A study published in the International Journal of Obesity says that eating two eggs for breakfast, as part of an overall reduced-calorie diet, helps overweight adults lose more weight and feel more energetic than those who eat a bagel breakfast of equal calories.(1) This study supports previous research, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, which showed that people who ate eggs for breakfast felt more satisfied and ate fewer calories at the following meal. (2)
Eggs are also affordable. At an average of $1.93 per dozen (or $0.16 per egg), eggs are one of the cheapest high-quality protein foods in the marketplace.(3)
"People have a hard time adhering to diets and our research shows that choosing eggs for breakfast can dramatically improve the success of a weight loss plan," said Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, Ph.D., lead researcher and associate professor in the laboratory of infection and obesity at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, a campus of the Louisiana State University system. "Apparently, the increased satiety and energy due to eggs helps people better comply with a reduced-calorie diet."
Significant Weight Loss Related to Egg Breakfast
Compared to the subjects who ate a bagel breakfast, men and women who consumed two eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet:
- lost 65 percent more weight
- exhibited a 61 percent greater reduction in BMI
- reported higher energy levels than their dieting counterparts who consumed a bagel breakfast
The egg and bagel breakfasts provided the same number of calories and had identical weights (energy density), which is an important control factor in satiety and weight loss studies.
The researchers also found that blood lipids were not impacted during the two month study. They found that blood levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides, did not vary compared to baseline cholesterol blood levels in subjects who ate either the bagel or egg breakfasts. These findings add to more than 30 years of research that conclude that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.
New Emphasis on the Importance of High-Quality Protein
This study adds to the growing body of research which supports the importance of high-quality protein in the diet. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) published a special issue in May 2008, which contains nine articles that focus on the value of high-quality protein in the American diet. A major finding was that not getting enough high-quality protein may contribute to obesity, muscle wasting (loss) and increased risk of chronic disease. [4,5]
Jackie Newgent, registered dietitian and chef, stresses the importance of obtaining adequate high-quality protein when advising consumers about weight loss. "Eggs are a good source of all-natural, high-quality protein, so they can help keep you satisfied longer, making it easier to resist tempting snacks," said Newgent. "Nearly half of an egg's protein, and many of the other nutrients, are found in the yolk, so make sure to eat the whole egg for maximum benefits."
(1) Vanderwal JS et al , et al. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int J of Obesity, published online on August 5, 2008.
(2) Vander Wal, JS, et al. Short term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005; 24(6): 510-515.
(3) United States Agricultural Department, Economic Research Service, July 16, 2008.
(4) Fulgoni, VL. Current protein intake in America: analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2004. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008; 87(suppl):1554S-7S.
(5) Layman DK, et al. Protein in optimal health: Heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(suppl):1571S-5S.