Everything you need to know about egg protein

Everything you need to know about egg protein

Today we will discuss egg protein.

In today’s world we have a lot of food choices available. Compared to the last few generations the affordability and availability of the food has increased drastically. With globalization food getting industrialized we have cheaper food available everywhere in the world. Even the developing nations are consuming a type of food that was available only in developed nations.

You, like everyone else have become conscious about what you are eating. That is good and makes sense as we have freedom to select food that results in good health for us.

To feed your curiosity further we are today writing this review about proteins in eggs. I hope iyy will be very interesting for you to read and you will knowingly select the proper food.

Let us first summarize the headings of the topic we are going to discuss so that it will be easy for you to understand in detail.

  • About proteins
  • How much protein do you need per day?
  • About egg protein
  • Why is egg a reference protein?
  • Egg white or egg yolk?
  • Effect of cooking on egg protein
  • Egg for children
  • At what age eggs can be started in food?
  • Are eggs safe in pregnancy?
  • Are eggs safe in the old age group?
  • Eggs and obesity
  • Egg protein allergy

About proteins

Many of you may be knowing already about proteins. Our food contains essential components called protein, carbohydrates and fats. 

Here we will discuss proteins and then we will throw some light on proteins in eggs.

Proteins are required for building the structure of the body. Every part of your body like bones, muscles, skin and cells are made of structure made up of proteins.

We get proteins from our food we take daily. Some foods contain proteins in large amounts and some contain small amounts.

Proteins are made up of amino acids and there are amino acids that we cannot synthesize on our own so they are obtained from proteins we eat.

Later on these amino acids are used by our body for its purpose of building and structuring our body.

Apart from being the building structure of our body, proteins are used as enzymes to do different tasks in the process of life.

Many hormones are proteins in nature and they are synthesized by our glands from amino acids.

Many chemicals that are used as signals for immune cells are proteins in nature and they too are synthesized from the amino acids.

So this gives you a basic idea about what protein does for us in our body. Each of the line can be a topic for a separate blog post which we will explain later on some other day.

How much proteins do you need per day?

As we discussed earlier that everyone needs protein to sustain life, here we will know how much protein is needed for us.

The need for proteins depends upon your age and whether you are pregnant. Basically more proteins are needed if your body is consuming them more.

Preterm neonates3-3.5 gm/kg body weight
Infants and toddlers2-3 gm/kg body weight
Children and adolescents2 gm/kg body weight
Normal adult1 gm/kg body weight
Pregnant ladiesAdult intake plus 15 gram extra proteins daily
Lactating mothersNormal adult intake plus 25 gram extra proteins daily
Athletes1.8-2 gram/kg body weight daily
Recommended daily protein intake

Above chart will give you an approximate idea of how much protein you need.

Infants, children and adolescents of growing age need more proteins compared to adults.

Pregnant ladies and lactating women also need more proteins per day.

Adults who are athletes playing vigorous games need more protein than the general population.

Average normal adult of 60 kg weight will need 45-60 grams of proteins per day.

Please note these all estimates are when you are in good health and taking a normal diet including all other needed ingredients. The requirement may change when you have some disease or your diet is imbalanced.

About egg protein

Egg is a good source of proteins. It is available easily everywhere and comparatively cheaper too.

Average sized egg contains 6-8 gram of good quality proteins in it.

As we have seen earlier that proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 24 amino acids. Out of them 8 cannot be synthesized by human beings so they need to be taken in food.

Essential amino acids are valine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine, threonine and phenylalanine.

These are all present in eggs. The best quality protein provides an amino acid pattern close to that of tissue protein. Breast milk and egg protein satisfy these criteria.

Why is egg protein called a reference protein?

As we have seen in earlier paragraphs that breast milk and egg protein provide an amino acid pattern close to that of tissue proteins.

Eggs are easily available and cheaper too. Egg proteins are called reference proteins.

Those readymade protein formulae make a copy of these egg protein amino avoid patterns to make protein powder for you.

Proteins in food are judged on basis of following criterias

Digestibility coefficient (DC) refers to the amount of absorbed nitrogen

compared to the total nitrogen present in the food item. Cooking improves

digestibility. Trypsin inhibitor present in soybean and egg white, that decreases

digestibility, gets destroyed on cooking.

Biological value (BV) refers to the amount of retained nitrogen compared to

absorbed nitrogen.

Net protein utilization (NPU) refers to the amount of retained nitrogen compared

to the nitrogen present in the food item.

Protein efficiency ratio (PER) refers to the gain in weight of experimental

animal per unit weight of protein consumed.

