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.
AdvertisementOne 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 Andersen.
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 breakfasts.
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.