Nutrient Value of Eggs

Nutrient Value of Eggs

Good Nutrition

Good Nutrition, Affordable Price.

With all the media attention on cholesterol, consumers often lose sight of the fact that eggs are a nutrient rich, affordable contributor to a healthy diet. Not only do eggs contain the highest quality source of protein available but they also contain almost every essential vitamin and mineral needed by humans. In fact, egg protein is of such high quality that it is used as the standard by which other proteins are compared. Eggs have a biological value (efficacy with which protein is used for growth) of 93.7%. Comparable values are 84.5% for milk, 76% for fish, and 74.3% for beef. Eggs really are the best protein money can buy, and it has all those other valuable vitamins and minerals too.

Nutrient Content of a Large Egg

Nutrient (unit) Whole Egg Egg White Egg Yolk
Calories (kcal) 72 17 55
Protein (g) 6.29 3.60 2.70
Total lipid (g) 4.97 0 4.51
Total carbohydrate (g) 0.39 0.24 0.61
Fatty acids (g) 4.13 0 4.32
Saturated fat (g) 1.55 0 1.62
Monounsaturated fat (g) 1.91 0 1.99
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0.68 0 0.71
Cholesterol (mg) 212 0 210
Thiamin (mg) 0.04 0.00 0.03
Riboflavin (mg) 0.24 0.15 0.09
Niacin (mg) 0.04 0.04 0.00
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.07 0.00 0.06
Folate (mcg) 24 1.0 25
Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0.65 0.03 0.33
Vitamin A (IU) 244 0 245
Vitamin E (mg) 0.48 0 0.44
Vitamin D (IU) 18 0 18
Choline (mg) 125.6    
Betaine (mg) 0.3    
Calcium, Ca (mg) 27 2 22
Iron, Fe (mg) 0.92 0.03 0.46
Magnesium, Mg (mg) 6 4 1
Copper, Cu (mg) 0.05 0.01 0.01
Zinc, Zn (mg) 0.56 0.01 0.39
Sodium, Na (mg) 70 55 8
Manganese, Mn (mg) 0.02 0.00 0.01

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 19

Eggs have long been an important contributor to the nutritional quality of the American diet. According to the USDA Report, Nutrient Content of the US Food Supply, 1909-97, Report No. 54, eggs supply a higher percentage of nutrients to the diet than calories. While eggs provide only 1.3% of the average caloric intake, they are so nutrient dense that they contribute a great deal more nutrition than calories: 6% of the RDA for riboflavin, 5% of the folate, 4% of the vitamin E and vitamin A, and almost 4% of the protein. When an item provides more nutrients than calories to the average American diet it deserves to be called “nutrient dense” and deserves to be part of everyone’s diet.

Contribution of Eggs to the American Diet

Nutrient Percentage (%)
Food Energy 1.3
Protein 3.9
Fat 2.0
Vitamin A 4.3
Vitamin E 4.3
Riboflavin 6.4
Vitamin B6 2.1
Vitamin B12 3.7
Folate 5.1
Iron 2.4
Phosphorous 3.6
Zinc 2.8

Eggs not only make a contribution to the nutrient value of the American diet, they also make a major contribution to the affordability of the diet. At $1.00 per dozen large eggs, the consumer pays only 66.5 cents per pound for a nutrient rich source of highest quality protein available. For more eggs facts, please visit the American Egg Board‘s World Wide Web Site and check out the Eggcyclopedia.


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