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Does Scrambling an Egg Ruin the Protein?

by
author image Michelle Kerns
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.
Does Scrambling an Egg Ruin the Protein?
Pouring scrambled eggs onto a cooking pan. Photo Credit Maren Winter/iStock/Getty Images

When you cook a protein-rich food like an egg, you'll change the structure of the protein, but your body will still be able to use the amino acids to build and repair cellular tissue and synthesize protein-based compounds. Scrambled eggs are a good source of protein. With a few alterations to a basic scrambled eggs recipe, you can increase the protein content and improve the food's overall nutrition.

Raw Vs. Scrambled Egg Protein

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one large raw egg contains approximately 6.3 grams of protein. This amount supplies about 11 percent of the recommended daily intake of protein for the average man and 14 percent of the requirement for a woman. One large scrambled egg contains 6.1 grams of protein, only slightly less than an uncooked egg.

Source of Essential Amino Acids

Eggs are a complete protein source. This means that they contain all nine of the essential amino acids that you cannot synthesize and must obtain from your diet. Cooking an egg does not significantly change the amino acid content. Scrambled eggs are high in leucine, lysine and valine as well as the nonessential amino acids glutamic acid, aspartic acid and serine.

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Amping Up Your Scrambled Egg Protein

To boost the protein content of your scrambled eggs, beat them thoroughly with low- or nonfat milk before cooking. A serving of eggs scrambled with added milk contains 14 grams of protein, or 25 percent of a man's daily protein needs and 30 percent of a woman's. You can also substitute or add low- or nonfat cottage cheese or shredded reduced-fat cheese. "Skinny Sometimes" magazine suggests combining egg whites, whole eggs, low-fat cottage cheese and almond milk for scrambled eggs that supply 23 grams of protein per serving.

Expert Health Tips

Although scrambled eggs are high in protein, they are also high in saturated fat and cholesterol. One large scrambled egg contains 2 grams of saturated fat -- 15 percent of the 13-milligram limit recommended for adults on a 2,000-calorie diet -- and 56 percent of the maximum amount of cholesterol you should have per day. The National Institutes of Health advises consuming no more than four whole eggs weekly or using only egg whites, which provide protein without cholesterol or fat.

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