I bet if I asked you are eggs part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, you'd agree. Less well known are the details like how many eggs make a serving and how many servings are recommended each day. That's because for many of us, the last time we really looked at Canada's Food Guide might have been back in fifth grade health!
As a dietician, the Food Guide is often the backbone of my healthy eating advice. Here’s a quick review of how eggs fit.
Are eggs dairy or protein?
Yes, eggs are often found in the dairy case, but they belong to the protein foods group.
How many eggs are in one serving?
Most often, one slice of bread or one apple makes a serving but in the case of eggs, two eggs is one Food Guide serving.
How many grams of protein are in an egg?
There are 6 grams of protein in an egg. Half of that is in the yolk, so be sure to eat the whole egg for all the protein goodness.
How much protein foods are needed daily?
The recommended number of servings of protein are as follows:
- Children 2-8 years of age: 1 serving
- Children 9-13 years of age: 1-2 servings
- Females 14-51+ years of age: 2 servings
- Males 14-51+ years of age: 3 servings
Some practical examples of what this means:
- A 4 year old child may have one egg at lunch and a few fork fulls (1/4 cup) of fish at dinner. Together, those half portions make up the one Food Guide serving recommended each day.
- I often enjoy a hard-boiled egg as a protein-rich, afternoon snack. That’s ½ a serving. That leaves another 1 1/2 servings to spread over the day.
- My teenage son might come home from hockey practice and make a 3 egg omelette. That’s 1 ½ servings leaving another 1 ½ servings from the protein foods group to enjoy at other times of the day.
What foods are in the protein foods group?
Foods in the protein group include:
- Lean meats and poultry
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish and shellfish
- Lower fat dairy products
- Beans, peas and lentils
- Fortified soy beverages, tofu, soybeans and other soy products
Why is it important to choose a variety of choices from the protein foods group?
There are many choices in the protein foods group. Each food offers slightly different health benefits. For ultimate health, enjoy a variety of foods from each food group every day.