Duck Eggs vs. Chicken Eggs
Both duck and chicken eggs are full of nutrients.

Eggs are rightly considered superfoods. They are packed with nutrients and are quite easy to prepare. They can be used to make various recipes ranging from sweets to savories. 

Although chicken eggs are the most popular egg variety, eggs from other birds, such as ducks, geese, turkey, and quail, are gaining popularity these days. Both duck and chicken eggs share many similarities in terms of taste, nutrients, and associated risks, although there are some differences as well.

Appearance

  • Duck eggs are 1.5 to 2 times larger than chicken eggs.
  • An average chicken egg weighs about 50 to 60 grams, whereas a duck egg may be anywhere between 70 and 80 grams.
  • Additionally, the shells are different. Duck eggs have speckled shells, whereas chicken eggs are uniformly colored. However, the color may vary depending on the bird species.
  • Duck eggs have thicker and tougher shells than chicken eggs. The shells have a waxy coating that helps keep them afloat in water.
  • The yolks in duck eggs are larger and darker orange, whereas they are generally a light yellow to orange in the case of chicken eggs.
  • The shelf life of duck eggs may be longer than that of chicken eggs due to the former’s thicker shell. This, however, depends on the storage conditions.

Taste

Duck eggs have a stronger flavor and taste than chicken eggs. The taste is creamier and richer. Thus, not everyone may adapt to or like the taste of duck eggs.

Both duck and chicken eggs, however, can be used for preparing various dishes that contain eggs including cookies and cakes.

Nutrients

Nutrients present in 100 grams of raw duck and chicken eggs are given below:

Table. Duck egg vs chicken egg nutritional content (raw; 100 grams)
Name Quantity in duck eggs Quantity in chicken eggs
Energy 185 kcal 143 kcal
Water 70.8 g (grams) 76.2 g
Protein 12.8 g 12.6 g
Total fats 13.8 g 9.51 g
Cholesterol 884 mg (milligrams) 372 mg
Total carbs 1.45 g 0.72 g
Fiber 0 g 0 g
Minerals:
Calcium 64 mg 56 mg
Magnesium 17 mg 12 mg
Phosphorous 220 mg 198 mg
Potassium 222 mg 138 mg
Sodium 146 mg 142 mg
Iron 3.85 mg 1.75 mg
Selenium 36.4 µg (micrograms) 30.7 µg
Zinc 1.41 mg 1.29 mg
Vitamins:
Thiamin 0.16 mg 0.04 mg
Riboflavin 0.40 mg 0.46 mg
Niacin 0.2 mg 0.07 mg
Pantothenic acid 1.86 mg 1.53 mg
Vitamin B6 0.25 mg 0.17 mg
Folate 80 µg 47 µg
Vitamin B12 5.4 µg 0.89 µg
Choline 263 mg 294 mg
Vitamin A 674 IU (international unit) 540 IU
Lutein + zeaxanthin 459 µg 503 µg
Vitamin E 1.34 mg 1.05 mg
Vitamin D 69 IU 82 IU
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.4 µg 0.3 µg
Vitamin C 0 0

QUESTION

According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

Cholesterol

For the same weight, duck eggs have more than double the amount of cholesterol as chicken eggs.

  • An average duck egg, about 70 grams, provides 619 mg of cholesterol, which is more than two times the daily upper limit for dietary cholesterol (300 mg) and almost three times the cholesterol (186 mg) present in an average-sized chicken egg (50 grams).
  • Studies report that besides cholesterol, eggs provide healthy fats that help keep blood cholesterol under check. Moreover, saturated fats in the diet play a larger role than the cholesterol consumes in the causation of cardiovascular disease

Nonetheless, it is advisable to consume eggs in moderation to ensure good health. Avoid using ingredients such as oils, butter, and fatty or processed meat to prepare eggs. Include healthy ingredients such as vegetables in your egg dishes to make them healthier and more satiating.

