Research suggests that eggs produce greater satiety than other typically consumed breakfast foods in non-obese subjects.

According to BusinessWeek magazine, “satiety” is the new buzzword in weight control efforts. Satiety is the state of being satisfactorily full, which means a person will less likely overeat.

Protein is a satiating macronutrient. A large egg provides 6g of high-biological value protein, which is 10% of the Daily Value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Research suggests that eggs produce greater satiety than other typically consumed breakfast foods in non-obese subjects.

In 2005, researchers in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Wayne State University in Michigan investigated the impact of macronutrient composition on satiety and subsequent energy consumption in overweight and obese individuals. They designed a randomized, crossover study in which the satiety effects of an egg breakfast were compared to that of a bagel breakfast. Both breakfasts were similar in weight and energy content. (Journal of the American College of Nutrition 24: 510-515, 2005)

The egg breakfast consisted of two scrambled eggs, two pieces of toast and one tablespoon of reduced-calorie fruit spread. The macronutrient distribution of the egg meal was 20.8% protein, 36% carbohydrate and 43% fat. The bagel breakfast consisted of a bagel, two tablespoons of cream cheese and 3oz of non-fat yogurt. The macronutrient distribution of this meal was 15.7% protein, 55% carbohydrate and 29% fat.

Twenty-eight women with Body Mass Indexes of 25 to 35 were randomly assigned to eat an egg or a bagel breakfast in this crossover study. Afterwards, they filled out a questionnaire evaluating hunger and food cravings. Participants then ate lunch 3.5 hours after finishing breakfast, with instructions to eat as much as they wanted. However, they were discouraged from drinking water during this meal. Breakfast and lunch meals were weighed prior to being served, and any leftover food items were again weighed to accurately determine how much had been consumed.

For those who had eaten the egg breakfast, energy intake for the rest of the day was approximately 164 calories less than those who had eaten the bagel breakfast. “The researchers were surprised to learn that the calorie deficit between groups continued for at least 24 hours after the egg breakfast,” says Donald McNamara, PhD, executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center. “In that time period, participants who had eaten the egg breakfast consumed 420 fewer kilocalories than those who had not,” he adds.

It was concluded that eating an egg breakfast daily, as opposed to a bagel breakfast, would theoretically result in a deficit of 3,500 calories (or a 1lb reduction in weight) in just eight days.

Such findings complement other research that exonerates eggs as a primary culprit in high blood cholesterol. Although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, they contain little cholesterol-raising saturated fat. Egg protein, with its ideal mix of essential amino acids, has increasingly proven to be a tool for formulating functional foods that promote satiety and weight maintenance.

For more information:
The Egg Nutrition Center, Washington, D.C.
Donald J. McNamara • 202-833-8850

For more information:
The American Egg Board, Park Ridge, Ill.
Joanne Ivy • 847-296-7043