When it comes to choosing between chicken eggs or duck eggs, which do you think would be better for your health? Answering this question requires a comparison between the nutritional value of chicken eggs vs the nutritional value of duck eggs. And believe it or not, even egg size, egg white – yolk ratio and taste are quite telling characteristics that reveal plenty about nutrient content and how eating either one can affect your health. So here is all the information you need to know which is better for your health, chicken or duck eggs.
1) Chicken eggs have less fat. The reason why duck eggs contain more fat is because they are bigger in size and also have a bigger yolk-egg white ratio. What this means is that eating duck eggs not only supplies more yolk, but also more fat considering that egg yolks are where most of the fats in eggs are deposited. Unless you have existing cardiovascular disease, especially high blood cholesterol levels, or diabetes, eating moderate amounts of duck eggs should have no negative health effects. The fats in egg yolk are actually good for you because they nourish the brain, promote clear thinking and support memory and learning. 100 g of chicken egg has 9.51 g of fat, while 100 g of duck egg has 13.77 g of fat.
2) Duck eggs have more cholesterol. Duck eggs contain 884 mg of cholesterol per 100 g, while chicken eggs contain 373 mg of cholesterol per 100 g. One duck egg weighs about 70 g, while one chicken egg weighs 50 g. This means that 1 duck egg provides more cholesterol than 2 chicken eggs. But cholesterol is, at the end of the day, an essential nutrient. It is needed to insulate nerve cells and has a protective role on the nervous system, reducing the risk of degenerative diseases of the nervous system. Cholesterol also helps synthesize bile acids for digestion, vitamin D for good immunity and hormones for fertility.
3) Duck eggs have slightly more protein. Duck eggs have 12.81 g of protein per 100 g, while chicken eggs have 12.56 g of protein per 100 g. The difference in protein content is negligible which means there will be little to no differences in terms of health effects between duck and chicken eggs.
Protein is important for both physical and mental health and a sufficient intake is needed to build muscle mass, synthesize neurotransmitters in the brain and regulate mood and hormone production for overall better health.
4) Chicken eggs have less calories. Because they are smaller in size and have less egg yolk. The egg yolk is where most of the fats, vitamins and minerals are stored, while the egg white contains lots of protein. And because chicken eggs have less egg yolk compared to duck eggs, they also store less fat overall, meaning less calories too.
Macronutrients/100 g of whole egg.
– Chicken egg: 143 kcal, 12.56 g of protein, 9.51 g of fat, 373 mg of cholesterol.
– Duck egg: 185 kcal, 12.81 g of protein, 13.77 g of fat, 884 mg of cholesterol.
5) Duck eggs have more iron. Duck eggs have 3.85 mg of iron/100 g, while chicken eggs have 1.75 mg of iron/100 g. The recommended daily intake, RDI is 18 mg of iron a day for the average adult on a 2000 kcal diet. This means duck eggs have about 2 times more iron than chicken eggs., making them a good food to eat for anemia. Iron is needed to produce red blood cells, transport oxygen to muscles and is revitalizing and energizing.
6) Duck eggs have more vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is an essential B group vitamin, important for physical and mental health. Getting enough vitamin B12 every day helps you use carbohydrates, fats and protein from food, boosts energy levels and combats fatigue, helps make red blood cells, prevents nerve damage, depression and mood swings.
Duck eggs have approximately 6 times more vitamin B12 than chicken eggs.
– Chicken eggs: 0.89 mcg/ 100 g of raw fresh whole egg.
– Duck eggs: 5.40 mcg/100 g of raw fresh whole egg.
– Recommended daily intake: 6 mcg (old RDI) and 2.4 mcg (new RDI).
7) Other nutrients. Both egg varieties contain vitamins A, D, E and K, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc, with duck eggs having slightly more B vitamins and minerals (read more about the benefits of eating duck eggs). Both also have varying amounts of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. The more natural the diet of the chicken or duck (preferably pasture-raised, free range), the higher the Omega-3 fatty acids content of the eggs.
Chicken versus duck eggs nutrition facts
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin A: 160 mcg – 194 mcg
Vitamin B1: 0.040 mg – 0.156 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.457 mg – 0.404 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.075 mg – 0.200 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.170 mg – 0.250 mg
Vitamin B9: 47 mcg – 80 mcg
Vitamin B12: 0.89 mcg – 5.40 mcg
Vitamin C: 0 mg – 0 mg
Vitamin D: 2 mcg – 1.7 mcg
Vitamin E: 1.05 mg – 1.34 mg
Vitamin K: 0.3 mcg – 0.4 mcg
Calcium: 56 mg – 64 mg
Iron: 1.75 mg – 3.85 mg
Magnesium: 12 mg – 17 mg
Phosphorus: 198 mg – 220 mg
Potassium: 138 mg – 222 mg
Sodium: 142 mg – 146 mg
Zinc: 1.29 mg – 1.41 mg
Chicken versus duck eggs allergies
Unlike quail eggs which some people find are less allergenic, chicken and duck are not and are known to cause adverse effects in those with egg sensitivity (see article on benefits of quail eggs and difference between chicken and quail eggs). However, if you suffer from egg allergy, you should avoid all egg varieties because a true allergic reaction can result in anaphylactic shock, requiring immediate medical attention. See more eggs varieties.
So which is better, chicken or duck eggs? You would think that just because duck eggs have more vitamins and minerals, they are undoubtedly better for you. While they are indeed more nutritious, they also have more fat, cholesterol and calories which could result in weight gain or side effects for anyone with an existing cardiovascular disease, especially high blood cholesterol levels or diabetes. In order to enjoy benefits from either, remember chicken and duck eggs are best eaten in moderation, as part of an overall healthy and balanced diet, so as to get most of the beneficial compounds and not too much of the elements that could cause side effects. And always cook eggs well.