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Can Eggs Help You Lose Weight?

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Whilst the simplest way to begin your weight loss journey is to cut calories, it is also important to think about the foods that make up your daily nutrients as well. Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats, and are a great way to start your day off.

But are eggs good for weight loss? In this article we’ll take a look at what the research says.

You will learn:

  • What makes an egg healthy?
  • Does it help with weight loss?
  • Are they good for your health?

Eggs and Weight Loss

Eggs are produced by animals such as birds, reptiles and mammals and have been part of human diet for centuries. It is estimated that in the US, over 76 billion are eaten per year.

Coming in at around 70kcal, this food is one of the healthiest foods that you can eat. They are an excellent source of both protein and healthy fats. They are dense in nutrients such as choline, phosphorous and the mineral selenium. They also contain vitamin D and B12 as well as vitamin B2 – often referred to as riboflavin.

This food has a high cholesterol content – over 200mg per large egg. Previous health directives dating back to the 1970s asked us to limit consumption of this food for fear of increased likelihood of coronary heart disease, but since then, many large cohort studies have dismissed this link.

For example, a large study published in the British Medical Journal [1] studied the results of over 15 cohort studies and found no association between egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.


Eggs-for-Losing-Fat

Key Point: Eggs are low in calories but high in protein, healthy fats and micronutrients.


The Science – Can Eggs Help You Lose Weight?

There are a number of reasons why eating this protein and fat-rich food on a regular basis can be good for you – not only your health, but also weight loss too. Here is what the studies say…

#Study 1: Vander Wal et al [2]

This study aimed to test the notion that eating eggs for breakfast instead of bagels helped to speed up weight loss.

152 volunteers were put into groups and asked to eat eggs or bagels at breakfast – they were also asked to reduce their calorie intake so that they achieved a 1000kcal deficit.

After 8 weeks, results showed that the egg group lost 65% more weight than the bagel group, achieved a 61% greater reduction in BMI and a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference. Additionally they also achieved a 16% greater reduction in body fat too.

Interestingly there were no changes between groups in measurements of cholesterol lipids, giving further evidence that the link between eggs and high cholesterol does not exist.

#Study 2: Vander Wal & Marth et al [3]

This study used a similar approach in that it again used eggs and bagels as comparisons foods.

This time, 30 overweight women were asked to fast overnight, then eat a breakfast of either of the two foods. 3.5 hours later they were given lunch.

The results showed that not only were the egg group fuller after eating the protein-rich breakfast, they also ate significantly less food at lunch, and for the rest of the day. As such, short-term food intake was greatly reduced which would lead to significant weight loss if maintained over a period of time. 

#Study 3: Ratliff et al [4]

The effect of feeling full – referred to as satiety – was further investigated in this study published in Nutrition Research. 

21 men aged between 21 and 70 were asked to eat varying breakfasts on different days, and 3 hours after each breakfast were then asked to eat lunch until satisfied.

The results showed that with an egg breakfast, fewer calories were eaten at lunch, and less calories over a full 24-hour period as well. The volunteers that ate bagels had a higher blood glucose response and higher levels of ghrelin – the hormone that is responsible for stimulating hunger.

#Study 4: Crovetti et al [5]

This study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that by eating meals high in protein you can boost your metabolic rate. When volunteers were given a meal made up of around 68% protein, not only were they fuller for longer, their thermal effect of food – the amount of energy burned by digesting food – increased by 261kcal over a subsequent 7-hour follow up period. 


Eggs-and-Satiety

Do Eggs Have Any Other Health Benefits

As we’ve already mentioned, this food is rich in a number of nutrients. The protein and healthy fats provide energy for physical activity, and the vitamins covert the energy from these nutrients into fuel for the body.

Not only is this food high in selenium – a mineral with antioxidant properties – it is also a good source of the carotenoid lutein which protects the eyes from light-induced damage.

The cholesterol contained within the yolk is essential for effective testosterone production, which in turn helps you to increase lean muscle and burn fat – it is an essential hormone for both men and women. The high-protein content provides additional muscle building fuel.

The yolk is also one of the richest sources of choline – a molecule famed for its cognitive and developmental benefits, as well as its ability to decrease levels of homocysteine – a non-protein amino acid that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease when elevated [6].


Summary – Can Eggs Help you Burn Fat?

Eggs are produced by animals such as birds, reptiles and mammals and have been part of the human diet for centuries. It is estimated that in the US, over 76 billion are eaten per year.

They are an excellent source of both protein and healthy fats. They are dense in nutrients such as choline, phosphorous and selenium. They also contain vitamin D and B12 as well as vitamin B2 – often referred to as riboflavin.

As a cheap and easy to prepare source of nutrients, eggs are a great addition to your diet if you are aiming to lose weight. Research has found that not only does this food increase feelings of fullness and satiety, the high-protein content can increase your metabolism too through the thermic effect of food.

There are a number of other health-related benefits to eating this nutrient-rich food source too. The cholesterol found in the yolk can increase testosterone, which in turn can boost lean muscle and fat loss, and the antioxidants can protect your brain and eyes, as well as decrease risk of cardiovascular disease.


References

  1. Rong, Y et al. Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ. 2013; 346: e8539
  2. Vander Wal, JS et al. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. International Journal of Obesity2008; 32: 1545–1551
  3. Vander Wal, JS & Marth, JM et al. Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005; 24(6): 510-5.
  4. Ratliff, J et al. Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. Nutr Res. 2010; 30(2): 96-103.
  5. Crovetti, R et al. The influence of thermic effect of food on satiety. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1998; 52(7): 482-8.
  6. Ganguly, P et al. Role of homocysteine in the development of cardiovascular disease. Nutr J. 2015; 14: 6