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Eggs – To Eat Or Not To Eat

 

By: Miami Beach Personal Trainer Ted Ryce

In the media, we hear conflicting messages about whether we should be eating eggs or not. “Eat eggs they are good for you.” “Don’t eat eggs. They will raise your cholesterol and clog your arteries.” How can both of these statements be right? And what is the scientific truth?

Recent Egg Research

A study done in 2008 in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism showed that eating eggs as part of a carbohydrate-restricted diet may:

  • Lose more body fat
  • Decrease markers of inflammation
  • Improve your HDL cholesterol levels, the “good” cholesterol, while maintaining total cholesterol levels

The study compared the effects of two different carb-restricted diets in overweight men. The only difference in the two diets was that one group ate 3 eggs a day and the other group did not. After 12 weeks the results were that the egg group lost more body fat (measured by a DEXA scan and on the scale), decreased markers of inflammation (such as C-reactive protein and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha),  and improved levels of HDL cholesterol while not affecting total cholesterol levels.

The egg eating group also experienced better sensitivity to insulin and higher levels of adiponectin, a hormone that decreases inflammation and increases fat-burning. The authors believed that the benefits of the egg eating group were a result of higher levels of adiponectin (mentioned above), lutein and xeazanthin(antioxidants found in eggs) and lower levels of insulin than the non-egg eating group.

Eggs Are Good For You

From all the current research, eggs appear to be good for you provided that they are eaten with a low-carbohydrate diet.I personally have always eaten eggs and recommended them to clients as a healthy way to get complete protein in their diets. The research confirms this. Also of note is that  both carbohydrate-restricted groups decreased their triglyceride levels. Another important thing is that eggs may not have the same benefit if consumed with a high-carbohydrate diet.

Also of note is that organic eggs may be more beneficial to you over conventionally farmed eggs. Check out my article on “Are Organic Eggs Really Better For You?”

Take Away

Eating eggs in combination with a carb-restricted diet is a way to lose body fat, improve HDL cholesterol, reduce plasma trigylceride levels, and decrease markers of inflammation. Try eating a either an omelet or scrambled eggs with sauteed greens in olive oil. For example:  a cup of raw spinach or kale. If you have the time, include 1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers, a few mushrooms and a chopped clove of garlic for a tastier and healthier meal.

I recommend having animal-based protein (such as Omega-3 organic eggs, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild game, and fish) and at least 2 servings (1 serving= 1/2 cup chopped veges, 1 cup of raw leafy veges, or 1 medium vege like a hass avocado) of vegetables at every meal. This is what I personally do.

Test Your Results

Try it out and get your blood work done before and after to check out the results! Doing regular blood work is the ONLY way to tell if something is working for YOU. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if other people got results with a particular way of eating or not. To help you individualize your diet, you must make sure you are making positive changes in your blood chemistry as well as on the scale. As you are tweaking your diet, monitor the following regularly:

  • Plasma Triglyceride levels
  • Total Cholesterol
  • HDL:LDL Cholesterol ratio
  • Fasting Glucose
  • Fasting Insulin
  • Hemoglobin A1C

Watching how these markers of heart health and blood sugar regulation respond to your new changes in diet will help you objectively determine what is working or not working for you.

Do you need more assistance than what I provided here? Then contact me and let’s set up a consultation to get you results with your exercise and nutrition program. Not in the Miami Beach area? No problem. I’m available for phone/email consultations. Click here to get started now.

References

Ratliff, J., et al. Eggs Modulate the Inflammatory Response To Carbohydrate Restricted  Diets in Overweight Men. Nutrition and Metabolism. 2008. 5(6).

Images

Image courtesy of nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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