Sunday, September 15, 2019

Retrospective #211: Eggs and Satiety

“Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects,” cited with a link at Authority Nutrition, took me to a 2005 PubMed abstract from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (J Am Coll Nutr). Curiously, there were no comments on this article in Pub Med, an official governmental organ of ncbi/nlm/nih. Maybe, in 2005, eating eggs, due to their high saturated fat and cholesterol, was still taboo, and no one in the “scientific/medical” community could figure out how to support the idea that whole eggs (yolks included) could be part of a “healthy eating” pattern. Fortunately, that perception has since changed. Whole eggs are one of the healthiest foods on earth.
The OBJECTIVE of this small prospective, randomized, crossover-design study: “To test the hypotheses that among overweight and obese participants, a breakfast consisting of eggs, in comparison to an isocaloric, equal-weight bagel-based breakfast, would induce greater satiety, reduce perceived cravings, and reduce subsequent short-term energy intake.” Thirty women with BMIs of at least 25 between the ages of 25 and 60 years were recruited to participate.
The RESULTS were clear: “During the pre-lunch period, participants had greater feelings of satiety after the egg breakfast, and consumed significantly less energy.” In addition, “Energy intake following the egg breakfast remained lower for the entire day… as well as for the next 36 hours.”
CONCLUSIONS: “Compared to an isocaloric, equal weight bagel-based breakfast, the egg-breakfast induced greater satiety and significantly reduced short-term food intake. The potential role of a routine egg breakfast in producing a sustained caloric deficit and consequent weight loss should be determined.” In other words, they want the NIH to fund more studies like this. Government funded research is a jobs program, and in this case, one that I support (LOL).
I ate a breakfast of 2 eggs and 2 strips of bacon (plus coffee with heavy cream and pure stevia powder) for almost 10 years. Then, a couple of years ago, after reading Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet, I switched to 3 eggs and 1 strip of bacon (plus coffee) to get my daily dose of choline all in one meal. And I have been telling people for years that, when you eat this breakfast (with no fruit or juice or cereal or bread or any carbs), you will not be hungry – not in mid-morning, not at lunch, not even at mid-afternoon. I haven’t been hungry at lunch for years.
“Why, then, do you eat lunch?” That’s a good question. Increasingly I have been asking myself that question too. When I remember to eat lunch, the reason, I suspect, is that I eat a can of sardines in olive oil. And both my editor and I think that is one of the reasons I now have very high HDLs (~90mg/dL) and very low triglycerides (~34mg/dL). But it wasn’t always this way. Previously (before VLC), my HDLs averaged 39mg/dl and my TGs about 135mg/dl.
Another bit of self-promotion: Take a look at Retrospective #91, “Low Carb Breakfasts (and a no-carb lunch)” for more ideas on eggs and breakfast and Retrospective #176, “Eggs, Cholesterol and Choline,” for more about choline.
So, in conclusion, there’s no question (in my mind) of the “short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects,” like me. It also “reduce(d) perceived cravings, and reduce(d) subsequent short-term energy intake,” including the viable election not to eat lunch! If fact, on many days it’s only my watch, not my stomach, that tells me I missed lunch. I also agree completely that “the potential role of a routine egg breakfast in producing a sustained caloric deficit and consequent weight loss should be determined.” That’s the big takeaway. Why don’t you try it?
The eggs I buy are raised by a local farmer who also raises beef and pigs and sells them at our local farmers’ market. They use a chicken coop on wheels that they move from pasture to pasture every week after the livestock have been moved on to new grazing. Hens are omnivores (like pigs) and so they (and we) benefit from the insects and larvae that they find in the deposits the animals leave behind. This is all explained in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, a book by Michael Pollan, in which he canonizes the practices of Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
PS: Too busy to eat breakfast? Pack one, two or three hard boiled eggs to eat at your desk. If that’s not enough, add a slice of smoked salmon wrapped around some full-fat cream cheese. There’s a very low carb breakfast-on-the-run.

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