Goose and duck eggs are two egg varieties most people are unfamiliar with and those that are familiar with them avoid them because of their high cholesterol content. But what they don’t know is that goose and duck eggs don’t just have more cholesterol, they also have more of several vitamins and minerals, which adds to their health benefits. Compared to chicken eggs, goose and duck are actually more nutritious, providing significantly more protein, iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid. At the same time, they also have a higher cholesterol and fat content as well as energetic value.
Overall, duck and goose eggs have an excellent nutritional value and are a great addition to your diet if consumed in moderation, as part of an overall healthy, balanced and varied diet. The high fat content is only problematic if you eat too much or have pre-existing conditions that restrict your fat or caloric intake. For example, having diabetes or high cholesterol means you should eat less fats overall and, as some experts recommend, no eggs because they provide a lot of fat. If you don’t have any pre-existing conditions, then you could benefit from eating limited amounts of goose or duck eggs because even the fats and cholesterol they contain are nutrients and will contribute to various aspects of your health.
And now the question remains: which is better for your health, duck or goose eggs? Depending on your individual nutritional requirements and any existing health conditions, you could benefit more from eating either goose or duck eggs, or neither. In any case, intake should be limited. Overall, here are all the nutritional aspects to consider and compare:
1) Goose eggs are highest in cholesterol
They have more cholesterol than chicken, quail and duck eggs, with only 100 g of goose egg (less than 1 whole egg) having almost as much cholesterol as 1 and a half duck eggs. And to show you just how much, 1 chicken egg has 186 mg of cholesterol, 1 duck egg 619 mg and 1 goose egg 1227 mg. And the maximum recommended daily intake is 300 mg of cholesterol.
What this means is that if you do decide to go for goose, it would be healthiest to eat them infrequently. Duck eggs can be eaten more frequently, but still not every day. And even if you sometimes have a higher intake of cholesterol than recommended, don’t worry. New studies suggest that dietary cholesterol doesn’t directly and immediately raise blood cholesterol, which is more likely a symptom of an overall poor diet, rich in fats, sugars and calories and a result of months or years of bad eating rather than just having two more eggs this week (also see article on Cholesterol: Good or Bad for Your Health).
2) High fat content and energetic value
Both goose and duck eggs are high in fats and calories and most of the calories come from the fats. Here are the values:
Goose eggs: 13.27 g of fat/100 g and 19.11 g of fat/egg (estimated at 144 g)
Of which: 3.6 saturated, 5.7 monounsaturated, 1.7 polyunsaturated fats/100 g
Duck eggs: 13.77 g of fat/100 g and 9.64 g of fat/egg (estimated at 70 g)
Of which: 3.7 saturated, 6.5 monounsaturated, 1.2 polyunsaturated fat/100 g
Small amounts of these fats are healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
If you are overweight or obese, suffering from diabetes, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or other medical conditions that would not benefit from a high intake of fats or calories, then neither goose or duck eggs are a good choice for you. Unless you clean your diet and they are the only sources of fats you eat, in limited amounts of course.
If you do not have any medical conditions restricting egg consumption and them infrequently, then both goose and duck eggs could make a wonderful addition to your diet. Some of their best benefits include providing nourishment for the brain, making an ideal food during periods of intellectual effort and for reducing brain fog for clearer thinking. Moreover, the fats, especially Omega-3 and cholesterol in the eggs protect the insulating myelin sheath surrounding the tail of nerve cells and play a vital role in reducing the risks of degenerative nervous system diseases such as Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis.
3) Both are rich sources of vitamin B12
Goose and duck eggs are equally good sources of the essential vitamin.
Goose: 5.10 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 g, 7.34 mcg per egg
Duck: 5.40 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 g, 3.78 mcg per egg
Current RDI: 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12
Half a goose egg and less than one duck egg provide all the vitamin B12 you need in a day. And the benefits that come with it:
– Benefits for red blood cell production, energy and vitality
– Reduced risks of degenerative diseases of the nervous system
(Vitamin B12, similar to cholesterol and other fats, helps maintain the integrity of the myelin sheath surrounding the tail of nerve cells.)
– In pregnancy, prevent birth defects
4) Equally good sources of folic acid and iron
Both egg varieties provide important amounts of both vitamin B9 and iron and benefits for pregnant women, athletes, anemia sufferers and anyone looking to up their intake of the two essential nutrients. For example, 1 and a half duck eggs or 3/4 of goose egg provide a little over 20% of the RDI of iron for an average adult.
The current RDI is 400 mcg (micrograms) folic acid and 18 mg (milligrams) iron
1 goose egg (144 g) has 109 mcg of folic acid and 5.24 mg of iron
1 duck egg (70 g) has 56 mcg of folic acid and 2.69 mg of iron
100 g of goose egg: 76 mcg folic acid and 3.64 mg iron
100 g of duck egg: 80 mcg folic acid and 3.85 mg of iron
Folic acid and iron from goose and duck eggs contribute to:
– Elevated energy levels and combat fatigue
– Restore vitality and counteract lethargy, improve mood
– Help produce red blood cells and support circulation
– Prevent birth defects in newborns: congenital heat defects and neural tube defects
– Are good for pregnant women
– Prevent and help manage anemia
– Boost fertility and strengthen the immune system
5) High protein content
The following values apply:
1 goose egg (144 g): 19.97 g of protein
100 g of goose egg: 13.87 g
1 duck egg (70 g): 8.97 g of protein
100 g of duck egg: 12.81 g
The RDI of protein: 50 g a day
What this means is that 1 whole goose egg provides 40% of all the protein you need in a day, while 1 duck egg approximately 21% of your protein requirements. And the benefits that come with eating either egg variety include:
– Nourishment for the brain, supporting intellectual effort
– Clearer thinking, reduced brain fog and improvement of mood swings
– Boost in motivation and increased productivity
– Facilitate muscle growth and achieving good muscle tone
– Benefits for the immune system
– Stronger hair and healthy skin
– Help in making blood cells and synthesizing hormones
Other nutritional facts
Both goose and duck eggs are further good sources of potassium and phosphorus, recommending them for blood pressure management and bone health. Other nutrients found in moderate to small amounts include calcium, magnesium, sodium zinc, vitamins A, D, E, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. Neither have any dietary fiber or vitamin C and very small amounts of carbohydrates and sugars. Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium content are variable, depending on the diet of the birds (read more about the benefits of duck eggs and benefits of goose eggs).
Also see our Eggs Page for more information on the nutritional properties and health benefits of your favorite egg varieties.
Both goose and duck eggs boast a similar nutritional profile and are two highly nourishing foods, providing particularly high amounts of protein, fats, cholesterol, vitamins B12, B9, iron and a high energetic value. Overall, unless you have any dietary restrictions brought on by pre-existing medical conditions, eating moderate amounts of both goose and duck eggs infrequently could benefit multiple aspects of both physical and mental health.