Wanna have good breakfast that keeps you from eating so much at lunch? Wanna have a healthy breakfast that cuts 400 plus Calories out of your diet over the next 36 hours. Wanna have a breakfast food that markedly reduces your hunger throughout the day? Well, you can. Does this sound like the latest infomercial for some kind of weight-loss gimmick? It isn’t.
New research published in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) shows that you can do all of the above by adding a couple of eggs to your breakfast.
The authors of this paper cleverly designed and implemented a study that cleaned up the fuzzy research done over the past several years on the topic of what kind of breakfast provides the greatest satiety throughout the rest of the day. An example: a study was published in 1999 that compared breakfasts consisting of All-bran, bananas and milk, bacon and eggs, corn flakes or a croissant. In terms of producing the greatest satiety, the All-bran breakfast came in first with the bacon and eggs a distant third. Problem was that the weight of the All-bran consumed in the study was almost twice that of the bacon and eggs, which suggests that instead of the All-bran it may have been the weight and volume of the larger breakfast that caused the increased satiety.
The researchers in the JACN study used the same group of overweight subjects and two different breakfasts on two different days separated by a couple of weeks. Each subject acted as her (all subjects were overweight females) own control.
The two breakfasts were designed to be roughly the same size, the same weight, and the same caloric content. The only thing different were the amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrate.
The egg breakfast was comprised of 2 eggs-scrambled, 2 slices of toast, and 1 tablespoon of reduced calorie fruit spread. The bagel-based breakfast was comprised of a 3.5 inch diameter bagel, 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, and 3 oz of non-fat yogurt. The weight and energy content of the “egg breakfast” and the “bagel breakfast” were similar. Leftover breakfast was weighed to determine the intake.
After consuming one of the two breakfasts, the subjects completed a standardized questionnaires designed to determine their feelings of fullness and cravings. They completed the same questionnaires twice more at 90 minute intervals. Along with filling out the questionnaires the subjects
spent about 195 min reading, listening to music or watching movies that did not have references to food/eating. Lunch, comprised of pasta with marinara sauce and sliced apples, was offered 3.5 hours after completion of the breakfasts. Subjects were encouraged to eat as much food they wanted. Food intake was monitored discretely to determine the weight and caloric content of the food consumed. Weight of food offered was noted and each remaining food component was separately weighed after the breakfast and lunch. Subjects were urged to not drink water during lunch. Water was offered ad-libitum after lunch. Participants were allowed to leave at this time, but were asked to keep a food-intake and activity diary for the next 24 hours. Detailed instructions on keeping the food diary were provided.
As a part of the clever design of this study implemented to prevent bias in filling out the questionnaires and in the actual lunchtime and later food intake (it’s a well known fact that experimental subjects want to “please” the researchers) the researchers told the subjects
that the purported aim of the study was to monitor the effect of breakfast on blood pressure and alertness. Alertness assessment questionnaires were given and blood pressure was measured along with the fullness and food craving questionnaires.
Two weeks later the subjects returned to the lab and repeated the exercises with the opposite breakfast.
When the results were tallied it turned out that after the subjects breakfasted on eggs they reported a greater feeling of fullness and less hunger at the next meal and over the next day as well. And not only did they report less hunger, they actually ate less. After eating the eggs for breakfast the subjects consumed 164 fewer Calories at lunch than when they ate the bagel. More amazing, they took in 420 fewer calories over the next 36 hours after eating the eggs.
As we all know, eggs are a great low-carb food containing virtually zero carbohydrates while being chocked full of great quality protein. But what about cholesterol? Even the authors of this study, all of whom are from mainstream medical research institutions, weren’t worried about the cholesterol issue.
Eggs are a convenient, affordable and nutritious source of key macro and micronutrients. They are an integral and established part of breakfast in numerous cultures and may be eaten safely on a regular basis. Discretionary use of eggs has been traditionally advised due to their cholesterol content and the earlier implications in coronary heart disease risk. However, recent data from the Nurses Health Study showed that egg consumption did not contribute to the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.
So, there you have it. Don’t worry about the cholesterol. Eat a couple of eggs for breakfast instead of a pop tart or some other nasty, carb-laden processed breakfast food, keep your hunger suppressed, and your weight loss chugging along.