Eat Eggs to Lose Weight
As doctors became more aware of the dangers of elevated cholesterol levels, specifically the LDL or bad cholesterol, eggs started to get a bad rap. Because one egg contains 200mg of cholesterol, experts decided that consuming too many eggs would raise LDL. Unfortunately, many people interpreted this to mean “stay away from eggs altogether.” Recent studies have done much to bring eggs back into the favorable light under which they belong. In fact, our own University of Connecticut conducted a study in which its researchers found that men and women who consumed 640mg more of cholesterol from eggs each day (about 3 eggs) did not show an increase in LDL levels or cardiovascular disease as compared to those who did not consume the extra eggs.
I recommend to all my personal training clients that they consume eggs as part of their healthy diets. Eggs are not only a great source of protein, but they can also help you lose weight. Another study found that people who ate eggs for breakfast ate fewer calories during the rest of the day and dropped more body fat. Need I say more? Maybe not, but, of course, I will anyways.
One question I get asked frequently is whether or not people should eat the egg yolk since it’s the primary source of fat and cholesterol in the egg. The answer is yes….and no. Here are the stats on 1 large egg with the yolk and one with just the white:
With Yolk: 72 calories, 6g protein, 0g carbs, 5g fat, 200mg cholesterol
Just White: 17 calories, 4g protein, 0g carb, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol
At first glance, it looks like a no brainer–ditch the yolk. But remember the studies I mentioned? Those test subjects were eating the entire egg. Much of the fat in the yolk is of the healthy unsaturated variety and the consumption of healthy fats is absolutely necessary to build muscle and lose fat. Eating whole eggs has been proven to enhance muscle strength and mass by helping muscle cell membranes maintain their integrity. The adage that muscle burns fat is true, making muscle gain an important part of weight loss.
So, yes, next time you’re making yourself breakfast, include at least one whole egg. Scramble it up with two egg whites and now we’re talking. Depending on your planned fat intake for the rest of the day and level of activity, two whole eggs mixed with a white or two could be perfectly acceptable as well. The no is simply don’t take this to mean that you should run to McDonald’s for a bacon, egg, and cheese and don’t go eat six whole eggs a day unless you’re a pro bodybuilder. Also, remember to keep the eggs healthy–prepare them using cooking spray or poach them. There are plenty of spices or veggies you can toss in to add flavor. Don’t have time to cook eggs in the morning? Hardboil a bunch on Sunday and stick them in the fridge. They’ll stay fresh enough to eat all week.
Fast Fact: Did you know that whole eggs are especially good for pregnant women? One yolk contains 125mg of choline (23% of the expectant’s needs for the day). Choline may help the development of the child’s memory.
–Laura DeLallo, Founder, Living Fit
(Laura is a certified personal trainer and weight management consultant. Want to train with her? Visit Personal Training at Living Fit. Want to learn more about her? Visit the About page.)