Eggs are one of the most versatile and complete foods available on the menu. They are an excellent source of protein with most of their protein content concentrated in the egg whites. Facts about how much protein is in one egg can give conclusive evidence to the importance of making eggs a part of every healthy diet plan. On average eggs contain about 6 grams of high-quality protein making them one of the best foods to source this macronutrient. This figure is so high that is it often used as a standard by which other foods are measured. So, how much protein in one egg?
The protein content of an egg can be dependent on a few different factors. Primarily, this will be determined by the size of the egg. Protein is not restricted to the egg whites alone but can also be found in the yolk. However, there is more protein in egg whites than any other nutrients. The average large egg white has around 3.6 grams of protein with about 85% of the egg white’s calories coming from this protein. Keeping this figure in perspective, how much protein there is in one egg can be calculated based on these figures; a small sized egg will yield 4.8 grams of protein and a medium sized egg will provide 5.5 grams of protein. As mentioned previously, a large egg will have 6.3 grams of protein while an extra-large egg can give 7 grams of protein. An egg that is sized as jumbo can deliver a whopping 7.9 grams of protein.
How much protein is in one egg?
While both egg yolks and whites are sources of dietary protein, their nutritional value and protein content will vary significantly. To determine how much protein is present in one egg, their breakdown can be given as the following:
How much protein in a single egg white?
The white of the egg is also known as albumen makes up for most of the egg’s liquid weight. On average this comes to about 66% of the liquid weight. Plus, the white contains more than half of the egg’s total protein content.
In terms of how much protein is in one egg albumen, a small egg white can yield around 2.7 grams of protein while a medium egg white will deliver 3.2 grams of protein. A large egg white can provide 3.6 grams of protein whereas an extra-large egg white will contain 4 grams of protein. In the case where a jumbo sized egg is used, the protein content will rise up to 4.6 grams per egg white.
And even within the protein content, there are 40 different types of proteins found in an egg white. Along with the information on how much protein is in one egg, there are also other vitamins and minerals in the egg white. Egg whites also have all of the amino acids needed to maintain the diet and allow the body to create new tissue. So, how much protein in one egg?
How much protein is actually in a single egg yolk?
While egg whites are touted for their protein content based on how much protein is in one egg, egg yolks typically get branded for carrying the cholesterol. For many people, the belief rests on the acceptance that the cholesterol content of the egg yolk is too high to consume frequently without creating reasonable health concerns over time.
Since cholesterol can accumulate around the interior of the arteries, it is seen as a red flag in causing a constriction in blood flow and consequently triggering high blood pressure. However, this spotlight on the cholesterol content in yolk usually takes away from how much protein is present in one egg overall.
In terms of numbers determining how much protein there is in one egg, the yolk makes up for the remaining 34% of the liquid weight of the egg. While it is true that egg yolks carry all the fat content in an egg, the truth is that there is still some protein found in this part of the egg. For instance, if the white from a large egg delivers 3.6 grams of protein then the yolk from the same egg can provide 2.7 grams of protein which is a substantial amount.
It also needs to be kept in mind that when comparing the two parts of an egg, the yolk has more nutrients than whites. Nutritional value of eggs is determined by all the nutrients found in eggs and not merely based on how much protein there is in one egg.
Cutting out yolks based on their cholesterol content alone also means losing out on other important nutrients like iron, potassium, folate, selenium, a number of vitamins including A, E, B and D along with biotin and choline. So, how much protein in one egg?
Can cooking methods alter how much protein is in one egg?
Sometimes, how much protein there is in one egg will also depend on the way the egg is cooked or prepared. For the better part, eggs that are boiled, poached or scrambled without any extra ingredients will retain their original protein content. But if they are fried for instance, then the nutrient profile of the final dish will change. Frying involves adding fat to the egg and will alter its fat content easily.
Cooking eggs, however, can change the structure of their constituent proteins mildly affecting how much protein there is in one egg. This is explained by the fact that protein in raw eggs is packed tightly and held together by weak chemical bonds. When eggs are heated during cooking, the same bonds break causing protein strands to move away and detach from each other. This separation makes the egg protein easier to absorb and digest.
Although how much protein there is in one egg will remain very similar in raw and cooked eggs, the human body is better able to metabolize protein from cooked eggs. Plus, cooked eggs also offer a safety feature when consumed. Eggs in their raw condition have the potential to carry bacteria which may cause food poisoning. Cooking the same eggs can ensure destroying this bacteria and enjoying a healthy food option instead. So, how much protein in one egg?
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