Can I eat 3 eggs a day during pregnancy?

Quick Answer

Eating 3 eggs a day during pregnancy is generally considered safe and healthy. Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals and choline which are all important for fetal development. As long as you are not exceeding the recommended cholesterol limits, eating 3 eggs a day can be part of a balanced pregnancy diet. However, it’s best to consult your doctor.

Should I Limit Egg Intake During Pregnancy?

Eggs are packed with nutrition that is beneficial during pregnancy including:

  • Protein – Eggs provide 6g of high-quality protein per egg which helps support fetal tissue growth and development.
  • Choline – Eggs are one of the best sources of choline which is vital for brain development. The developing fetus draws choline from the mother’s stores.
  • Vitamin D – Egg yolks contain vitamin D which helps regulate calcium for bone development.
  • Vitamin A – Egg yolks provide vitamin A which is important for eye development and vision.
  • Folate – Eggs contain some folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects.
  • Iron – Eggs have iron to help prevent anemia and aid in transporting oxygen to the baby.

However, there are a few reasons why you may need to limit egg intake during pregnancy:

Cholesterol Concerns

Eggs are high in cholesterol, with about 186 mg in one large egg. The recommended limit for cholesterol during pregnancy is 300 mg per day. Eating more than 3 eggs would likely exceed that amount. Too much cholesterol may increase the risk of complications like preeclampsia.

However, dietary cholesterol has less of an impact on blood cholesterol levels than saturated fat and trans fats. Unless you have been advised by your doctor to limit cholesterol, eating 1-2 eggs per day is considered safe.

Risk of Salmonella

Raw or undercooked eggs may contain salmonella bacteria which can cause food poisoning. Pregnant women are at higher risk of salmonella infections that can lead to illness, dehydration, and even pregnancy complications like preterm labor.

To avoid salmonella from eggs, cook them thoroughly until the whites and yolks are firm. Make sure to wash hands, utensils, and surfaces after handling raw eggs. Avoid eating raw cookie dough, cake batter, sauces, and drinks containing raw eggs.


Some women may discover they have an egg allergy during pregnancy. Symptoms include itchy skin, hives, swollen lips or face, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Egg allergies can develop at any time but are more common in childhood.

If you experience adverse reactions after eating eggs, it’s important to see an allergist for testing. A serious egg allergy may require you to eliminate eggs entirely.

Benefits of Eating 3 Eggs Daily While Pregnant

Here are some of the key benefits you and your baby can obtain from eating 3 eggs per day during a healthy pregnancy:

Protein for Tissue Growth

Eggs are one of the best sources of high-quality protein you can get. Just three large eggs provide about 18 grams of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids.

Protein is vital for building fetal tissue, organs, bone, muscle, skin, hair, and enzymes. If you don’t eat enough protein during pregnancy, the baby may draw protein stores from your muscles and tissues.

Choline for Brain Development

Choline is a nutrient that is often lacking in pregnant women’s diets. Just three eggs provide about 300 mg choline, closing the gap between dietary intake and the recommended 450 mg per day.

Choline is essential for fetal brain development and function. It also helps prevent neural tube defects. Studies show that higher choline intake in pregnancy can improve baby’s brain health and cognitive function into childhood.

Vitamin D for Bone Health

Eggs are naturally rich in vitamin D, with about 40 IU in each yolk. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and bone development in the fetus.

Many pregnant women are deficient in vitamin D, so eggs can provide a healthy boost. Low vitamin D in pregnancy is linked to rickets, impaired bone growth, and skeletal abnormalities.

Vitamin A for Vision

Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin A thanks to all the carotenoids in the yolk. Just one large egg has 10% of your daily vitamin A needs.

Vitamin A is crucial for eye development in babies and reduces the risk of vision problems. It also promotes skin, bone and immune system health.

Folate to Prevent Birth Defects

Eggs contain some natural folate, providing about 22 mcg in one large egg, or 5% of your daily needs.

Folate is essential in the early weeks of pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects and developmental abnormalities. By eating eggs regularly, you can help boost your intake of this critical nutrient.

Iron to Prevent Anemia

Each egg has about 0.9 mg of iron, providing 5% of the recommended daily amount during pregnancy. Iron carries oxygen to your baby and helps prevent iron-deficiency anemia.

Many pregnant women struggle to get enough iron from diet alone. Including eggs in your pregnancy meals can help optimize your iron intake.

Are There Any Risks of Eating 3 Eggs Daily?

For most healthy women, eating 3 eggs daily during pregnancy is safe. However, there are some potential risks and considerations:

Excess Cholesterol

The main risk with eating 3 whole eggs per day is excess cholesterol consumption, since eggs are high in dietary cholesterol.

Consuming over 300 mg of cholesterol daily may increase pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, low birth weight, and preterm birth, according to some studies.

To minimize risk, limit egg yolks to 1-2 per day and consume more egg whites. You can also offset cholesterol by choosing low-fat proteins and unsaturated fats.

Foodborne Illness

Raw or undercooked eggs may contain salmonella bacteria. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than others to get salmonellosis from contaminated eggs.

Symptoms like vomiting, nausea, cramps and diarrhea can lead to dehydration and hospitalization. Severe infection may also trigger early labor.

