One question I get asked a lot centers on the subject of what to eat for breakfast.
Personally, I rarely eat breakfast, and haven’t done so for many years.
Despite the protests of the breakfast police, I’ve managed to survive without my metabolism shutting down, surrendering my hard-earned muscle, or losing the ability to concentrate for more than 5 seconds.
You’d think that skipping breakfast would give you less energy. For me, the opposite is true. I have more energy and feel a lot more productive and alert than normal. I use morning “fasting time” to get as much work done as possible.
But that’s just me.
If you’re someone who likes breakfast and you’re not quite sure what to eat, or you just don’t have much time to get ready in the morning, one of the best options is the humble egg.
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I know that everyone thinks that eggs are “bad” for them because they raise cholesterol levels, which is a subject I’ll address in a moment.
First, I want to talk about a few of the benefits of eating eggs for breakfast.
Firstly, eggs are quick and easy to prepare. It doesn’t take very long to boil or scramble an egg, which makes them ideal for busy people who don’t want to spend any longer than they have to making breakfast in the morning.
Second, eggs are nutritious. Not only are eggs a convenient source of high-quality protein (1 large egg contains 7-8 grams of protein), they’re also rich in highly bioavailable forms of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
Studies show that these antioxidants may help to slow the progression of an eye disease known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the elderly population in the Western world.
Eggs for breakfast can help to control your appetite so you eat less at lunch. In one study that compared eggs or bagels for breakfast, volunteers who ate the egg breakfast reported greater levels of satiety and consumed 164 fewer calories for lunch, and 400 calories less over the next 36 hours.
In a follow-up study, dieters eating eggs for breakfast lost slightly more fat over an 8-week period than those given bagels. But as you can see in the figure below (body fat is on the right), the effect was so small that it’s not really worth talking about.
However, what I think you’ll find interesting is the effect that the eggs had on cholesterol levels.
After all, everyone “knows” that eggs are bad for you because they raise cholesterol levels, right?
In the study I just mentioned, subjects ate two eggs five times per week. Given that one egg contains 213 milligrams of cholesterol, this averages out to an additional cholesterol intake of 304 milligrams per day ((213 × 2 × 5)/7).
But the cholesterol levels of subjects in the egg group didn’t get any worse. In fact, at the end of the 8-week trial, changes in plasma total, HDL and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides did not differ significantly between the groups.
Here’s what the researchers wrote in their report…
Our data strongly confirm several recent reports published over the past decade. Several meta-analyses as well as a highly publicized epidemiology study strongly suggest that daily egg consumption does not adversely affect plasma lipoproteins with regard to the risk for CHD or stroke among healthy individuals.
Despite the widespread belief that eggs are “bad” for you because of their impact on cholesterol, this is another in a line of studies (such as this one and this one) that fail to show a link between egg consumption and either cholesterol levels or the incidence of heart disease.
Of course, there are plenty of breakfast options other than eggs. And as far as weight loss is concerned, as long as you’re hitting your macronutrient goals for the day, you can eat pretty much what you want for breakfast. But if you want something that’s quick, simple and nutritious, the egg is hard to beat.
FREE: The Flat Belly Cheat Sheet
If you want less flab and more muscle when you look down at your abs (or where they should be), check out The Flat Belly Cheat Sheet.
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