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Eggs: High Protein Low Carb Food

Eggs are an important contributor to the nutritional quality of the American diet. Eggs are high in protein and vitamins, but low in calories and carbohydrates. Eggs are a naturally nutrient-dense food, meaning they have a high proportion of nutrients to calories: one large egg has only 75 calories but provides 13 essential nutrients!

Eggs are an excellent source of choline and a good source of riboflavin. Many of egg’s incredible nutrients are found in the egg yolk, including, folate, lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin D.  Plus egg protein has just the right mix of essential amino acids needed by humans to build tissues.

Because they are so nutrient-dense, eggs are a great source of nutrition for people of all ages.  Since eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, they deserve to be part of everyone's healthy eating diet.

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Eggs supply kids with the highest quality protein, which provides the building blocks they need to grow and the energy they need to stay focused throughout the day. 

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The protein in eggs helps adults build and preserve muscle strength and allows them to feel full longer and stay energized, which contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.

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Eggs have varying amounts of four of the nutrients pregnant women need most: choline, protein, folate and iron. Choline, a recently recognized essential nutrient, contributes to fetal brain development and is important in nerve tissue development, which helps prevent birth defects. 

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Older adults are at risk for sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass. Eggs provide the highest quality protein, which can help them meet their protein needs in order to help maintain muscle function and slow the rate of muscle loss.

Eggs provide small amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin (zee-uh-ZAN-thin), two nutrients which are part of the carotenoid family (like beta-carotene in carrots) that contribute to eye health and help prevent common causes of age-related blindness. Research suggests that lutein from eggs may be more bioavailable, meaning more easily absorbed by the body, than lutein from richer sources.





Nutrient Content of a Large White or Brown 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 0 0
Betaine (mg) 0.3 0 0
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 (Review Release 20)

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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

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