Cook eggs thoroughly and avoid consuming raw egg products like cookie dough to prevent illness. Proper handling and cleaning is key.

Allergic Reactions

Pregnant women with egg allergies may experience potentially dangerous reactions from eating eggs, like anaphylaxis.

Reactions include hives, swollen lips or throat, difficulty breathing, abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and even loss of consciousness.

If you have a known egg allergy, you will need to avoid eggs completely and read ingredient labels carefully. Inform your healthcare provider.

Interactions with Medications

Some medications can interact with high dietary cholesterol from eggs. These include statins, ezetimibe, fibrates, colesevelam, and alirocumab.

Talk to your doctor about any interactions if you take regular medications. You may need to limit egg intake or have cholesterol checked.

Nutrition Facts for 3 Eggs

Here is the nutritional profile for 3 large eggs (about 150g):

Nutrient Amount % Daily Value
Calories 234 12%
Fat 15.3g 24%
Saturated Fat 4.5g 23%
Cholesterol 557mg 186%
Sodium 186mg 8%
Potassium 189mg 4%
Carbohydrates 1.8g 1%
Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 1.2g
Protein 18.6g 37%
Vitamin A 270mcg RAE 30%
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 2.7mg 15%
Vitamin D 126IU 31%
Vitamin B6 0.3mg 15%
Folate 66mcg DFE 17%
Choline 342mg 63%

As you can see, just 3 eggs provide over a third of your daily protein needs, plenty of vitamins A and D, selenium, riboflavin, and phosphorus.

However, 3 eggs also contains 557 mg cholesterol, exceeding the 300 mg recommended pregnancy limit. Consuming this amount daily long-term may potentially increase health risks.

Tips for Incorporating Eggs into a Healthy Pregnancy Diet

Here are some tips for safely enjoying eggs as part of balanced nutrition during pregnancy:

  • Limit egg yolks to 1-2 per day and eat more egg whites to cut cholesterol.
  • Prepare eggs by boiling, poaching, baking or scrambling. Avoid fried eggs high in fat and calories.
  • Use omega-3 enriched or pasture-raised eggs for more anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Pair eggs with veggies like spinach, tomatoes or broccoli for more fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked eggs to minimize risk of salmonella infection.
  • If using raw eggs in batter or dough, use pasteurized shell eggs.
  • Check with your doctor about egg intake if you have diabetes, heart disease or take cholesterol medications.

Instead of 3 whole eggs, try alternatives like:

– Veggie omelette with 1 egg and 2 egg whites
– Hard boiled eggs – 1 yolk and 2 whites
– Egg sandwich on whole grain toast – 2 eggs max
– Veggie egg muffins with whites only
– Quiche with 1 whole egg + egg substitute

Are There Any Alternatives to Eggs During Pregnancy?

If you need to avoid eggs entirely due to allergy, cholesterol concerns or vegetarian diet, there are many nutritious egg alternatives:


Tofu made from soybeans is a versatile protein source that can replace eggs in many dishes. Silken tofu scrambles just like eggs. Firm tofu can be crumbled into salads, tacos, etc.

Beans and Lentils

Beans like chickpeas, black beans and lentils have protein, iron, folate and fiber without cholesterol concerns. Puree them for a binding substitute for eggs.

Chia and Flax Seeds

When mixed with water, chia and flax form a gel that can stand in for eggs as a binder in baked goods and snacks. They add fiber, omega-3s and nutrients.

Nut Butter

Nut butters like almond or peanut butter can act as an egg replacer in cookies, brownies and cakes. The fat helps provide moisture and texture.


Mashed ripe banana binds and provides moisture in place of eggs in quick breads and pancakes. Each 1/4 cup banana puree substitutes for 1 egg.


Unsweetened applesauce is an easy egg substitute in baked goods, providing moisture without fat. Use 1/4 cup per egg. Avoid adding extra sugar.

Commercial Egg Replacers

Products like Ener-G Egg Replacer, Bob’s Red Mill, and Orgran No Egg contain potato starch, tapioca flour, leavening and binders. Follow package instructions.

Should I Consult My Doctor About Eating Eggs?

Before adding more eggs to your diet during pregnancy, it’s wise to consult your doctor, especially if:

  • You have diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol
  • You are at risk for gestational diabetes
  • You take cholesterol-lowering medications
  • You have a history of pregnancy complications
  • You have an egg allergy

Your doctor can help assess your individual risk factors, recommend safe limits for dietary cholesterol, and monitor your blood cholesterol.

Let your doctor know about any allergy so they can provide emergency medication and help manage your diet.

See your doctor promptly if you experience concerning symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea after eating eggs. Monitoring for foodborne illness is important.

Bottom Line

For most healthy pregnant women, eating 3 eggs daily can be safe and provide important nutrients like protein, choline, vitamin D and more.

However, going over the 300 mg cholesterol recommendation may potentially impact some women’s pregnancy health and increase complication risks. It’s best to keep egg yolks to 1-2 per day as part of a balanced diet.

Always cook eggs thoroughly and practice food safety. Talk to your doctor about any concerns over egg intake or cholesterol levels during pregnancy.

With some basic precautions, eggs can be an incredibly nutritious food to include in reasonable amounts as part of your healthy pregnancy diet.

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