Eggs seem to be a subject of many dilemmas. Which came first: the egg or the chicken is something we’d rather not tackle, but there’s also this endless dilemma about the status of the egg as food.
Despite epidemiological studies that show that eating either whole egg or just the yolks will give you instant heart attack, the recent and well structured studies continously prove that eggs should not be demonized, but eaten in large quantities!
At the Experimental Biology conference which took place in Chicago in April, a paper was presented that adds up to the mosaic of eggs praise. A group of scientists from University of Alabama in Birmingham conducted an experiment to find out, if consuming eggs would help elder subjects lose weight, improve insulin resistance, decrease visceral fat and at the same time minimize the loss of lean body mass.
26 individuals were included in a randomized clinical study. Their age spanned from 60 to 75 and their BMI between 30 and 40. One group recevied a meal plan with the 25%, 25%, 50% (energy from carbs, protein and fats respectively), the control group however had a standard diet with 55%, 25%, 20% (energy from carbs, protein and fats respectively). Both groups were allowed to eat ad libitum, but the first group had 3 eggs daily, whereas the second was offered a breakfast type bar.
After 8 weeks the baseline and study results were compared. No surprises there, if you are acquainted with recent nutrition science: egg eating group lost 11% of body fat (control group 2.3%). The visceral fat in the egg group decreased three fold compared to the first group (23.3% vs. 7.1%). Insulin sensitivity improved, triglyceride levels dropped and HDL cholesterol levels went up.
What can we learn? Three eggs a day keep the doctor away!
An abstract of another similar study was published by the Journal of Nutrition. In a double blind randomized crossover clinical study 25 individuals received 3 weeks of a diet, where 16% of daily energy was provided with a mix of egg proteins replacement and unsaturated fat, whereas the control group received 16% of daily energy from carbs. The results of egg protein based diet compared to the carbs diet was amazing: 18% improvement of insulin sensitivity (5.7 WORSENING with the carb diet). The LDL cholesterol particles size was increased on egg diet, decreased on the carb diet. Subjects on egg based diet saw a significant decrease in triglyceride and VLDL cholesterol levels: 18.5% and 18.6% respectively (on the carb based diet, the decreases were only 2.5% and 3.6% respectively).
Goss, A. in drugi, Chicago. Effects of an Egg-based, Carbohydrate-restricted Diet on Body Composition, Fat Distribution, and Metabolic Health in Older Adults with Obesity: Preliminary results from a randomized controlled trial. The FASEB Journal, 31(1 Supp), p. 2017.
Maki, K. in drugi, 2017. Replacement of Refined Starches and Added Sugars with Egg Protein and Unsaturated Fats Increases Insulin Sensitivity and Lowers Triglycerides in Overweight or Obese Adults with Elevated Triglycerides. J. Nutr.