Today, over 6 % of the world population is classified under the obese category. Obesity is only rising and some can even call it an “epidemic”.
Different approaches are being considered and researched to treat obesity. One of these approaches involves the manipulation of the hunger mechanisms in our body.
This is because obesity mostly occurs when the amount of energy consumed becomes more than the energy spent this is referred to as the negative energy balance.
There is a need to maintain a positive energy balance by reducing the energy intake and increasing the energy expenditure to combat obesity.
Over the past few years people have realised the importance of eating right and not just starving yourself while on a weight loss diet.
However, the term that has still not caught on with the masses is ‘Satiety’. Which brings us to the question- What is satiety?
Satiety is the lack of appetite one feels after the consumption of a meal. It plays a very important role in weight loss. The longer you feel satiated (feeling of fullness or satisfaction) the more you will cut down on your junk snacking in between meals.
So, the trick is to consume food items that make you feel full for a longer period of time.
The foods that usually cause satiety are rich in proteins, fibre or good fats such as avocado. Today we focus on the most commonly consumed food item for breakfast that is not only nutritious, economical, delicious but also helps in losing weight- EGG.
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4 Ways Eggs Help In Weight Loss
Consumption of eggs has been known to bring about weight loss mainly as it causes satiety. A number of studies support the consumption of eggs for weight loss some of them are mentioned below:
In one study researchers found that consumption of eggs for breakfast in an energy restricted diet brought about 61% more reduction in weight, reduction in Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and body fat percentage as compared to the controls who were fed breakfast without egg but that amounted to the same number of calories .
Another study compared the satiety levels of people who consumed eggs and those who consumed bagel for breakfast (calorific value of breakfast remained the same).
The people who consumed eggs for breakfast felt more satiated and for a longer time than the group of people who ate bagel. This in turn resulted in less energy intake by egg-eaters leading to subsequent reduction in weight .
Eggs- nutritional content
1 large egg offers 72 Calories, 6-7g proteins, 5 g fats, 0.7g carbohydrates. It’s important to note that it also contains 186 mg of cholesterol which is mainly present in the yolk.
It’s not low on calories and high in cholesterol (high cholesterol levels have been associated with elevated levels of low density lipoproteins- bad cholesterol in the blood in the past, that has adverse effects on health),so how is it good for health and how does it help in weight loss?
Recent researches have discovered that the cholesterol present in eggs does not cause any elevation in blood LDL in healthy populations, therefore consumption of one whole egg with the yolk everyday does not pose any health threats .
Therefore, the earlier concept of egg yolks causing an increase in plasma LDL and subsequently leading to cardiovascular threats is deemed incorrect and consumption of whole eggs are recommended rather than just the egg whites.
Eggs help in bringing about weight loss by causing satiety. The reasons behind this satiating property are listed below:
1) Eggs are rich in proteins
As mentioned earlier eggs contain around 6-7 g of proteins.The proteins present in egg are of good quality(rich in essential amino acids) and serve as the standard protein to which the proteins from other food sources are compared.
These proteins present in egg help in bringing about weight loss in the following ways:
a) Increase in Diet induced thermic effect (DIT)
Our body produces a metabolic response to the ingested food. This metabolic response is called Diet induced thermogenic effect (DIT). DIT involves the expenditure of energy.
It has been found that DIT of proteins is the highest. This means proteins require the most amount of energy for their metabolism.
The increase in the expenditure of energy due to proteins helps in bringing about weight loss .
b) DIT and satiety
The increase in this thermogenic response has often been associated with increased satiety. This increase in satiety leads to subsequent reduction in the energy intake resulting in weight loss.
Proteins are generally considered to be the most satiating of all macronutrients .
c) Production of ketone bodies is associated with satiety
A high protein diet and low carbohydrate diet often leads to the production of ketone bodies, these ketone bodies may act as appetite suppressing substrate. This contributes to increased satiety .
What does this mean?
Eggs being rich in protein cause satiety and since protein requires more energy for its metabolism there is an additional increase in expenditure of energy. All these factors together contribute in weight loss.
2) It regulates appetite
An experiment was conducted to determine the satiety levels and energy intake in individuals after consuming eggs or bagel for breakfast. It was observed that the individuals who consumed egg their energy intake in the following 24-hour period was less than that of the people who consumed bagel.
Along with the above-mentioned observations a suppression in the hunger hormone Ghrelin was also observed in people who followed the egg diet. The reduction in the energy intake can be attributed to the suppression of hormone ghrelin.
What does this mean?
Eggs consumed for breakfast brought about a suppression in the levels of hormone Ghrelin that causes hunger. Thereby, curbing the appetite.
3) Eggs for breakfast boosts metabolism
We have often been told breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Since it is the first meal of the day it pretty much has an impact on what and how much we eat throughout the day.
Studies have shown that consumption of eggs as compared to other food items for breakfast (bagels, cereals, etc.) enhances weight loss .
Not only does it enhance weight loss but its rich in proteins, extremely nutritious, satiating and healthy. Since it is low on carbohydrates it fits well in a low-carb diet. It makes for an excellent food item to be included in breakfast over other breakfast choices
What does this mean?
Eggs are nutritious, good for health. The proteins present in them not only help in maintenance and repair but also help in enhancing weight loss by boosting metabolism. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be included in breakfast.
4)Eggs are low in calories
Compared to other breakfast options, eggs are low in calories. 1 large egg (50g) provides 71 calories with 6g protein.
Compared to the calories, eggs provide a huge load of nutrition. It provides phosphorous (10% RDI), iron (5% RDI), selenium (23%), calcium (3%RDI). It s a rich source of riboflavin, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid and also provides vitamin A and D.
2-3 eggs for breakfast would amount to approximately 200 calories and is a great way to kickstart your day.
What does this mean?
Eggs are relatively low in calories but dense in nutrients which make them a healthy must have weight loss food.
Eggs are an economical, easily available in the market, can be cooked in a number of ways and are delicious. These factors make egg a widely-consumed food item all over the globe.
Not only is it nutritious but can also help in weight loss. The above-mentioned scientific evidence proves that consumption of eggs does help in weight loss without any adverse effects on health.
However, there is one downside to its excess consumption. In the past, consumption of whole eggs (along with the yolks) was associated with elevated low density lipoproteins (LDL), that are generally termed as bad cholesterol.
This bad cholesterol causes the deposition of plaque in arteries and results in heart related problems.
But, recently researchers have discovered that the cholesterol present in eggs does not actually cause an increase in the blood LDL levels.
Some scientists still follow the old concept that it does pose health threats. Therefore, there is a conflict in opinions regarding this matter.
The recommended daily allowance of cholesterol in an individual is 300 mg . 1 whole egg contains around 186 mg of cholesterol. Therefore, consumption of one whole egg per day may not cause any health issues.
If a person wants to consume more than 1 egg per day its recommended that the ratio remains 1 whole egg : 2 egg whites to be on the safer side.
Eggs make an excellent breakfast choice and cause satiety leading to subsequent weight loss.