Nutrition

Egg Nutrition

Hard cooked eggs

From simple scrambled eggs to the trendy Shakshuka, Canadians are enjoying eggs in so many different and delicious ways. Eggs are also incredibly nutritious - they contain protein, healthy fats, and many nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, choline, iron and folate. We’re breaking down all the reasons why eggs belong in a healthy diet.

Eggs Are A Perfect Fit In Canada’s Food Guide

Egg Protein BowlFor the first time in over a decade, Health Canada released an update to Canada’s Food Guide on January 22, 2019. The new Food Guide recommends filling half your plate with vegetables and fruits, one quarter of your plate with whole grains, and one quarter of your plate with protein foods – like eggs! 

The updated Guide also encourages Canadians to cook at home more often. As a whole, unprocessed food that’s quick and easy to prepare, eggs can help bring everyone to the table to enjoy tasty and healthy meals together. Check out your meal prep guide to Canada’s Food Guide for recipe ideas inspired by the new Food Guide.  

Eggs Are Packed With Protein

Eggs are a quick, easy and delicious way to help meet our protein needs: two large eggs contain 13 grams of protein. Protein is important for building and maintaining muscle, fighting infections, and growing strong hair and nails. Including protein at meals and snacks also helps us to feel full and satisfied throughout the day. For delicious and protein-packed meal ideas, we’ve got you covered with a ton of amazing healthy egg recipes.  Two eggs contain 13 grams of high quality protein

Did you know that the egg yolk contains almost as much protein as the egg white? The protein content of the white compared to the yolk is very similar, so eat the whole egg for all of its protein benefits!

Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete high-quality protein source, because they contain all 9 essential amino acids. ‘Essential’ means that the body cannot produce these amino acids on its own, which is why we need to include them in our diet. Amino acids are considered the building blocks for the body because they help to form protein. egg servings

To learn even more about eggs and the power of protein, read our article on how to Fuel up on Protein with Eggs.

Eggs Are A Nutrient Powerhouse

Eggs are packed with a ton of nutrients that provide important health benefits. Most of the nutrients in eggs are found in the yolk, so be sure to eat the whole egg! Nutrients found in eggs include:

NUTRIENT

BENEFIT

Iron

Carries oxygen to the cells, helps prevent anemia 

Vitamin A

Helps maintain healthy skin and eye tissue; assists in night vision

Vitamin D

Strengthens bones and teeth; may help protect against certain cancers and auto-immune diseases

Vitamin E

An antioxidant that plays a role in maintaining good health and preventing disease

Vitamin B12

helps to keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy, protects against a type of anemia

Folate

Helps produce and maintain new cells; helps prevent a type of anemia, helps protect against serious birth defects if taken prior to pregnancy and during the first 3 months of pregnancy

Protein

Essential for building and repairing muscles, organs, skin, hair and other body tissues; needed to produce hormones, enzymes and antibodies; the protein in eggs is easily absorbed by the body

Selenium

Works with vitamin E to act as an antioxidant to help prevent the breakdown of body tissues

Lutein and zeaxanthin

Maintains good vision; may help reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration

Choline

Plays a strong role in brain development and function

Eggs Have Healthy Fats

Eggs and FatsA serving of two large eggs contains 11 grams of fat, of which around 2/3 of the fat is unsaturated. All of the fat in an egg is found in the yolk. The yolk also contains a ton of important fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The healthy fats in the egg yolk actually help our bodies to absorb these nutrients in the yolk too. Check out our Fresh Facts on Fats for information!

Tip: No need to worry whether the heat from cooking destroys the healthy fats in eggs! All the fats in eggs remain stable during the cooking process.

Omega-3 fats are a type of unsaturated fat that’s important for a healthy brain and nervous system, and may lower the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 enriched eggs are produced by hens that are fed a special diet rich in flaxseeds, a known source of omega-3. Omega-3 enriched eggs contain all types of omega-3 fats, including DHA and EPA, which are the most important kinds of omega-3 fats that most of us need more of. 

Understanding Eggs And Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that comes from two sources: it’s produced naturally by our bodies, and it’s also found in the foods we eat. Our bodies need cholesterol for many important functions like creating hormones, bile acids and vitamin D. Foods that contain cholesterol include meat, dairy, egg yolk and shellfish – one large egg contains 200mg cholesterol.

The body does a great job at regulating the amount of cholesterol that circulates in the blood. When you eat more cholesterol from food, your body produces less cholesterol to compensate. On the other hand, when you eat less cholesterol from food, your body produces more cholesterol to compensate. This is why the cholesterol from the foods we eat has a minimal impact on our blood cholesterol levels in most people.

 Recent research confirms that eating eggs as part of a healthy diet does not increase the risk of heart disease. Current dietary guidelines by leading Canadian health organizations like the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Diabetes Canada do not limit dietary cholesterol to an arbitrary number for healthy adults.

To learn more about the cholesterol in eggs and about how to control your cholesterol through healthy lifestyle habits, read our article about Understanding Eggs and Cholesterol.

Healthy Habits

There’s no doubt about it: eggs are an incredibly nutritious food. But, it’s important to remember that overall eating patterns matter most when it comes to health. Build lifelong healthy eating habits, meal by meal, by eating a variety of whole foods each day like vegetables and fruits, whole grains and protein foods. 

Balanced egg meals

For healthy eating inspiration, check out our 5 tips to spring clean your eating habits