Protein

Both duck and chicken eggs are excellent protein sources. They have almost the same protein content per unit weight. Duck eggs being larger provide more protein (about nine grams) per egg than chicken eggs (about six grams). Nonetheless, both types of eggs provide various essential amino acids required for optimal functioning of the body.

Cardiovascular health

Eggs have a bad reputation for their high cholesterol content. Studies, however, report that including eggs in moderation in a balanced diet helps increase high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol levels that in turn lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

Avoid using excess fats or oils and salt in preparing eggs. If you have high triglyceride levels, consult your doctor before including eggs in your diet.

Brain health and mental well-being

Both duck and chicken eggs are great for your brain health.

  • They provide nutrients such as choline, lutein, zeaxanthin, and other necessary vitamins and micronutrients that promote healthy brain development and prevent cognitive decline or memory issues.
  • They provide folate that helps prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus. 

Eggs are reported to improve mental health because they provide nutrients such as tryptophan (which forms the feel-good hormone serotonin) and vitamin D (which has been found to lower stress and depression).

Immunity

Both duck and chicken eggs are loaded with antioxidants and essential nutrients that keep your immune system healthy. They provide nutrients that help you better fight infections and recover from diseases.

Skin and hair

Both duck and chicken eggs are good for your hair, nails, and skin. Nutrients such as protein, vitamins E and A, and B vitamins keep your hair and skin healthy. Antioxidants protect your skin and hair from the harmful effects of damaging free radicals.

Weight loss

Eggs can promote weight loss in several ways. They boost metabolism, promote satiety, and help build lean body mass. Both duck and chicken eggs will help you lose weight when you include them in moderation and the place of harmful snacks such as cookies, chips, and fries.

Duck eggs, however, are more calorie-dense than chicken eggs. Thus, you must count your calories while including duck eggs to ensure that you are on a calorie-deficit diet.

Bone and muscles

Both duck and chicken eggs are rich in protein. They provide other nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins D and K that help build muscles and bones. These nutrients are required for muscle functioning. They may help improve bone density and improve lean body mass.

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Health risks

Both duck and chicken eggs carry certain health risks that can be avoided with proper storage, handling, preparation, and consumption practices.

  • Uncooked or partially cooked eggs can carry harmful bacteria and viruses. Salmonella infection is particularly attributed to eggs. It can be especially serious in pregnant women, children, and people with low immunity such as those who have human immunodeficiency virus, those who are chemotherapy recipients, and those with uncontrolled diabetes
  • Pasteurization of eggs can help lower the risk of such infections. Properly cooking eggs till the yolk and white appear firm lowers the risk of infections through eggs.
  • Some people may have egg allergies and must completely avoid eating eggs or foods that contain eggs.
  • Consuming eggs in excess, especially with ingredients such as butter, salt, and fatty meats, or as baked goods such as cakes and cookies, can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases.

Takeaway

  • Both duck and chicken eggs are full of nutrients. They provide protein, good fats, various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Duck eggs provide a relatively higher amount of some nutrients such as:
    • Vitamins A, E, and K
    • Folate
    • Calcium
    • Phosphorus
    • Potassium
  • Chicken eggs, of the same weight, provide more vitamin D and choline along with lesser cholesterol than duck eggs. Hence, you can include either in your diet keeping in mind that you include other whole foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, and whole grains. 
  • Which you choose will depend on your taste preferences and the availability, quality, and affordability of eggs in your area.
  • If you have any underlying health issues such as high blood cholesterol, hypertension, or diabetes, discuss with your doctor if you can safely include eggs in your diet.
  • Consuming eggs in moderation is excellent for your overall health provided you follow proper preparation and storage practices and do not eat them in excess.

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Medically Reviewed on 6/3/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171287/nutrients

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172189/nutrients

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470839/

https://blogs.cornell.edu/agnewscenter/2014/07/15/duck-eggs/