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Can Eggs Be Used in a Weight Loss Diet?
Eggs are an affordable, nutrient-dense food with high-quality protein. For nutritionally vulnerable (poor, young, pregnant, elderly) group it is one of the best foods.
Importance of eggs
Eggs have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. They are a powerhouse of nutrients. Several factors that make eggs suitable for everyone are
- Source of many nutrients
- High-quality protein
- Low calorific value
- Easily digestible
- Bland in taste, can be made part of several foods
- Provide satiety value
Composition of eggs
An egg contains about 75 % water. The rest 25 % are the other constituents such as protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Shell is about 10 %, white is about 60 % and yolk about 30 % (1).
Egg can be considered to be a low carbohydrate food or we can say it does not have any carbohydrate because it is lower than 1 %.
Egg is a good source of energy. 100 grams of egg gives about 143 kcals. Since egg’s major constituent is water, the calorific value is quite good. The calories in egg come from the macronutrients, fat and protein (2).
Egg contains about 12.6 % of protein. That makes egg a very good source of protein. Egg also is a complete source of protein that is it supplies all the essential amino acids our body needs. Therefore, we can say that egg provides superior quality of protein and it can meet our protein requirements.
One egg is 50 grams (it can be from 50 to 60 grams or little more depending on the grade of the egg) then the protein content is about 7 grams.
Fat and cholesterol
The fat content of a whole egg is 9.5 %. Egg contains 372 mg of cholesterol in 100 grams of egg and all of it is in the yolk. High cholesterol level in blood is a risk factor for developing heart problems.
Egg is a good source of all fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. All these fat-soluble vitamins are present in the yolk of the egg.
Egg is also a good source of most of the water-soluble B vitamins. Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate and B 12 are all present in the egg. It is a rich source of choline. For vegetarians who eat egg, it is one of the few vitamin B 12 sources.
Egg contains minerals such as calcium, iron and phosphorous. It is a good source of sodium, potassium and selenium.
Can eggs be part of weight loss diet?
Yes, eggs can be used as part of a weight-loss diet. A balanced diet for weight loss can use food such as egg because of its constituents.
Egg is a low carbohydrate food its carbohydrate content is negligible. Most weight-loss diets are formulated to have low carbs and egg can be easily used in those diets.
Both protein and fat have a higher satiety value than carbohydrate. Eggs have a good amount of these two macronutrients therefore when a person consumes eggs, they feel full and do not feel like eating the next meal till some time.
Dietary protein is useful for body-weight management as it promotes satiety that is feeling of fullness. It also increases energy expenditure and influences energy balance and changes body composition in favour of lean muscle (3).
The thermogenic effect of protein makes us spend more energy when we consume protein foods. Protein needs more energy to be digested and utilized in the body.
Good source of protein
Egg is a good source of protein and is a complete protein. It supplies all the essential amino acids needed for our body.
Diets with higher amount of protein may help to reduce overweight and obesity and are valuable in body weight management (3).
A high protein diet in comparison with low protein diet was associated with better weight maintenance especially with individuals who had higher BMI and waist circumference (4).
In diets which are specialized such as very low carb diets and keto diets egg is widely used. Another advantage is if you just want protein you can easily separate egg white which has no fat and carbohydrate.
But yolk is rich in micronutrients. Whole egg is nutrient-dense compared to just egg white.
Egg is a good source of complete protein, fat and micronutrients. It can be used in weight-loss diets. But it also has a good amount of cholesterol. Talk to your doctor/nutritionist and ask how many eggs you can safely include in your diet based on your medical parameters.
- Kusum, M., Verma, R.C., Renu, M., Jain, H.k. and Deepak, S. (2018) A review: Chemical composition and utilization of egg, International Journal of Chemical Studies. Vol. 6(3).
- United States department of agriculture, Agriculture research service, USDA food composition data base. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
- Drummen, M., Tischmann, L., Gatta-Cherifi, B., Adam, T. and Westerterp-Plantenga, M. (2018) Dietary Protein and Energy Balance in Relation to Obesity and Co-morbidities, Frontiers in endocrinology. Vol.
- Ankarfeldt, M.Z., Angquist, L., Stocks, T., Jakobsen, M.U., Overvad, K., Halkjær, J., Saris, W.H.M., Astrup, A. and Sorensen, T.I.A. (2014) Body Characteristics, Dietary Protein and Body Weight Regulation. Reconciling Conflicting Results from Intervention and Observational Studies? ,PLOS ONE.Vol.9(8).