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Number Of Calories In An Egg

Updated on January 27, 2015

How Many Calories In An Egg

Dietary calories are units of energy a food or drink brings into your body when eaten. The calories in an egg depends on its size and how it is prepared.

A boiled egg weighing 50 g has 78 calories
A fried egg weighing 46 g has 90 calories
An egg omelet weigh 61 g has 94 calories

Traditionally, fried egg is eaten for breakfast in the U.S and Europe, and obviously you are concern about whether you are eating too many calories, and the probable adverse health effect, not to mention the saturated fat that comes with a fried egg.

A large fried egg weighing 46 g has 2 g of saturated fat. The problem with saturated fat is that it increases the levels of your low density lipoproteins (LDL). These are the bad guys. They take cholesterol to your heart arteries. Excess cholesterol in your arteries increases the risk for arterial blockage and a heart attack. So you want to keep your LDL at normal levels, in other words, low.

The good news is that a large fried egg weighing 46 g also has 1.5 g of polyunsaturated fat and 2.8 g of monounsaturated fat. These healthy fats increase the levels of your high density lipoproteins (HDL). These are the good guys and gals. They take excess cholesterol away from the arteries of your heart, and keep plaque from forming in your arteries. So you want to increase the levels of your HDL relative to your LDL levels.

In the large fried egg you ate this morning for breakfast, nature was at work in your favor. There are 2 g of saturated fat, and a total of 4.3 g of poly and monounsaturated fats in the egg you ate. Your body made more high density lipoproteins (HDL) than low density lipoproteins (LDL). The effect, in so far as eating one large fried egg without additives, is that more cholesterol was taken away from your heart arteries than were going to them. This reduces your risk for a blockage in your arteries and a heart attack.

Having put your mind at ease, let's find out the other important nutrients and vitamins that a large fried egg brings into your body.

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Along With Calories An Egg Has Cholesterol

A large fried egg weighing 46 g has 184 mg of cholesterol. Keep in mind cholesterol in itself is not bad, it's the type you should watch out for. Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance made by your liver, and also comes into your body from animal-sourced foods like meat, poultry and full fat diary products. You need cholesterol to help:

1. Make hormones
2. Digest the food you eat
3. Help with normal working of your cells

Cholesterol travels in your bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are made of fat (lipids) on the inside and protein on the outside. They are of two types. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) transports cholesterol to the tissues of your body, including the arteries that supply blood to your heart. The other lipoprotein is high density lipoprotein (HDL) which removes excess cholesterol away from the tissues of the body, including the arteries of your heart. Because of their functions, LDL is called "bad cholesterol" and HDL "good cholesterol".

Foods high in saturated and trans fats cause your liver to make more LDL, and as a result more bad cholesterol goes to your tissues and arteries than is needed. If the excess cholesterol is not removed, over time it builds up into plaque that can narrow or block the arteries that supply your heart with blood and oxygen, and cause a heart attack. The major sources of cholesterol include meat, poultry, and full fat dairy products.

Plaque build-up in the heart arteries can cause:

1. Artherosclerosis
2. Coronary heart disease
3. Angina
4. Heart Attack

Consequently, you have every reason in the world to keep your cholesterol from saturated and trans fats low, which in turn would lower your LDL cholesterol levels, and keep your heart healthy.

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Along With Calories An Egg Has Sodium

There are 95 mg of sodium in a large fried egg. You get your sodium mainly from table salt which is made by combining sodium and chloride, but as you can see there is also some sodium in a fried egg. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat 1500 mg of sodium a day, obviously the average person takes in more than that a day mostly from processed and restaurant foods.

Excess sodium is removed from the body by the kidneys. Normal levels of sodium help:

1. Your nerves and muscles to function properly
2. Maintain balance of your body fliud toward homeostasis

Too much sodium as a result of kidney failure would increase the risk for high blood pressure, high blood volume and other diseases such as stroke, heart and kidney diseases.

Along With Calories An Egg Has Potassium

There are 70 mg of potassium in a large fried egg. You need potassium for your cells to work properly. Excess potassium is removed from your body through urine. Potassium also helps to:

1. Maintain normal body growth
2. Break down and use carbohydrates
3. Build proteins and muscles
4. Control electrical activities of your heart
5. Control the acid-base balance in your body

A deficiency of potassium, as a result of taking diuretics, prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, or taking too many laxative can cause you to have hypokalemia. This can cause muscles weakness and spasms, abnormal heart rhythm, tingling and numbness, fatigue and heart palpitation.

Too much potassium because the kidneys are unable to remove the proper amount of potassium from the body, would cause you to have hyperkalemia, which can cause nausea, weak or irregular pulse, or sudden collapse when the heartbeat slows down or stops. Maintaining the right balance of potassium in your body is vital for keeping your body functioning properly.

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Along With Calories An Egg Has Protein

A large fried egg has 6 g of protein. Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They are made by chains of amino acids. Without proteins your body cannot repair or make new cells, and it will die as a result. Babies and teenagers need proteins for growth and cognitive development.

You get your proteins from the food you eat, which are broken down into amino acids during digestion. Amino acids are of 3 types:

1. Those that your body cannot make are the essential amino acids
2. Nonessential amino acids are made from essential amino acids
3. Conditional amino acids are made when you are ill or under stress

Proteins from animal source such as meat, fish, poultry, milk are called complete proteins because each has all the amino acids your body needs to remain healthy. Incomplete proteins are from plant-based foods like soy, beans, legumes, nut butters and some grains. You have to combine a number of these at a meal to have all the amino acids your body needs for repairs, growth and development.

Along With Calories An Egg Has Vitamin A

Vitamin A is fat soluble. It comes in two forms. Preformed vitamin A comes from animal products like meat,fish and egg. Pro-vitamin A is found in plant based-foods like apples. The most common pro-vitamin A is beta carotene. You need vitamin A:

1. To make and maintain healthy skin, soft tissue and mucus membranes
2. To make and maintain your teeth and bones
3. Vitamin A produces the retinal in your eyes, and promotes good vision
4. Beta carotene protects your cells from cancer causing free radicals

Too much vitamin A can be poisonous, and make you sick. It can also cause birth deffects. A deficiency of Vitamin A would increase your risk for cancer, infectious diseases and bad vision.

Along With Calories An Egg Has Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6 dissolves in water, excess vitamin B-6 leaves the body through urine. For this reason your body needs a continuous supply of vitamin B-6, either through food or supplements. You need vitamin B-6:

1. To make antibodies to protect your body from diseases
2. To maintain proper functioning of your nerves
3. To make hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of your body
4. To maintain your blood sugar (glucose) at normal levels
5. To break down proteins as energy for your cells

Too much vitamin B-6 can cause difficulty coordinating your movement, feeling of numbness, or sensory changes, affecting your sight, hearing, tasting or feeling.

Too little of vitamin B-6, on the other hand can make you confused, depressed, irritable, and cause mouth and tongue sores. It is important to maintain proper levels of vitamin B-6 in your body.

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Along With Calories An Egg Has Vitamin B-12

When eaten through food or drinks two steps have to take place before vitamin B-12 can absorbed by your body.

1. Hydrochloric acid in your stomach separates vitamin B-12 from the protein it is attached to
2. Intrinsic factors in your stomach combine with vitamin B-12 before it can be absorbed

You need vitamin B-12 to:

1. Keep your nerves and blood cells healthy
2. Make DNA, the genetic material of your cells

Deficiency of vitamin B-12 increases your risk for:

1. Megaloblastic anemia causes tiredness and weakness
2. Pernicious anemia when the body cannot make intrinsic factors

Food sources of vitamin B-12 include beef liver, clams, fish, meat, poultry and egg.

Along With Calories An Egg Has Vitamin D

You need vitamin D to:

1. Absorb calcium to build strong bone and teeth
2. Help your muscles and nerve work properly
3. Help immune system fight off diseases
4. With calcium to protect older people from osteoporosis

Deficiency of vitamin D would cause:

1. Osteoporosis in adults
2. Rickets, the softening of bones

You can get vitamin D from sunlight, supplements and animal source such as egg yolk, salt water fish and liver.

Along With Calories An Egg Has Calcium

Your body stores more calcium than any other minerals. More than 99% is stored in your teeth and bones to keep them strong. The rest is found in your blood, muscles and the fluid between your cells. Your body needs calcium:

1. To build strong bones and teeth
2. For blood clothing
3. To send and receive nerve messages
4. To secret hormones and enzymes
5. To regulate your heart beat
6. To contract and expand your blood vessels and muscles

Your best source of calcium is dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese and buttermilk. You will also find calcium in leafy vegetables like broccoli, callards, kale, mustard greens, and fruits like apples. But you would need vitamin D in your diet to absorb and use calcium. And be mindful of how much wheat bran, spinach and rhubard you eat with a calcium-rich meal, as these can bind with calcium and prevent it from being absorbed.

Too much calcium over a long period can cause you to have kidney stones. A deficiency of calcium increases your risk of osteoporosis, and other health problems.

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Along With Calories An Egg Has Iron

Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cell that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of your body. Iron is also involved in making myoglobin that helps muscles store and use oxygen. Iron is found in every cell of your body.

Although your body stores some iron for when iron level is low, if it cannot absorb sufficient iron for an extended period, you would develop a condition called "iron deficiency anemia", which would cause you to have:

1. Decreased energy and shortness of breath
2. Headache and dizziness
3. Abnormal weight loss

To help improve your body's absorption of iron, mix some lean meat, fish or chicken with beans or leafy greens at a meal. Food rich in vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron.

While it is unlikely that you would absorb too much iron from food and drinks, those with the genetic disorder hemochromatosis would experience interference with their body's ability to control how much iron is absorbed. They should keep an eye on their iron level, as it may rise above or fall below the normal level frequently.

Along With Calories An Egg Has Magnessium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body cannot make on its own, and must be brought in through foods, drinks and supplements. Magnesium is needed in more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body including:

1. Maintain normal nerves and muscles functions
2. Keep your heart beat steady.
3. Maintain your immune system healthy
4. Help to keep your bone strong
5. Help to regulate your blood glucose levels
6. Help to produce cellular energy, and making proteins in your body
7. Help to prevent high blood pressure, heart attack and diabetes

It is unlikely that you would have an overdose of magnesium from your diet because excess magnesium is removed through the urine, but you could from supplements, so be mindful of that. A magnesium deficiency would cause you to:

1. Become hyperexcited and fatigue
2. Have tingling and muscles weakness
3. Become frequently sleepy
4. Become confused and experience hallucination

I believe with these nutrients and vitamins, you would agree that a fried egg provides your body more than just calories.

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