Whether you’re just curious or you’re on a low-calorie diet and need to know if a hard-boiled egg is okay to eat, the short answer to “how many calories in a hard-boiled egg?” is: about 78 calories per serving size of one medium egg.
Seems like this should be a short article, right? But the nutrient content of eggs doesn’t end with how many calories they contain, and you may want to know just why eggs are a particularly effective weight-loss food. If you’re interested to know why eggs can help you lose weight, then read on.
How Many Calories in a Hard-Boiled Egg? What Else Is in an Egg?
You came here looking for the amount of calories in an egg, but what else do eggs contain vitamin- and nutrient-wise? This section provides you with a comprehensive answer.
Hard-Boiled Eggs: Nutrition Facts
Powerhouses of protein and healthy fats, hard-boiled eggs contain the following nutrients per medium-sized (about 50 grams) egg:
- Calories: 78
- Total fat: 5.3 grams
- Protein: 6.3 grams
- Carbs: 0.6 grams
- Saturated fat: 1.6 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
- Cholesterol: 212 milligrams
- Vitamin A: 6% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 15% of the RDI
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 7% of the RDI
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): 9% of the RDI
- Selenium: 15.4 micrograms, or 22% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 86 milligrams, or 9% of the RDI
- Dietary fiber: 0 grams
- With only 5 grams of fat per egg and 6.3 grams of protein for a mere 78 calories, eggs are lean and nutritious.
- A complete protein, each egg brings you the full range of amino acids, essential for building new muscle.
- Eggs are a remarkably good source of riboflavin, and a fairly good source of zinc, vitamin D, and calcium.
It should be noted that most of these nutrients are in the yolk of the egg, while the egg white contains almost exclusively protein. To find out more about the uses of these nutrients, keep reading.
Not only is protein needed for muscle-building, but your bones and your hormone and enzyme production are reliant on high-quality protein as well, specifically all nine of the essential amino acids. With over 6 grams of protein, eggs are one of the best sources of protein around.
Though the egg whites are largely comprised of protein, the yolks contain protein too, about half of the overall protein content in fact. If you’re looking for a complete protein package, a whole hard-boiled egg is the right way to go, whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or (ideally) both.
If you know anything about eggs, you probably know that they (and especially the yolks) contain cholesterol. It’s true, and in fact one hard-boiled egg can contain as much as 71% of the RDI of cholesterol (around 212 milligrams). However, there is research to suggest that your dietary cholesterol has little-to-no effect on your blood cholesterol, and is not associated with the risk for heart disease.
Contrary to popular mythology and belief, there is some science showing that egg consumption might even improve your “good” HDL cholesterol levels without increasing the risk of heart disease, even if you eat a whole egg every single day. More research is still needed to be definitive, but eggs are far from being dangerous artery-cloggers (unlike fatty meats).
Brain and Eye Nutrients
There are a few essential nutrients in eggs that support brain and eye health. One is choline. Although your body does produces choline in-house, it’s still necessary to get more of it from your diet to avoid developing a deficiency.
Most Americans are not consuming enough choline, and it’s needed to maintain a healthy nervous system and to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine for memory and learning. From womb to tomb, we need choline, literally: it’s as important in developing the fetal brain as it is in the cognitive function of older adults.
Eggs are the most concentrated choline source in the diet of Americans. Choline is found in the yolk of an egg, and one hard-boiled egg contains approximately 147 milligrams, which is 27% of the recommended daily value.
Other important nutrients include the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants known for promoting eye health. Not only do they fight the oxygen-induced free radicals that can potentially accumulate in your eyes, but they also slow the development of cataracts and guard against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Again, it’s the yolk of the egg that contains these nutrients, which recent studies have shown might protect our eyes from harmful blue light as well.
Why Are Eggs a Great Weight-Loss Food?
Now more directly to the point, if you’re worried about the calorie content in eggs, you most likely don’t need to be, because eggs are an exceptionally friendly weight-loss food. Here are the quick facts that highlight why eating more eggs can help you lose weight.
Eggs Are Low in Calories
There are only two ways to lose weight: either burn off extra calories through exercise, or reduce your calorie intake (or better yet, hidden answer C: all of the above).
Most prepared egg dishes contain 2-4 eggs, which means only 156-312 calories for an entire main course, so long as you don’t use butter or lard to cook your eggs (look into the healthiest oils for cooking to choose the right one). Add some fruits or veggies to your plate, and you have an excellent low-calorie breakfast that will give you enough energy to stay focused and productive until lunch.
Eggs Are Quite Filling
Eggs are not only nutrient-dense due to their protein content, but they’re also a hardy food to digest. High-protein foods have been shown in studies to increase feelings of fullness and reduce appetite throughout the day, which is what makes them a particularly valuable breakfast food.
Egg meals perform better than other meals with the same caloric content when it comes to reducing food intake after a meal, and eggs are highly ranked on the Satiety Index, a scale that evaluates how well foods reduce later calorie intake. There have also been studies done showing the psychological effect of high-protein foods like eggs as being beneficial as well: a high-protein diet may reduce obsessive food thoughts by as much as 60%.
Eggs May Help Boost Metabolism
Because eggs are a complete protein containing all nine of the essential amino acids (and in the right ratios too) they are useful for both tissue maintenance and metabolism. A high-protein diet has been shown to increase metabolism up to 80-100 calories per day via the thermic effect of food. The thermic effect speaks to the energy that’s required to metabolize certain foods, meaning it’s higher for protein than for carbs or fat, because the body has to do more work to break proteins down.
Eggs Are an Ideal Way to Start the Day
Having eggs for breakfast is especially beneficial to weight loss. We’ve alluded to it before, but the science backs it up: eating eggs in the morning compared to other foods with equivalent caloric content yields an increased feeling of fullness, which leads to fewer calories consumed for the rest of the day (and up to 36 hours later).
Egg breakfasts have also been shown to cause as great as 65% higher weight loss over 8 weeks, reducing later calories consumed even better than the dense bread of a bagel. Eggs for breakfast also caused more stable insulin and blood glucose responses, suppressed the “hunger hormone” ghrelin, and beat out breakfasts of cereal and toast or croissant and orange juice for satiety, appetite suppression, and lower calorie intake at lunch. When it comes to eggs for breakfast, you’re looking at scores of 10 across the board.
Eggs Are Affordable and Easily Prepared
Inexpensive and widely available, it’s even possible to raise chickens and secure your own eggs with the right permits and/or a rural enough setting. The eggs can be boiled, broiled, scrambled, or baked. They can even be used to make low-carb banana pancakes, along with so many other creative egg recipes. A whole egg can be soft- or hard-boiled as a snack, and a couple of eggs can make an entire meal, with the egg yolks turned into hollandaise sauce, (though watch the calorie count there—the same goes for fried eggs).
Incredible, Edible Eggs
From small eggs to large eggs and from coast to coast, the health benefits in eggs are what a body needs to stay strong and lean. Eating eggs, especially if you have them for breakfast, can be just the sort of boost that gets you to your weight-loss goals.