Boiled eggs have a definite role to play in a balanced, healthy diet. One large egg only has 78 calories, it provides vitamin A and B vitamins and boiling doesn’t add extra fat. Eggs are a good choice for complete protein, but the benefits must be weighed against the fact that eggs have no energy-providing carbohydrates.
Protein Content of Eggs
Eggs are a good source of protein and they contain all of the essential amino acids, so they provide complete protein. One hard-boiled egg has 6 grams of protein, which gives men 11 percent of their daily intake, while women get 14 percent. In a large egg, about 43 percent of the protein is found in the yolk. Even though that percentage will vary based on the size of the yolk, you can count on getting about half of the total amount of protein if you choose to eat only the egg white.
Why Eat Protein?
Protein forms the structure of cells and builds and repairs tissues, and it’s needed to make substances that determine your overall health, such as hormones, enzymes, and hemoglobin. When protein-containing foods are digested, they’re broken down into individual amino acids. Then the body uses the amino acids to rebuild whatever specific protein it needs. Getting a regular daily supply of protein is critical because your body doesn’t store amino acids.
Recommended Daily Protein
Men should include 56 grams of protein in their daily diet and women need 46 grams. These values represent the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, which is based upon the average amount of dietary protein that most healthy adults need to meet their nutritional requirements.
Endurance athletes and those engaged in strength training need extra protein. Recommendations for athletes range from 1.2 to 2 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight, depending on the intensity of training, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The amount of protein needed each day can also increase or decrease, depending on overall health and to meet the demands of some medical conditions.
No More Cholesterol Concerns
Despite their generally healthful makeup, eggs' high cholesterol levels have made them a questionable dietary choice for years. That longtime prejudice is now easing, and the 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer includes a cap of 300 milligrams per day for cholesterol consumption. Most foods high in cholesterol are also high in saturated fats, and it's those saturated fats that cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The Guidelines note that eggs are an exception, containing little-saturated fat despite their cholesterol, so they're no longer considered a food to eat in strict moderation. The total fat in an egg fits handily within the recommendations for a balanced diet: Total fat consumption should not exceed 25 to 35 percent, and saturated fat should account for 10 percent or less, of your daily calories. One hard-boiled egg has 5.3 grams of total fat and 1.63 grams of saturated fat, which is just 47.7 calories in total fat and 14.7 calories in saturated fat.