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Eating Eggs Helps Adults Lose More Weight

Armen Hareyan's picture

Weight Loss with Eggs

Eating eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet helped overweight women lose more weight and feel more energetic than those who ate a bagel breakfast.

This study confirms previous findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, that when people ate eggs for breakfast they felt more satisfied and consumed fewer calories throughout the day as compared to when they had a bagel breakfast.(2)

"While it's been well-established that foods such as eggs that contain the highest quality protein help people feel full longer, we were surprised at how definite these findings were," said Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, Ph.D., lead researcher and associate professor in the department of infection and obesity at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center. "The women who consumed eggs as part of their diet plan lost significantly more weight, had greater reductions in waist circumference and reported significantly higher energy levels."

Study finds weight loss greater with eggs, even when all else is equal

Specifically, the study found that overweight women who ate two eggs for breakfast at least five days a week for 8 weeks (as part of a low-fat diet with a 1,000 calorie reduction):

-- lost 65 percent more weight

-- had 83 percent greater reductions in waist circumference

-- reported greater improvements in energy levels than their dieting counterparts who consumed a bagel breakfast of the same calories (1)

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In the study, the egg and bagel breakfasts not only provided the same amount of calories, but also the same weight mass, an important control factor in satiety and weight loss studies.

Eggs help healthy people stay healthy

The study also found no significant differences between the plasma total-, HDL- and LDL- cholesterol and triglyceride levels of either group, confirming what a substantial body of research has shown for years: healthy adults on a low-fat diet can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.

Additional research presented at Experimental Biology 2007 this week further highlighted the benefits of eggs, including their role in providing choline, an essential nutrient, which is often lacking in the American diet. Notably, pregnant women and women of child-bearing age were found to have low choline intake, a concern as choline has been shown to help prevent birth defects and promote brain and memory development.

Eggs are easy to include in everyday diets

"This weight loss study confirms what we've been hearing anecdotally for years," said Kathleen Zelman, M.P.H., R.D./L.D., director of nutrition for WebMD Health. "It's especially good news because eggs, which contain one of the highest quality proteins naturally found in food, are an easy, inexpensive and, importantly, versatile food to incorporate into our diets." So easy, in fact, that Zelman offers these tips to help dieters keep their energy levels up throughout the day:

-- Jump Start. Start your day off right with a complete breakfast by pairing high-quality protein foods like eggs or low-fat dairy with other healthful foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A vegetable-filled Garden Omelet is a great way to get your protein and vegetables all at once.

-- The Morning Rush. Make an on-the-go breakfast sandwich by topping a whole wheat English muffin with microwave scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese and tomato. To make the eggs, beat an egg (and milk, if desired) in a small bowl or mug and pop it into the microwave on HIGH for 60 seconds.

-- Stay Energized. Avoid an afternoon slump by eating high-quality protein throughout the day. Try a Tangy Raspberry Salad topped with hard-cooked eggs for lunch or Dilly Veggie Dunk for a satisfying but healthful afternoon snack.

Eggs are a natural, unprocessed whole food that contain a number of nutrients in varying amounts -- including the highest quality protein, choline, folate, iron and zinc -- for only about 75 calories apiece. For any dietary questions, your doctor or dietitian should play a primary role in guiding your physical well-being. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that healthy American adults limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams per day. This still allows individuals to enjoy an average of one large whole egg a day.