs, the weightlifter can probably afford to eat many eggs while the person watching TV all evening should consider eating less. Different bodies require different kinds of nutrition to satisfy their needs and lifestyle.
So, in order to find out whether eggs are good for you personally, you need to analyze your own health and fitness habits.
If you’re wondering whether eggs are a good protein choice for you, ask yourself some of the following questions.
What are your fitness goals? – Are you looking to gain weight? Gain muscle weight? Are you looking to maintain your current weight? Do you want to lose weight generally or fat specifically? Knowing where you are health-wise is the first step towards making future health and fitness decisions.
What is your fitness level? – Are you active or are you sedentary? Do you use your gym membership or do you just pay for it? Physically active, healthy people can consume more calories and need more protein than their sedentary counterparts. Take an honest look at what you are doing to stay physically fit and healthy and if you’re lacking in any one area. Nothing says you can’t eat eggs if you’re sedentary, but you need to consider the fat and carbs in relation to the protein.
What does your diet look like? – How much of each macronutrient are you consuming on a daily basis? Are they balanced or are you overeating one or more of them? Are you getting enough fiber? Leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and whole grains are all high in fiber, while also being high in protein and low in fat. If you’re looking to increase your protein intake and you need more fiber, then one of those options would be better than eating more eggs. However, if you’re getting plenty of other nutrients already, eggs are probably fine.
What direction is your health going now? – This takes a general look at the aforementioned questions. If you’re looking to maintain your bodyweight but you’re gaining weight, you should probably lay off the eggs. If you’re looking to gain muscle but you aren’t seeing any added muscle weight, then it won’t hurt to eat more eggs and protein. Ask yourself where your health and fitness are going compared to where you want them to go. Then ask yourself whether adding more eggs to your diet would help you progress toward these goals
What are the eggs doing for your diet? – If you’re trying to lose weight, but you’re gaining weight, it’d seem obvious that you should avoid eating eggs. But if the eggs are replacing something that’s less healthy, then eating eggs is the healthier choice. Ask yourself if the eggs are adding, replacing, or taking away something from your current diet and protein sources, and what kind of effect that will have on your fitness goals.
There are plenty of other foods that you can eat if you’re looking to add more protein to your diet.
Here are just a couple of them (all based off of a 100-gram serving):
Hopefully now you better understand how much protein is in an egg and other egg dishes, and how eggs can play a role in your nutrition based on your goals.
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NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, NASM VCS Virtual Coaching Specialist, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer