How Much Protein is in an Egg?
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They contain high-quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- A Quick Look at Egg Protein Content
- Egg Protein Content by Type
- Key Factors That Affect Egg Protein
- How Do Eggs Compare to Other High Protein Foods?
- Why is the Protein in Eggs So Healthy?
- How Many Eggs Should You Eat Per Day?
- Simple Ways to Add More Egg Protein to Your Diet
- Is egg protein a complete protein?
- Are egg whites or yolks healthier?
- Is eating raw eggs safe?
- Do organic eggs have more protein?
- Are brown and white eggs different nutritionally?
- Can vegetarians eat eggs?
- Are eggs bad for cholesterol?
- How long do hard-boiled eggs last?
- Can you freeze raw eggs?
- Does egg protein cause gas or bloating?
But when it comes to protein, how much is actually in an egg?
This article provides a detailed look at how much protein is in different types of eggs. We’ll break down the protein content in detail and compare boiled, fried, scrambled and raw eggs.
A Quick Look at Egg Protein Content
Before diving into the details, here is a quick overview of how much protein is in different egg types:
- Large whole egg: 6 grams of protein
- Large egg white: 3.6 grams of protein
- Large egg yolk: 2.7 grams of protein
- Jumbo egg: 7 grams of protein
So a single large whole egg contains about 6 grams of high-quality, complete protein.
Now let’s look at the details...
Egg Protein Content by Type
There are several factors that affect an egg’s protein content:
- Egg size: Large vs jumbo
- Egg part: Whole egg, egg whites or egg yolks
- Preparation: Raw, boiled, fried, scrambled, etc.
Let’s look at how these factors impact protein levels.
Protein in Large Eggs vs Jumbo Eggs
Eggs are typically classified by size: small, medium, large, extra large and jumbo.
The larger the egg, the more protein it contains:
- Large egg: 6 grams protein
- Jumbo egg: 7 grams protein
So jumbo eggs contain about 15% more protein than large eggs. Still, the protein content isn’t hugely different between sizes.
Protein in Whole Eggs vs Egg Whites vs Egg Yolks
The protein in eggs is divided between the white (albumen) and yolk:
- Egg whites contain 3.6 grams protein in large eggs
- Egg yolks contain 2.7 grams protein in large eggs
So the protein is not equally distributed between the white and yolk. There is slightly more protein in the egg whites than yolks.
This is why egg whites are often separated from the yolks for protein shakes, supplements or bodybuilding diets. The whites have a higher protein to calorie ratio.
However, there are also beneficial nutrients in the yolks so you don’t want to skip them entirely.
How Does Cooking Affect Egg Protein?
Cooking eggs via frying, boiling or scrambling doesn’t significantly impact their protein content.
The protein loss from heat exposure is minimal.
Here is the protein content in large eggs based on cooking method:
- Raw egg: 6 grams
- Hard boiled egg: 5.7 grams
- Fried egg: 5.8 grams
- Scrambled egg: 5.7 grams
So boiled, fried and scrambled eggs have about 5% less protein than raw eggs. But the difference is small.
Cooking does impact the digestibility of egg protein and how well we absorb it. Light cooking improves protein digestibility.
Key Factors That Affect Egg Protein
Let’s quickly summarize the key factors that influence the protein content in eggs:
- Egg size: Jumbo eggs have about 15% more protein than large eggs.
- Egg part: Whites contain slightly more protein than yolks.
- Cooking method: Minimal changes between raw and cooked eggs.
Now that we’ve looked at how much protein is in different types of eggs, let’s see how this compares to other high protein foods.
How Do Eggs Compare to Other High Protein Foods?
Eggs provide a significant amount of protein in a single serving. But how does their protein content compare to other high protein foods?
Here is the protein content in eggs versus other proteins sources (data is for a large egg or 100g serving):
- Large whole egg: 6g
- 100g chicken breast: 31g
- 100g firm tofu: 8g
- 100g canned tuna: 22g
- 100g Greek yogurt: 10g
- 100g lentils: 9g
- 100g almonds: 21g
As you can see, eggs provide a moderate amount of protein compared to dedicated protein sources like chicken, tuna, yogurt and legumes.
A large egg has around half the protein you’d get in 100g (3.5 oz) serving of chicken, tuna or Greek yogurt.
So while eggs are a great source of protein, they need to be paired with other protein-rich foods to meet your daily protein needs.
Let's dive deeper into the health benefits of egg protein.
Why is the Protein in Eggs So Healthy?
Eggs contain large amounts of high-quality protein. But what makes egg protein so nutritious?
Here are some key benefits of egg protein:
1. Complete Protein
Egg protein contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is considered a complete protein source.
Many plant proteins like beans and grains are low in certain amino acids. Eating eggs is an easy way to get complete protein.
2. Highly Bioavailable
Egg protein is extremely bioavailable and easy to digest.
Studies show our bodies can digest and absorb egg protein more efficiently than plant proteins like those in beans, grains and nuts.
3. Muscle Building and Recovery
The amino acid profile in eggs makes them an excellent protein for building muscle mass and recovery after exercise.
Eggs provide the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine that stimulate muscle growth. Multiple studies show eggs support muscle strength and function.
4. Satiety and Weight Loss
Egg protein is very satiating, meaning it helps you feel full.
Eating eggs for breakfast provides lasting fullness compared to refined carbs like bagels. This can prevent overeating and support weight loss.
How Many Eggs Should You Eat Per Day?
Eggs can be part of a healthy diet. But how many should you eat daily or weekly?
Here are some general guidelines based on nutrition research:
- 2-3 eggs per day or up to 12 eggs per week is safe for most healthy people.
- Athletes, bodybuilders and more active people can eat up to 6 eggs daily as part of a high protein diet.
- People with diabetes or heart disease may want to limit egg intake to 3-4 weekly, but can likely tolerate up to 6-7 eggs per week.
For most individuals without an underlying health condition, eating 12 or less eggs per week is unlikely to negatively impact blood cholesterol or heart health.
Of course, it’s important to consider your total diet. Limiting other high cholesterol foods when eating more eggs is advised.
Additionally, egg preparation matters. Poached, boiled and scrambled eggs are healthier than fried eggs cooked in lots of butter or oil.
6 Simple Ways to Add More Egg Protein to Your Diet
Here are easy ways to get more high-quality egg protein in your diet:
- Eat 2-3 boiled eggs for breakfast - An easy protein-packed breakfast.
- Add eggs to lunch salads - Boiled, poached eggs or baked egg muffins.
- Make a post-workout egg protein shake - Blend egg whites with fruit and milk.
- Cook stir fries and grain bowls with eggs - Fry an egg to top rice and veggies dishes.
- Bake omelets and frittatas for dinner - Load up veggies and cheese for extra nutrition.
- Make egg snacks like deviled eggs - Boiled eggs make portable high protein snacks.
To summarize, here’s how much protein is in different types of eggs:
- Whole large egg: 6g protein
- Large egg white: 4g protein
- Large egg yolk: 3g protein
- Jumbo egg: 7g protein
While eggs are not the highest protein food gram for gram, they provide high-quality complete protein.
Eating up to 2-3 eggs daily offers benefits for muscle gain, weight loss, and exercise performance without impacting heart health in most people.
So don’t hesitate to get cracking on eggs to increase your daily protein intake!
Is egg protein a complete protein?
Yes, eggs contain all 9 essential amino acids making them a complete protein source. This differentiates egg protein from plant proteins.
Are egg whites or yolks healthier?
Both egg whites and yolks provide nutritional benefits. Egg whites are lower in calories and contain more protein ounce for ounce. But egg yolks also provide healthy fats, vitamins A, D, E, K and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. For the most nutrition, eat whole eggs.
Is eating raw eggs safe?
Raw eggs may carry a small risk of salmonella. Cooking eggs destroys any potential bacteria present. Light cooking via poaching or soft boiling also preserves the protein quality.
Do organic eggs have more protein?
No, organic eggs do not contain more protein than conventional eggs. The protein content is the same. Organic eggs have different feeding and housing standards for chickens.
Are brown and white eggs different nutritionally?
No major nutritional differences exist between white and brown eggs. The color simply comes from the breed of chicken but does not change the protein content.
Can vegetarians eat eggs?
It depends on the type of vegetarian diet. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat dairy and eggs while vegans exclude all animal products, including eggs. Eggs can be an important protein source for lacto-ovo vegetarians.
Are eggs bad for cholesterol?
Eating up to 6 eggs per week is unlikely to negatively impact cholesterol levels in healthy people. Those with diabetes or heart disease may want to limit intake to 3-4 eggs weekly.
How long do hard-boiled eggs last?
Hard boiled eggs can be refrigerated for up to one week. It’s best to boil eggs right before eating but they can store well for several days.
Can you freeze raw eggs?
Cracked raw eggs can be frozen for up to 1 year while intact eggs in the shell can freeze for up to 12 months. Frozen eggs are best for baking, not frying or poaching.
Does egg protein cause gas or bloating?
Some people may experience gas or bloating from eggs due to a sensitivity. High sulfur foods like eggs can promote gas but are not a problem for most individuals eating moderate amounts.
This in-depth guide examines how much protein is in different types of eggs. It first provides a quick overview of protein quantity in large whole eggs, egg whites, egg yolks and jumbo eggs. Next, it compares protein content based on egg size, egg part, and cooking method. Key findings show that jumbo eggs contain about 15% more protein than large ones, egg whites have slightly more protein than yolks, and minimal protein is lost during cooking. The article explores why egg protein is so beneficial, providing all essential amino acids, high bioavailability, and benefits for muscle gain and satiety. Recommendations are given for daily/weekly egg intake for different populations. Finally, easy tips are provided for adding more egg protein to your diet via meals and snacks. In summary, while not the highest protein food per gram, eggs offer complete high-quality protein that can improve diet quality, muscle growth, and weight management.