Weighty Issues: Cracking Egg Myths, Serving TruthsEgg Cracked Open Into Mixing Bowl

When you think eggs, think satiety, and feeling satiated helps you achieve your weight loss goal.  As usual, I like to explore the meaning of words, and this month, satiety provokes my interest.  To be satiated means to be full, to be satisfied completely, and is usually related to food.  Eating eggs are a smart strategy to achieve that goal.

Your weight on the scale is just one measure of your health…other numbers like your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar more acuarately reflect your risk for disease.  If you’re “dieting” for weight loss, are you changing your habits permanently?  Or are your changes temporary, designed only to measure your weight?  All “diets’ work”…in terms of reducing calories and increasing activity, what you do to reduce those calories can make a big difference in maintaining your goal weight.

A recent study comparing a breakfast of eggs compared to bagels is exciting.  Two groups consumed a similar number of calories and protein, but the egg group (2 breakfast eggs daily) felt fuller and more satisfied before lunchtime compared to the bagel breakfast group.  The researchers estimate that because they were more satiated from eggs at breakfast, they ate less for lunch…significantly less, about 160 calories less per day.  That adds up!  And they reported being less hungry from the rest of day.  Over the course of one year you could tip that scale in your favor, because you’re consuming about 17 pounds worth of fewer calories.

But, hold on…are all egg breakfasts created equal?  No, because it’s all in the preparation.  A healthy food, on its own, may have the power of satiety, and then be adulterated and changed so that it’s barely recognizable. Think of that poor baked potato, with just about 100 smart calories, sitting innocently in its bare skin, full of potassium, magnesium, and with fiber and protein too.  But when you glob on sour cream and cheese, then that potato becomes a vehicle for fat—each added tablespoon has about has many calories as the potato itself.

And it’s the same with eggs!  Eggs, those small gems of tasty nutrition, with about 85 calories, zinc, iron and vitamins A, D, E and B12 and about 6 grams of protein—they contain all the essential amino acids necessary for good health. But fried in fat, scrambled in whole fat milk, or covered with cheese, well, that’s adding hundreds of calories and grams of saturated fat.  Uncover the true taste and benefits of eggs for staying satisfied while losing weight.

  • Breakfast:  My favorite quick-hot-egg breakfasts is cracking an egg into a microwave-proof cup, cook for 1 minute, top with a grind of sea salt and cracked pepper.
  • Hard boiled eggs are great for grab-and-go.
  • Lunch:  Slice a hard boiled over whole wheat pita: layer on some slices of tomato and avocado.  Egg salad is a breeze to make: add diced celery, onion, and a tablespoon of nonfat Greek yogurt and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
  • Dinner: Think frittata, an open-faced omelet.  My favorite is beating a couple of eggs per person with some non-fat buttermilk, then quick-sauté your favorite veggies: mushrooms, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, then cook in a medium-hot skillet until set.  Now you’re cooking with gas!

Holt SH, et al.  A satiety index of common foods.  European Journal of Clinical Nutrition September 1995; 49(9).  Accessed online November 29, 12.   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7498104?dopt=Abstract
Vander Wal, JS, et al.  Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects.  Journal of the American  College of Nutrition December 2005 vol. 24 no. 6.  Accessed online November 29, 12.  http://www.jacn.org/content/24/6/510.full