Knowing how to lose weight entails this neat little surprise – eat eggs for breakfast. Here is what recent studies show. The bonus is that eggs have no effect on cholesterol levels.
The Good News on How to Lose Weight
A series of studies have been published in the past few years about the dietary benefits of eggs. Unfortunately, way too many nutritionists and medical doctors are still offering the tired old advice to cut back on eggs. Here is what you should know instead.
One of the best studies is the following:
Vander Wal JS, Gupta A, Khosla P, Dhurandhar NV. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int J Obes 2008 Oct;32(10):1545-51.
The objective of this study was to find out whether an egg breakfast would match up with a bagel breakfast regarding weight loss. I know for all you slow carb diet and low carb diet fans out there that this seems like searching for the obvious. The study design had a little twist, though, that makes their conclusions a bit murky.
Overweight or obese men and women (n=152) between the ages of 25-60 years were divided into four groups. They were assigned to one of the following dietary strategies: 1) Two eggs for breakfast, without daily caloric restriction; 2) Two eggs for breakfast, with total daily energy intake limited to 1000 calories; 3) Bagel for breakfast, with the caloric equivalent of two eggs, without daily caloric restriction; 4) Bagel for breakfast, with the caloric equivalent of two eggs, and a total daily energy intake limited to 1000 calories.
Overall results after 8 weeks:
Groups 1 and 3, which had no daily caloric restriction, showed no significant differences for BMI, weight loss, waist circumference, or body fat composition.
Groups 2 and 4, the calorie-restricted groups, showed the following changes for those who ate eggs for breakfast: 61% greater reduction in BMI, a 65% greater weight loss, a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference, and a 16% greater reduction in percent body fat. All changes were statistically significant except for the reduction in body fat.
A bonus for these groups is that total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, did not differ between the groups.
The conclusions of this study were: Breakfast eggs enhance weight loss when combined with a calorie-restricted diet but not when caloric intake is unrestricted.
What is Missing?
Just imagine what the results could have been if the researchers had compared a slow carb diet with eggs for breakfast and without caloric restriction. This would have been a really nice chance to assign a fifth group to this diet. Ah, well, an opportunity missed.
We can only speculate on the possibilities at this time. However, the slow carb diet is already well-known among its practitioners to be a highly effective approach to weight management. I’d bet that speculation would probably be accurate that the fifth (nonexistent) group would have shown even better results.
Worried About Cholesterol in Eggs?
It is high time that we lay to rest the myth that cholesterol in eggs is bad for anyone. For that matter, we should extend such silliness to include all dietary cholesterol. If you or your medical people are still clinging to the misguided notion that consuming cholesterol is a health risk, take a look at these two publications.
Harman NL, Leeds AR, Griffin BA. Increased dietary cholesterol does not increase plasma low density lipoprotein when accompanied by an energy-restricted diet and weight loss. Eur J Nutr. 2008 Sep;47(6):287-93.
Skipping to the conclusions of interest: An increased intake of dietary cholesterol from two eggs a day does not increase total plasma or LDL cholesterol when accompanied by moderate weight loss (7.5 to 9.5 pounds in 12 weeks). These findings suggest that cholesterol-rich foods should not be excluded from dietary advice to lose weight on account of an unfavorable influence on plasma LDL cholesterol.
(Once again, it is too bad they had to confuse the issue with calorie restrictions instead of food types such as those recommended on a slow carb diet.)
And more recently:
Fernandez ML. Rethinking dietary cholesterol. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012 Mar;15(2):117-21.
This is a review article that summarizes research from the past few decades on the topic of dietary cholesterol. The two main points in this review are: 1) People in countries where there is no recommended upper limit for dietary cholesterol have no increased risk for cardiovascular disease; and, 2) Clinical studies show that any increase in dietary cholesterol that may raise LDL cholesterol also raises HDL cholesterol, thereby maintaining a desirable LDL/HDL ratio.
The Bottom Line
Eat eggs for breakfast!
With pointers on how to lose weight – eggsactly,
I always try to have eggs for breakfast even if it is two hard boiled eggs but I have been doing the low carb diet for years now and so that is how I have trained myself to eat I guess. I’d love to have some kind of bread in the morning especially if it’s sweet (and sometimes I will break down and do it) but for the most part it is eggs and sausage.
Eating eggs for breakfast has been something that has been done sense the old west farm times and that with a ham steak was luxurious. I eat eggs almost every morning until they get to the point if making me gag then I will choose something else. But eggs are excellent protein to get your body started for the day.
Think twice before you bite into a hearty breakfast of eggs benedict slathered in hollandaise sauce you may as well be lighting up, according to a new study. In terms of cardiovascular risks, the yolk-based sauce that makes the dish so good is almost as bad for you as smoking cigarettes. But keep in mind that it is the sauce and not the eggs which make only this particular dish not so healthy.
We all know that chicken eggs are high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. However, how much the cholesterol in your diet can increase your blood cholesterol varies from person to person. Although eating too many eggs can increase your cholesterol, eating four egg yolks or fewer on a weekly basis hasn’t been found to increase your risk of heart disease.
I always try to eat at least two eggs every morning but you know you do get kind of tired of them after a while. I am always looking for good recipe to make them different and I ran in to one on another blog about cooking them in the microwave, was that article yours as well? This was a great article thank you so much for your help and advice.
How could anyone hate an egg? Yet, 20 years ago, the dietary naysayers decided that the cholesterol in eggs was translating to artery-clogging cholesterol in the blood — and eggs splattered onto the no-no list. Finally, some scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health followed some patients for 14 years and found no difference in heart disease risk between those who ate one egg a week and those who ate more than one egg a day.
To my mind, omelets are the little black dresses of cooking: Simple, understated, and always in good taste, they can be dressed up or down for any meal. Because cooking time is so short, I love eggs for breakfast, especially in a meat lover omelet.
For me, the egg hunt didn’t stop when I became an adult. Some people hunt eggs, but I prefer to eat them. As a kid, I thrilled more to the feast than the hunt as in the feast of hard-boiled eggs and leftover egg dishes that remained in the wake of annual visits from the bunny. Now, I love to eat omelets for breakfast.