An egg packs a lot of nutritional punch in one handy little container. It's a good dietary source of protein, which means it helps fill you up without adding a lot of calories to your meal. And if you can master the technique, poaching an egg is a healthy way of cooking it because it adds little in the way of fat and calories.
A large egg contains 6.25 g of protein. Poaching an egg does not alter its protein content, so a poached egg has much protein as a scrambled, hard-boiled or fried egg. Keep in mind, though, that the protein content of the eggs you eat can vary based on their size. Small or medium eggs contain less than 6.25 g, while extra-large eggs contain more.
Other Nutrition Information
In addition to the 6.25 g of protein, a large egg contains 70 calories and 4.5 g of fat. The fat content in a large egg includes 2 g of monounsaturated fat and 1.5 g of saturated fat. The cholesterol content is about 186 mg. Eggs also contain several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, choline, phosphorus, selenium and folate.
Other Protein Sources
Eggs do provide a good dietary source of protein, but you have plenty of other foods you can choose, as well, if you are trying to eat more protein. All types of meat, poultry and seafood contain a good amount of protein, but many plant foods also contain the nutrient. The difference is that plant-based proteins typically add less fat and fewer calories to your diet than animal proteins. Good plant-based sources of protein include beans, nuts and dairy products such as cheese.
Daily Protein Needs
Because protein is so abundant in the typical American diet, no firm daily intake recommendation has been established as it has for other nutrients. The Institute of Medicine's protein intake recommendations are based on weight. You should eat 0.8 g of protein per day for every kilogram of body weight. If you weigh 160 lbs., that means you should consume 64 g of protein each day. Healthy adults can get as much as 25 percent of their daily calories from protein, but people who have diabetes or kidney disease should not exceed the 0.8 g per day per kilogram of weight because of possible damage to the kidneys.