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.
Chicken eggs have less fat than duck eggs
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.
Duck eggs have more cholesterol than chicken eggs
How much cholesterol in duck eggs vs chicken eggs? 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.
There are actually many benefits to cholesterol. For example, cholesterol is needed to insulate nerve cells and has a protective action on the nervous system. Getting it in your diet has been proposed to potentially contribute to lower risks of degenerative diseases of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis. Cholesterol also helps synthesize bile acids for digestion, vitamin D for good immunity and hormones for fertility.
Duck eggs have slightly more protein than chicken eggs
How much protein in duck eggs vs chicken eggs? 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.
Chicken eggs have fewer calories than duck eggs
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 per 100 g of whole chicken eggs vs duck eggs
- Chicken eggs: 143 kcal, 12.56 g of protein, 9.51 g of fat, 373 mg of cholesterol
- Duck eggs: 185 kcal, 12.81 g of protein, 13.77 g of fat, 884 mg of cholesterol
Duck eggs have more iron than chicken eggs
How much iron in duck egg vs chicken eggs? Duck eggs have 3.85 mg of iron per 100 g, while chicken eggs have 1.75 mg of iron per 100 g. The recommended daily intake, RDI, for iron is 18 mg per 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, low vitality, tiredness and fatigue. See more benefits of duck eggs.
Iron is needed to produce red blood cells and hemoglobin in red blood cells which transports oxygen to muscles and other tissues. Meeting daily iron requirements has beneficial effects on general health, with a revitalizing and energizing action.
Duck eggs have more vitamin B12 than chicken eggs
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.
How much vitamin B12 in duck eggs vs chicken eggs? Chicken eggs have 0.89 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin B12 per 100 g of raw or fresh whole egg. Duck eggs have 5.40 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin B12 per 100 g of raw or fresh whole egg.
How much vitamin B12 a day? The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin B12 for the average adult is 6 mcg (old RDI) and 2.4 mcg (new RDI).
Other nutrients content in duck vs chicken eggs
Both egg varieties contain vitamins A, D, E and K, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc, with duck eggs having a slightly higher content of B vitamins and several dietary minerals. Both egg varieties 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
- 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
Note: The first row of values for essential vitamins and minerals are for chicken eggs while the second for duck eggs.
Chicken versus duck eggs and allergies
Quail eggs are largely considered to be the least allergenic variety of egg, although they are still eggs and can still be a cause for allergic reactions in anyone with egg protein allergy. However, the same cannot be said for chicken and duck eggs. Varieties of chicken and duck egg cause moderate to severe adverse effects in individuals with egg sensitivity, and trigger allergic reactions in individuals with egg allergy.
Some people are allergic to proteins in egg white, some people are allergic to proteins in egg yolk, while some people are allergic to eggs as a whole. If you have a known egg allergy, you should avoid all egg varieties in all forms and preparations. An allergic reaction rapidly evolve to anaphylactic shock which is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention and treatment.
So which is better for health: 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 over time, if intakes are considerable, or side effects for anyone with existing cardiovascular disease such as high blood cholesterol or diabetes.
In order to enjoy benefits from either, remember that chicken and duck eggs are best eaten in moderation, as part of an overall healthy, balanced and varied 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 your eggs well.