With the power to build muscle, repair body tissue and keep us fuller longer, it’s no wonder that Canadians are looking to include more protein in their diets.
One of the many reasons to love eggs? A serving of eggs is an excellent source of protein. If you’ve ever wondered what the best time of day is to eat more protein, to whether the egg white or egg yolk is the better protein source, we have your answers to these questions and more.
How many grams of protein do eggs have?
Eggs are a quick, easy and delicious way to help meet our protein needs: two large eggs contain 13 grams of protein! 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.
Is there more protein in the egg white or the egg yolk?
The protein content of the egg white compared to the egg yolk is very similar. The yolk contains just slightly less protein than the white. So eat the whole egg for all its protein benefits!
What does protein do?
There’s no doubt about it: protein is an important nutrient that is needed to stay healthy. In fact, protein plays many different important roles in our bodies. Protein helps us to:
- build and repair body tissue and cells
- grow strong hair and nails
- build and maintain healthy muscles
- fight infections
- keep body fluids in balance
Which foods have protein?
Protein is found in foods like eggs, beans, lentils, soy, dairy foods, fish, chicken and lean meat.
Recommended protein intake
Adults need a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. However, many individuals have higher protein needs, including adults who are physically active, women who are pregnant or lactating, and older adults.
Canada’s Food Guide recommends filling ¼ of your plate with protein-rich foods (like eggs!), ¼ of your plate with whole grains, and ½ your plate with vegetables and fruits.
Protein is needed throughout the day
When it comes to getting the most health benefits from protein, it’s important to think about the timing of when you eat protein. It’s more effective to spread out the protein you eat into several meals and snacks throughout the day rather than eat all your protein at one big meal.
Studies show that distributing protein over the day is better for maintaining muscle. We tend to eat a lot of protein at dinner time. However, our bodies “max out” the absorption of protein at around 30 grams of protein per meal. After that, our bodies don’t use protein as effectively.
Breakfast: the most important protein meal of the day
On the other hand, we often don’t eat enough protein at breakfast time. Research shows that a high protein breakfast has a positive impact on muscle health, weight maintenance and feeling fuller longer throughout the day.
Luckily, it’s easy to increase protein intake at breakfast with the most classic healthy breakfast food of all: eggs. For filling and nutritious egg-based breakfast ideas that won’t leave you scrambling for a mid-morning snack, check out 5 Healthy Breakfasts.
Don’t forget about protein at snack breaks too! Having protein in your snack helps to keep you full and regulate blood sugar levels between meals. For a quick and healthy protein-rich snack, it doesn’t get better than eggs. Simple hard boiled eggs can be meal prepped and kept in the fridge for up to a week, making them the perfect option for a grab-and-go snack. Egg muffins are another great high-protein snack that can be easily made ahead in batches. For more ideas, these tasty protein-rich snack ideas have you covered.