Whole eggs can be a part of healthy diet even in those with metabolic syndrome or heart disease, according to new studies presented at the Experimental Biology (EB) 2013 conference.
What is the role of diet and
nutrition in overall health? Scientists from around the world are sharing their
research findings on this very important aspect of life at the Experimental
Biology meet in Boston. And many of the papers are about whether high risk
groups, including metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease, can consume
eggs as part of their diet.
One study led by David Kutz and
his colleagues at Yale University explored the impact of daily whole egg
consumption in men and women with coronary heart disease. The 6-week trial
included subjects with coronary heart disease who are more than 35 years of age
but less than 75 years. They were divided into three diet groups - first one
had to consume two eggs as part of their typical breakfast diet; the second
group consumed half cup of Egg Beater (egg substitute) for breakfast; and the third one consumed
high carbohydrate breakfast diet consisting of either bagel or waffles or
pancakes or cereal and milk. The results showed that those who ate either whole eggs or egg substitute did not
experience any negative impact in total cholesterol, blood pressure, body
weight or endothelial function
(a uniquely valuable means of assessing
aggregated influences on cardiac risk).
Another study from the University
of Connecticut suggested that daily
whole egg consumption may have a positive effect on HDL cholesterol in adults
with metabolic syndrome
. This study included men and women with metabolic
syndrome who were randomly assigned to consume either three whole eggs per day
or the equivalent amount of egg substitute throughout a 12-week moderate
carbohydrate-restricted (25-30 percent of energy) diet. The researchers, Catherine
Andersen and her colleagues, found that apart from increasing plasma HDL
cholesterol, the whole-egg consumption group showed favorable shifts in HDL
composition and function.
"Taken together with previously
established benefits of egg intake on HDL profiles, these findings further
support the notion that eggs serve as a functional food to reduce
cardiovascular disease risk in individuals with metabolic syndrome," said
In yet another study presented at
the conference, the researchers at the University of Missouri suggested eating a protein rich breakfast is a
beneficial weight management strategy among overweight and obese adolescents
They presented data comparing the effects of a normal-protein cereal breakfast,
high-protein egg and pork breakfast, and no breakfast on satiety in overweight
/obese adolescents who normally skip breakfast.
Adolescents who ate a high
protein breakfast experienced a decreased intake of approximately 400 calories
later in the day. However, those who skipped breakfast as well as those on
cereal breakfast did not reduce their daily intake. Further, breakfast skippers were found to have
significant increases in percent body fat mass
compared to those who ate
Thus eating a protein rich
breakfast reduces hunger, increases satiety, improves morning blood sugar
control, and leads to less, latter-day snacking.
"Nutritionists always tout the importance of breakfast, but now we
understand just how powerful choosing to eat lean protein, like pork sausage or
ham, at breakfast can be for teen breakfast skippers in particular," said
Heather Leidy, the lead researcher.
"Based on this research, taking
the time each morning to eat a healthy breakfast - one consisting of about 40
percent of calories from carbohydrates and 40 percent of calories from protein
- leads to reduced snacking later in the day thanks to the satiating effects of
protein early in the day," she continued.
With only 11.2 percent total fat, the fat in eggs is
primarily unsaturated and is similar to vegetable fats. Eggs are an important
source of protein and can make a significant contribution to a healthy diet,
including low-fat diets. So, go ahead, and enjoy the egg for breakfast.