a dozen eggs on wooden rustic floorboards

Is egg the best source of protein?

Fitness fanatics love protein-rich diets for helping them to maintain muscle mass and give them energy. And it is well known that eggs are a good source of protein. But are they the best source of protein you can get?

What does protein do for the body?

Protein is essential to lots of processes in the body, including its growth. We therefore need it to stay healthy.

Protein also plays a vital role in the processes that fuel our energy, or by carrying oxygen in the blood.1 Protein can also help if you are looking to lose weight, and it helps you to feel fuller.2

If you are looking to lose weight, then you might want to try replacing some of your carbohydrates with protein.

Protein also helps to increase muscle mass.3

It is therefore important to follow a diet that contains an adequate amount of protein if you live an active lifestyle and do a lot of exercise.

How much protein does the average person need?

The average adult needs around 0.75g of protein per kilo of their body weight each day.

This usually works out at 45g for women and 55g for men.4

Depending on your lifestyle, your diet can contain more protein than this, but you should make sure that you get this from a variety of different sources.

Protein can be found in meat, fish, nuts, beans and, of course, eggs.

How much protein does one egg contain?

A large egg can contain as much as 6g of protein.5 Often people think that it is the egg white that contains all the protein, but there is also lots of protein also contained within the egg yolk.

You should therefore ensure that you eat the entire egg to get all the protein that it can offer.

Around half of the egg’s protein is egg-white protein, with the other half coming from the yolk.5

Although both the white and yolk are an excellent source of protein, the yolk contains more of the egg’s fat content and more calories.

You get the same amount of protein no matter how you choose to cook your egg. So scrambled, fried, boiled or poached – it’s up to you!

How does egg measure up against other protein sources?

Although eggs are an excellent source of complete protein, there are actually other foods that are similar or higher in protein than eggs. It is important to include a variety of protein sources in our diet.

Here are some foods which contain more than 6g of protein per serving6:
  • Quinoa: 8g
  • Tofu: 8g
  • Almonds: 7g
  • Black beans: 8g
  • Greek yogurt: 23g
  • Pumpkin seeds: 9g
  • Peanut butter: 7g

Some of these foods – quinoa, tofu, almonds – are plant-based sources of protein and so are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

Eggs are not suitable for anyone who is following a vegan diet, as they are an animal product.

Egg dishes that are high in protein

There are lots of ways to cook and eat eggs, which means that they are not only a great source of protein but they are also a quick, cheap and easy base for a meal.

Scrambled eggs on toast

For a high protein breakfast and a great start to the day, try some yummy scrambled eggs on toast. Opt for seeded bread, which can have upwards of 3g of protein per slice.

Omelette

An omelette is a quick, easy meal which can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The best things about omelettes is that you can mix up the toppings depending on your mood.

To get your five a day, try adding mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and onions.

Or, if it is a protein-rich omelette you are after, try adding smoked or cooked salmon to your ingredients list. Added to the egg protein, it makes for the perfect lunch after a gym session.

Egg wraps

Try replacing tortillas with an omelette for a protein-packed dinner.

Make an omelette and fill it with turkey, avocado, cheese and vegetables before rolling into a wrap which you can eat with a knife and fork.7

This easy dinner takes around five minutes to make, making it perfect if you are rushing to feed hungry kids or if you have had a busy day with a late finish.

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Last updated: 11 February 2021

Sources 
  1.  https://www.webmd.com/diet/benefits-protein#1
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-to-eat-more-protein#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-to-eat-more-protein#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3
  4. https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/protein
  5. https://www.eatthis.com/high-protein-foods/
  6. http://www.eatingwell.com/article/291485/10-foods-with-more-protein-than-an-egg/
  7. https://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/healthy-eating/25-healthy-egg-recipes-lasting-energy/

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Andrea Dobronszki,
Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Aug 2020

Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology Engineering and BSc in Dietetics

Andrea started her career as a clinical dietitian and lecturer at a university hospital, managing the dietetic treatment of patients with various diseases, and giving lectures in nutrition for medical students.

Later she worked as a Product Developer at a sport nutrition company where she developed food supplements and fortified foods, and ensured that the products complied with the relevant regulations.