Researchers in Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Louisiana, US, used 20 obese or overweight volunteers to determine the effects of egg on hunger and weight-loss.
Those given an egg in the morning ate less at an ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’ at lunchtime and also had significantly lower levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite. They were also found to have significantly higher levels of PYY3-36 in their bloodstreams, which is the hormone that signals fullness.
Dr Nikhil Dhurandhar, who led the study, said: “This study raises the question: are some foods with higher protein quality nature’s appetite suppressants?”
However, as the study was funded by the American Egg Board, it neglected to investigate the effects of other sources of protein, such as fish, poultry and red meat.
More long-term research is needed into protein-packed breakfasts before any solid conclusions can be drawn, but as Tracy Parker of the British Health Foundation explains, the results of the study could help people who are trying to lose weight by encouraging them to eat quality protein. If protein creates the feeling of fullness then it could help reduce hunger pangs and prevent people snacking or binging when they feel hungry.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we’re allowed to tuck into a greasy fry-up every morning. The way we prepare food is often just as important as the food itself. We recommend you either boil an egg to enjoy with smoked salmon on a toasted English muffin, or try scrambling eggs in the microwave before serving on whole-grain toast with olive spread.
To find out more about how to eat healthily, please visit our Balanced Diet page.
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