Eggs are a protein and nutrient powerhouse.

They can be added to many dishes and prepared in numerous ways.

One way to enjoy eggs is to hard-boil them. Hard-boiled eggs make great salad toppings and can be eaten alone with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Here is everything you need to know about hard-boiled eggs.

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Hard-boiled eggs are loaded with nutrients, protein and healthy fats. One large hard-boiled egg (50 grams) provides (1):

  • Calories: 77
  • Carbs: 0.6 grams
  • Total fat: 5.3 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1.6 grams
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 212 mg
  • Protein: 6.3 grams
  • Vitamin A: 6% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 15% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): 9% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 7% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 86 mg, or 9% of the RDA
  • Selenium: 15.4 mcg, or 22% of the RDA

For all the nutrients eggs have to offer, they are a fairly low-calorie food. Hard-boiled eggs provide only 77 calories, 5 grams of fat and a very small amount of carbs.

They’re also a very good source of lean protein, at about 6 grams per egg.

Furthermore, eggs pack a complete range of amino acids, which means they are a complete protein source.

Hard-boiled eggs also offer various important nutrients, including vitamin D, zinc, calcium and all of the B vitamins. They’re a particularly good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin B12.

Many of eggs’ nutrients reside exclusively in the yolk, whereas the egg white contains primarily protein (2).

Summary Hard-boiled eggs are low in calories and rich in many important vitamins, minerals and nutrients. While the yolk provides nutrients, fat and protein, the white is almost exclusively protein.

Protein is vital for many components of your health, including building muscle and bones and producing hormones and enzymes (3).

Eggs provide about 6 grams of high-quality protein. In fact, eggs are one of the best sources of protein you can eat (1).

This is due to their complete protein profile — eggs contain all nine essential amino acids (3, 4).

One common misconception is that the protein is found only in the egg white.

However, almost half of an egg’s protein content comes from the yolk (5, 6).

Therefore, it’s best to enjoy the whole egg — yolk and all — to benefit from the protein and nutrients eggs have to offer.

Summary Eggs are an excellent source of protein. They contain all nine essential amino acids, and both the white and yolk contain this important nutrient.

Over the years, eggs have gotten a bad reputation due to their high cholesterol content.

It’s true that eggs are packed with cholesterol. One large hard-boiled egg provides 212 mg of cholesterol, which is 71% of the RDA (1).

However, recent research shows that dietary cholesterol has very little effect on blood cholesterol (7, 8).

For most people, dietary cholesterol is not associated with heart disease risk and does not increase total cholesterol or “bad” LDL cholesterol levels (9, 10).

In fact, egg consumption may improve “good” HDL cholesterol (7, 11, 12).

Additionally, two studies in over 100,000 healthy adults found that eating one whole egg per day was not linked to an increased risk of heart disease (12).

However, people with diabetes should exercise caution when consuming eggs, as some research indicates that eating 7 eggs per week may increase their risk of heart disease (13).

Ultimately, more research is needed on the link between egg consumption and heart disease risk in people with diabetes.

Summary Though hard-boiled eggs are high in cholesterol, studies show that dietary cholesterol does not negatively impact blood cholesterol in most people. In fact, eggs have been found to improve cholesterol profiles by increasing “good” HDL cholesterol.

Eggs provide important essential nutrients and antioxidants that support brain and eye health.

Choline

Choline is an essential nutrient for many critical processes in your body.

Your body does produce some choline on its own, but not in large quantities. Therefore, you must get choline from your diet in order to avoid deficiency (14).

Yet, most Americans aren’t consuming enough (15, 16).

Choline is crucial for maintaining a healthy nervous system, as it helps produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory and learning (17).

Choline is important across your lifespan. It promotes fetal brain and memory development, as well as cognitive function in older adults (15, 18).

It’s also vital for pregnant women, as adequate choline levels may decrease the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus (19).

Choline is found in the yolk — one, large, hard-boiled egg contains 147 mg of choline, which is 27% of the daily value. In fact, eggs are the most concentrated source of choline in the American diet (14, 15).

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants best known for their role in eye health.

They combat harmful, oxygen-induced free radicals that can accumulate in your eyes (20, 21).

Lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to slow the formation of cataracts and protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD) (22, 23).

They may even protect your eyes from detrimental blue light (24,25).

Egg yolks are an excellent source of these two carotenoids.

Furthermore, due to the yolk’s fat profile, your body appears to absorb the lutein and zeaxanthin very well (26, 27).

Summary Egg yolks are an excellent source of choline, which is essential for brain health and development. They’re also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that promote eye health.

Hard-boiled eggs are made by placing unshelled eggs in a saucepan filled with cold water, then boiling until the yolk solidifies. They’re cooked without any additional butter or oil.

On the other hand, fried eggs require supplemental butter or oil, which contribute additional calories and fat.

For example, one large hard-boiled egg has 77 calories and 5.3 grams of fat, compared to 90 calories and 7 grams of fat in one large fried egg (1, 28).

Other than the fat and calorie content, hard-boiled and fried eggs have very similar vitamin and mineral profiles. They don’t differ in their amount of protein and nutrients.

Summary While hard-boiled eggs are prepared without further ingredients, fried eggs require additional butter or oil — which make them higher in calories. However, fried and boiled eggs are very similar from a micronutrient standpoint.

Hard-boiled eggs are a low-calorie, nutrient-dense food.

They’re an excellent source of high-quality protein and rich in B vitamins, zinc, calcium and other important nutrients and antioxidants like choline, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Though high in cholesterol, eggs don’t appear to increase heart disease risk in most people.

Hard-boiled eggs are prepared without additional oil or butter, so they’re lower in calories and fat than fried eggs.

They may just be one of the easiest and most nutritious additions to your diet.