Let us see how eggs and other foods do based on the above criteria.

Cow milk92873
Bengal gram75601
Characteristics proteins in different foods

Thus you can see based on criteria of biological value, net protein utilization and protein efficiency ratio egg proteins are extremely better than other proteins sources.

So to consider best and test other proteins for comparison egg proteins are considered as reference proteins.

Egg white or egg yolk?

When it comes to eating egg many of us are confused whether we should eat yolk or egg white.

Some people think only egg white contains proteins and egg yolk contains harmful fats and cholesterol. It is a misconception.

Bothe egg yolk and egg white contain proteins. Egg white has slightly more proteins compared to egg yolk.

Egg yolk has slightly less proteins but they do contain fat and essential vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin A which are dissolved in fat.

So at least for children and adolescents we can say they should eat the entire egg including egg yolk and egg white. In the next blog post we’ll see whether adults need to avoid egg yolk to consume less cholesterol.

Effect of cooking on egg protein

Do you consume eggs raw? Many people have this doubt and they think raw eggs are better to consume.

Especially those seeking bodybuilding in the gym think for the best effect eggs are to be consumed raw. Let us throw some focus on facts and throw away the myths.

Cooking is the process in which we roast, boil or fry the item.

While cooking eggs they trypsin inhibitors which are present in the egg are lysed. Trypsin inhibitors are chemicals that inhibit trypsin.

Trypsin is an enzyme which is required to digest the proteins into amino acids which are then absorbed from the intestine.

Those who consume eggs raw feel difficulty in digestion due to this factor. Indeed cooking makes egg protein better for you.

Additionally raw eggs contain avidin which is antagonistic to biotin. Biotin deficiency leads to hyperaesthesia, dermatitis, hallucination etc. This is one more effect of consuming raw eggs.

Also raw eggs contain factors that reduce absorption of iron from the intestine. This poses you an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia.

Cooking also changes the tertiary structure of the proteins in eggs. Those who are allergic to egg proteins are usually allergic to raw egg proteins. They usually tolerate cooked eggs.

We certainly recommend eggs to consume after cooking.

Egg for children

Egg is a good source of protein for children and adults too. 

Children of growing age need around 2-3 grams of proteins per day. A single egg can give them 6-8 grams of proteins.

Additionally other courses of proteins like cereals and pulses have limiting factors. lysine is the limiting amino acid in cereals whereas methionine is the limiting amino acid in legumes (pulses).

Eggs have no such limitations. It provides amino acids that are equal to tissue protein amino acids.

For children eggs can be given as boiled, or fried or omelette or bhurji as they like it.

For teens also eggs are a better choice of food available at a cheaper cost and most of the children like it too.

At what age eggs can be started for children?

Previously it was recommended that eggs can be started at 7-8 months of age.

Now it is said that animal proteins are to be started at or after 1 years of age. It is to protect infects from allergies as it was found those children who were given animal proteins below age 1 year are more prone for allergies and asthma.

Are eggs safe in pregnancy and lactating women?

There are some myths in parts of the world about what a pregnant and a lactating lady can eat and cannot.

In some communities eggs are not considered as safe for this group which is totally wrong. Eggs are absolutely safe for pregnant and lactating women.

In fact women in this group have increased need of proteins as needed by their health condition and eggs are a very good source of proteins for this increased demand.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding your baby you should definitely eat nicely cooked eggs as you want to eat.

Are eggs safe in the old age group?

There are some myths regarding digestibility of eggs in the old age group. As we said they are myths and should be ignored.

Eggs are a good source of proteins, and fat soluble vitamins. They are needed for old age groups.

Eggs properly cooked are safe and good for the old age group. Don’t avoid eating eggs unless you are specifically told to do so by your doctor.

Eggs and obesity?

There are myths regarding eggs causing obesity.

Eggs are a good source of egg protein and also fat and fat soluble vitamins. 

Eggs do not contain carbohydrate and simple sugars which are the main cause of obesity. One single egg contains just 60-80 Calories which are very less.

Egg protein allergy

This is a condition which is rare to occur. 

Many of those who are allergic to egg protein will not notice it even after regular consumption of eggs.

Many of those who have egg protein allergy are allergic to raw eggs and they can tolerate cooked eggs as after cooking the structure of egg protein changes.

Those who have egg protein allergy should tell the doctor before taking the vaccine as some vaccine may contain egg protein. They should be given vaccine without egg proteins.


Please note we have stated some facts about egg proteins applicable when you are in normal health. No food is absolutely good and everyone needs balanced diet. Contact your doctor for further personalized opinion or meet us in person.

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