How much egg white should you eat a day?

Egg whites are a popular source of protein and other nutrients like vitamin B2 and selenium. Many people eat them as part of a healthy diet. This article reviews how much egg white you can eat per day.

Quick answer

There is no official recommendation for how much egg white to eat per day. However, eating 1–2 egg whites per day, or about 2–4 tablespoons (30–60 ml), is generally safe for most healthy people.

How many egg whites are in one egg?

One large egg contains about 30–35 grams of egg white and 17–19 grams of yolk. That’s approximately 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of egg white.

So if you separate one large egg, you’ll get around:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) egg white
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) egg yolk

Nutrients in egg whites

Egg whites are low in calories but high in protein, minerals, and vitamins.

Some main nutrients per 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of egg whites include:

  • Calories: 17
  • Protein: 3.6 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 0.6 grams
  • Vitamin B2: 0.5 mg (28% of the Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 9.5 mcg (14% of the DV)

Egg whites are an excellent source of high quality, lean protein. Protein helps build and repair tissues and produces important hormones and enzymes.

The protein in egg whites may also help you feel full for longer, which can aid weight loss.

In addition, egg whites contain antioxidants like ovalbumin, which may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Benefits of eating egg whites

Here are some of the top benefits of adding egg whites to your diet:

High in protein

Egg whites are an excellent source of protein, with about 3.6 grams of protein per tablespoon (15 ml).

Getting enough protein is crucial for muscle growth and development, wound healing, and keeping your metabolism running efficiently.

Studies show that high protein diets can boost metabolism, reduce appetite, lower blood pressure, and preserve muscle mass and strength during weight loss.

May promote weight loss

Due to their high protein content, egg whites may help reduce appetite and promote feelings of fullness.

One study found that eating egg whites for breakfast, rather than a bagel, helped overweight adults feel more full and consume fewer calories later in the day.

Research also shows that high protein breakfasts, like egg whites, can aid fat burning and reduce levels of ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone.

Helps control blood sugar

Protein is important for blood sugar control. Some studies indicate that eating protein-rich foods like egg whites may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels, especially in people with obesity, prediabetes, or type 2 diabetes.

One study in healthy young men found eating egg whites significantly improved insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control after eating, compared to whey protein or egg yolks.

May promote heart health

High LDL cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Some research shows that eating egg whites may improve cholesterol levels.

One study compared the effects of eating whole eggs versus egg whites in 40 adults with elevated cholesterol. After eating whole eggs, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels increased compared to egg whites.

Another study found that eating egg whites for 12 weeks led to greater reductions in total and LDL cholesterol, compared to eating whole eggs.

Easy to add to your diet

Egg whites are very versatile and easy to incorporate into many dishes. You can add them to smoothies, scrambles, frittatas, and more. Here are a few simple ways to enjoy egg whites:

  • Make an egg white omelet filled with veggies
  • Add egg whites to pancake or waffle batter
  • Use egg whites instead of whole eggs when baking
  • Make egg white pops by cooking egg whites in a muffin tin
  • Add egg whites to lean turkey meatballs or burgers

Downsides of eating egg whites

Egg whites are highly nutritious, but eating too many may have downsides, including:

Lack nutrients found in egg yolks

Egg yolks contain many important nutrients not found in egg whites, such as:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Choline
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants)
  • Omega-3s
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12

The cholesterol in egg yolks does not negate their nutritional benefits. Unless you have a sensitivity, eating some whole eggs is healthy.

Increase risk of biotin deficiency

Raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin that can bind to biotin, preventing its absorption. Biotin is an essential vitamin.

This is not a concern in cooked egg whites. However, eating only raw egg whites for long periods may increase your risk of biotin deficiency.

May cause bloating

Some people may experience bloating or gas after eating egg whites. This can be due to the high protein content.

Cooking egg whites may make them easier to digest for sensitive people.

How many egg whites per day is safe?

There are no official guidelines for how many egg whites to eat per day.

However, eating 1–2 eggs or egg whites daily is generally considered safe for healthy people. This equates to around 2–4 tablespoons (30–60 ml) of egg whites.

Below are general recommendations based on different daily calorie needs:

Calorie needs Recommended egg whites per day
1,600 calories/day Around 1 egg white
2,000 calories/day 1-2 egg whites
2,400 calories/day Around 2 egg whites

Most healthy people can eat 1–2 eggs or 4–6 egg whites daily without issue. However, those with heart disease or diabetes may need to limit their intake to no more than 2–4 egg yolks per week.

Summary: For most people, eating 1–2 egg whites per day, or about 2–4 tablespoons (30–60 ml), is considered safe.

Are there any benefits to eating raw egg whites?

Some people believe that raw egg whites are healthier than cooked whites.

However, research shows that cooking egg whites generally has no effect on their nutritional value. Furthermore, there are some downsides to eating raw egg whites regularly.

Here is an overview of raw vs cooked egg whites:

Nutrient content

Cooking egg whites does not destroy their nutrients. One study found no differences in the nutritional quality of raw versus cooked egg protein.

Both raw and cooked egg whites are excellent sources of protein and minerals like selenium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Protein absorption

One study found that egg white protein was absorbed 20% more effectively when the eggs were cooked rather than raw.

Heat from cooking denatures the proteins in egg whites, making them easier for your body to digest and utilize.

Biotin deficiency

Raw egg whites contain avidin, which can bind to the vitamin biotin and prevent absorption. Cooked egg whites do not contain any avidin.

While not a concern for most people, long-term consumption of raw egg whites could potentially lead to biotin deficiency in some cases.

Food safety

Raw eggs can be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella. Cooking helps kill any bacteria.

Older adults, pregnant women, young children, and those with weakened immune systems should avoid raw eggs.

Overall, there are no benefits to consuming raw egg whites over cooked egg whites for most people. Cooked whites are safer and don’t affect nutritional value.

The bottom line

Egg whites provide an impressive amount of protein in few calories. They also contain various vitamins and minerals.

For most healthy people, eating 1–2 egg whites per day is perfectly safe.

Make sure to pair egg whites with whole eggs some of the time and a variety of other protein sources to get all of the nutrients you need.

At the end of the day, moderation and a balanced diet are key.

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