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Health Hub

Are eggs good for weight loss?

Research has proven that eggs have lots of nutritional value.

Are Eggs Good For Weight Loss? | Juniper

The internet is a gateway to all kinds of things, including random (and let's face it, sometimes dodgy) diet advice, as well as harmful ideas about our bodies and how they "should" look. If you're trying to lose weight and burn body fat, it's really important to be getting the right information from a trusted source.

So, we've got your back. We've waded through the real research (medically reviewed and everything) to bring you some tips on weight loss and maintaining a healthy diet.

First stop: eggs. Whether you like them poached, boiled, or only accompanied by some sliced avocado — there's lots to learn about how adding eggs to your diet can support weight loss.

What are the health benefits of eggs?

We've been eating eggs since the dawn of time. In fact, it's been more than 6 million years since humans discovered eggs for breakfast [1]. And while we don't recommend the straight-from-the-nest approach used back then, research has proven that eggs have lots of nutritional value [2].

Just 1 egg contains 13 vitamins and minerals — eggs are basically a bunch of essential nutrients wrapped up in a neat little package. They're also full of high-quality protein, essential amino acids, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids [2][3]. But what does that actually mean for your body?

Eggs as a protein source

Research has shown that eggs are one of the best sources of protein available to us, even better than meat or dairy [4]. Our bodies need protein to function properly — it's essential for bone health, growing and repairing cells, as an energy source, and maintaining healthy muscles.

An egg contains about 6.3 grams of protein, making it one of the most high-protein foods to exist [5]. The best thing about this? Eggs are easy to cook and pretty affordable; they're actually the most cost-effective source of protein you'll find on supermarket shelves [5].

Eggs and cholesterol levels

For years, health professionals have warned us to watch our egg intake, because past research linked egg consumption to higher cholesterol and risks of cardiovascular disease. More recently though, these risk factors have been under the microscope again — and eggs have been forgiven [6].

Even though eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, research shows this isn't the type of cholesterol that's most dangerous to our heart health. Blood cholesterol is the one we should be looking out for, which is caused by saturated fat [7].

Researchers and health professionals now agree that the benefits of eating eggs outweigh any concerns about their cholesterol content. By balancing your egg-based meals with other healthy foods, you can reduce your risk of heart disease [7].

Can you lose weight by eating eggs?

Obviously, we're on the egg train, because we love science. But what has all this got to do with weight loss?

We've already mentioned protein — turns out that eating a high-protein diet can promote weight loss [4]. Eggs are a little bit special though. According to medically reviewed studies, the protein found in egg yolks has a greater satiety effect than any other source of protein [7].

This research also demonstrated that after eating an egg for breakfast, people felt full for longer, their appetite decreased, and they ate fewer calories throughout the day [7][4]. All of this led to increased weight loss over an 8-week period, as part of a calorie-restricted diet. People who ate a bagel breakfast didn't experience the same levels of weight loss as those who ate eggs [7].

In a nutshell, if you have a healthy egg-based breakfast, you're probably less likely to snack throughout the day — which can help you eat fewer calories and reach your weight loss goals.

How many calories are in an egg?

Well, it depends. Calorie content can vary depending on the size of the egg, which bit you're actually eating, and how you're preparing them.

An average egg contains about 74 calories; smaller ones are around 64 calories per egg, and an extra-large egg contains about 84 calories. Those figures are based on raw eggs, but cooked eggs can have more calories. This depends on how you cook them or what you serve them with [8].

If we're getting really specific, egg yolks have a different amount of calories than egg whites. An egg white contains about 17 calories and no fat. However, health experts still recommend eating whole eggs instead of just egg whites, so you can get the best nutritional value [8].

Soft-boiled, poached, and hard-boiled eggs

Boiling or poaching your eggs is one of the healthiest ways to eat them — because they have the same calorie content as a raw egg. If your favourite brekky is a boiled egg, you're in luck: a 60g boiled egg contains 74 calories or 310 kJ.

If poaching is more your style, you'll have the calorie intake as above. Poaching is thought to be healthier than other methods (like scrambling or frying) because the egg is cooked in water instead of other oils or fats [8].

Scrambled or fried eggs

According to the experts, it's pretty much impossible to tell what the calorie intake is for fried eggs.

This is because there are so many variables to account for — whether you're cooking them in butter or oil, which will add more calories. If you cook eggs in oil, your calorie intake can depend on the type of oil you use (e.g. olive oil or other vegetable oils), how much you use, and how high a temperature you're cooking at [8].

Scrambled eggs can also have a higher calorie content — the recipes we cook them with often involve milk, butter, or cheese. Combine that with butter or oil in the pan, and it's hard to add up the overall number of calories [8]. This doesn't mean you have to give up your favourite egg breakfast; it might just mean exploring alternative ways of cooking them.

What's the best way to eat eggs for weight loss?

Before we launch into how to get the most out of your egg meals, we'd be in trouble if we didn't say it: please make sure your eggs are cooked properly before you eat them. Raw eggs contain harmful bacteria and can expose you to things like salmonella and other nasty bugs. You should always store eggs in the fridge, and cook them fully before eating, to prevent salmonella [9].

If your focus is losing weight, you might be better off ditching the scramble — having a hard-boiled egg or a poached one will add fewer calories to your daily intake.

Having said that, you can always swap out some ingredients to reduce potential weight gain. Consider switching the full-cream milk for a skinny or plant-based version, using less butter in the pan, or choosing a healthier oil option (like canola or olive oil) [8][9].

How many eggs should you eat per day?

The jury was out on this one for a while, mainly because of all the past research on eggs and dietary cholesterol [7]. We also need to be clear: while eggs are a healthy, nutritious food, that doesn't mean we're advocating for any harmful diet trends like eating only eggs or a super high egg diet.

Based on the most recent research by the Heart Foundation, healthy people can incorporate eggs into their diet without worrying too much. The health experts would rather we focus on balanced food intake — like eating organic/whole foods where we can, choosing lean protein and whole grains, and reducing saturated fat [7].

For people who are already at risk of heart disease or have other health concerns, the Heart Foundation recommends eating up to 6 eggs per week [7].

What else can help with weight loss?

Any weight loss journey should be balanced and tailored to you. There will likely be a combination of making a healthy eating plan, finding a type of exercise you enjoy, and checking in with a health professional you trust to get the right advice.

Not sure where to start? We can help. The Juniper Weight Reset Programme combines accredited medical advice and coaching with breakthrough weight loss medication to get you the best results, as well as an online community that can help you on your journey.

Wherever you're at, being gentle with yourself and aiming for balance over perfection is the best place to start. You've got this.