GO to work on an egg’, went the no-nonsense 1950s advertising campaign. But now obesity experts have found out that not only does an egg keep you going longer, it could also help keep you slim.
A test of 20 overweight or obese volunteers discovered that those given an egg for breakfast, rather than cereal, felt less hungry come lunchtime, and consequently consumed less at an ‘all-you-can eat’ buffet.
Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Louisiana, US, found those given an egg had significantly lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, in their blood three hours after breakfast.
They also had significantly higher levels of another hormone, called PYY3-36, which signals we are full.
Dr Nikhil Dhurandhar, who led the study, said: “This study shows that diets with higher protein quality may enhance satiety, leading to better compliance and success of a weight loss diet.”
He added: “This study raises the question: are some foods with higher protein quality natures appetite suppressants?”
Longer-term research was needed to see if high quality protein breakfasts could help people lose weight, he said.
Results of the study are being presented today (Saturday) at the European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France.
Tracy Parker, heart health dietitian at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “This finding could help people who are trying to lose weight or stop snacking. It shows the quality of protein in your diet, rather than the quantity, can affect how full you feel.
“However, as the study was funded by the American Egg Board, it did not look into other high quality proteins. Further comparison of the effect of lean meat, poultry and fish on appetite should be explored.
“An egg breakfast could keep you from mid-morning snacking but remember to use healthier cooking methods. Try boiling or poaching eggs rather than frying and avoid adding butter to scrambled eggs.”