How Much Protein Is in an Egg? Nutrition, Benefits, and More

Eggs are good sources of protein. They typically contain 4–7 grams (g) of protein, depending on their sizes. Eggs are also high in other nutrients, such as vitamins, which makes them a nutritious food option.

Protein is an essential nutrient in the diet. It comprises smaller molecules known as amino acids, which are necessary for the regulation, function, and structure of cells. As a result, amino acids, contribute to the growth and repair of tissues in the body.

Eggs are complete proteins. This means that they contain all the nine essential amino acids, which are amino acids that the body cannot make on its own and has to receive from food. Eggs are also good sources of other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Therefore, eggs can be good options for meeting the body’s protein needs.

This article explains how much protein is in an egg, including different sizes and cooking techniques. It also discusses the health benefits of eating eggs and other high protein foods. Finally, this article answers some frequently asked questions about protein in eggs.

A fried egg sits on top of a bowl of salad, on a spotted table cloth.

tracie davis/Stocksy United

How many grams of protein there are in an egg can depend on the size and type of egg you eat.

According to the
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a fresh egg may have the following amounts of protein:

For reference, the daily recommended dietary allowance for a healthy adult is 0.8–0.9 g of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight.

For example, adults weighing 70 kg, or around 154 pounds (lbs), may want to consider consuming around 56 g of protein daily. In this case, eating two large eggs meets around 22.5% of your daily protein needs.

However, the amount of protein that is beneficial for you may depend on individual factors. Contact your doctor for tailored advice on diet and nutrition.

Learn more about recommended protein intakes and the importance of protein.

Eggs contain similar amounts of protein whether they are cooked or raw, as the processes of cooking may not affect the protein content too much.

For example, the USDA also estimates that one large egg can have the following amounts of protein when prepared differently.

As a result, cooking may not change the protein values of eggs much at all.

It is also important to note that it is not advisable to eat raw or undercooked eggs. This is because chickens and other poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria, which can be spread by handling or eating undercooked eggs.

Many people choose not to eat whole eggs. Instead, they eat either the white or yolk of an egg. This may be due to personal taste or perceived health benefits.

For example, egg yolks contain most of the fat, vitamins, and minerals in an egg. By contrast, egg whites have no cholesterol and still contain some protein.

Learn more about the nutritional benefits of egg whites versus whole eggs.

However, eating just the yolk or whites of an egg can lower the overall level of protein. For example, the following table demonstrates the differences in protein in the components of one large egg.

While the yolk and the whites of an egg contain protein, an egg white contains slightly more.

In addition to being good sources of protein, eggs may also have health benefits, such as:

  • being good sources of other nutrients, such as:
  • reducing feelings of hunger compared with other foods, such as cereal
  • helping you feel full for longer after eating

A 2020 research review also suggested that eating eggs may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, more research is necessary to confirm this effect.

Many people have been wary of eating eggs due to their cholesterol content and potential effects on cholesterol levels.

However, a 2018 research review showed that eggs may not present as much of a risk as once thought. Investigators suggest that this may be because eggs do not contain high levels of saturated fats compared with other dietary sources of cholesterol.

While chicken eggs are one of the most common and popular eggs in the United States, other egg types can also be high in protein. These eggs include:

  • duck eggs
  • quail eggs
  • turkey eggs
  • goose eggs

The following table also outlines the amounts of protein in other high protein foods.

Soybeans are complete sources of protein. Since people make tofu and tempeh with soybeans, the two can also be complete sources of protein.

Read more about the best sources of dietary protein.

Imashi Fernando, M.S., R.D.N., reviewed the following frequently asked questions.

Is 2­–4 eggs a day enough protein?

The amount of protein that is enough will depend on individual factors, and particularly your overall body mass.

However, generally, four eggs do not provide enough protein for many adults if that is the only source of protein in the diet.

What foods are highest in protein?

Foods highest in protein include:

  • meat and poultry
  • dairy products
  • nuts and seeds
  • legumes and pulses, such as kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils
  • soybeans and soybean products, such as tofu and tempeh
  • seitan

Is 4 eggs a day too much?

A 2020 research review suggested that eating more than 6 eggs per week may link to an increased risk of stroke.

On the other hand, the most recent USDA dietary guidelines do not limit egg intake or dietary cholesterol intake. As a result, eating 4 eggs in one day from time to time can fit into a nutritious diet.

However, it is recommendable to eat a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods daily to ensure you take in all the different nutrients. As a result, it is advisable to eat a moderate intake of eggs to leave space in the diet for other nutritious foods. This is around 1–2 eggs a day.

Eggs are good sources of protein, typically containing around 6.3 g of protein per large egg. They are also complete sources of protein, meaning they provide all the essential amino acids. Along with other sources of protein, eggs can help meet your daily protein needs.

Other health benefits of eggs include providing other important nutrients, improving feelings of fullness after eating, and possibly contributing to heart health.

Additional high protein foods include meat, nuts and legumes, tofu, and dairy.

Contact your doctor if you have any questions about diet or recommended nutritional intake.

By Percy