Egg FAQ’s

Interested in egg nutritional information? Below are some frequently asked questions regarding eggs and egg nutritional benefits.

Q: Are eggs good for you?

Yes, eggs are a nutrient-dense food (aka eggs provide a nutrient bang for your calorie buck) according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) which includes eggs within all recommended healthy eating patterns. Egg are a good or excellent source of eight essential vitamins and minerals. At just 15 cents each per large egg, eggs are an excellent source of vitamin B12, biotin (B7), iodine, selenium, and choline, a good source of high-quality protein, riboflavin (B2) and pantothenic acid (B5), as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (252 mcg), all in 70 calories.

Q: Should I toss the yolk?

No! Most of the eggs’ nutrients and nearly half of the protein (just over 40%) is found in the yolk. Additionally, egg yolks carry various amounts of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin D, E, A, and the antioxidants lutein/zeaxanthin. Plus, the fat, which is mostly unsaturated and found in the egg yolk, aids in the absorption of these essential and important egg components.

Q: How many eggs can I eat?

There are no specific recommendations or guidelines on how many eggs to eat a day or week. Research demonstrates that whole eggs can be a part of a balanced diet that contains a wide variety of nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In fact, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include whole eggs in all of their healthy eating patterns.

Q: What is choline and who should be concerned about choline intakes?

Choline is an essential nutrient that is important for the brain and nervous system. It is particularly important during pregnancy, as it impacts fetal brain development. There is emerging evidence that maternal choline consumption favorably impacts cognitive function of children. Approximately 90% of Americans do not eat adequate amounts of choline, however, eggs are one of the most concentrated food sources of choline in the American diet.  Two large eggs a day provide more than half of the choline most people need (nearly 300 mg).

Q: Do eggs contain antioxidants?

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids (yellow pigments) found in eggs (252 mcg/large egg) that selectively accumulate in the retina of the eye. The accumulation of lutein in the fovea of the retina supports eye health through its’ ability to act as an antioxidant and capacity to absorb damaging blue light (short wavelengths).  Emerging research is now demonstrating a connection between lutein status and cognition in both children and adults. Eggs are a source of lutein and zeaxanthin, and while spinach and dark leafy greens have a higher lutein/zeaxanthin content per serving, the lutein/zeaxanthin from eggs has been shown to be better absorbed into the body (more bioavailable).

Q: Do eggs increase the risk of heart disease?

More than 40 years of research has demonstrated that people can enjoy eggs without impacting risk of heart disease.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans does not list dietary cholesterol as a nutrient of public health concern. New data show that egg consumption may have a positive impact on HDL-cholesterol function, which builds on the evidence demonstrating egg consumption is not associated with cardiovascular disease.

Q: Can eggs promote a healthy weight?

Research demonstrates that a higher protein diet can help people feel full, which can ultimately help them eat less throughout the day. Eggs are a good source of all-natural, high-quality protein.  In one study, dieters who ate an egg breakfast lost 65% more weight compared to those who ate a same-calorie bagel breakfast.

Q: Can people with diabetes eat eggs?

Yes, the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association encourage people with diabetes to consume a healthy dietary pattern that includes nutrient-rich foods. Recent clinical trials provide evidence that eggs can be included in a healthy dietary pattern without adverse cardiovascular effects linked to diabetes, and in some cases, can be linked to beneficial outcomes for blood glucose.

Q: Does nutrient content vary depending on egg color or how the hens are raised?

The nutrient content of eggs is similar regardless of color (white or brown), grade (AA, A, or B), or how they are raised (organic, free-range, and conventional). Although all types of eggs may have some variation in nutrients, unless the hen’s diet has been altered, the differences are not meaningful.

The only way to produce eggs with higher levels of nutrients is by feeding the hens that lay the eggs a diet of nutritionally fortified feed.  In such cases, the eggs are marketed as nutrient- or nutritionally enhanced and their packaging will specify nutrient content.  For example, certain eggs may be enriched with vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids. Due to higher production costs, such specialty eggs are usually more expensive.  When in doubt, always check the Nutrition Facts label on the carton.

Different types of eggs are available in order to accommodate people’s preferences and budgets.  But at the end of the day, from a nutrition perspective, all eggs are nutrient-rich and can be part of healthy dietary patterns.