Though there is no such thing as a magical diet product, protein might be the single most important nutritional element for a successful weight loss program. When you choose a dieting plan that focuses on healthy eating and strong protein intake, like the HCG diet, you give your body’s metabolism a boost, you change the production of important weight-regulating hormones, and you help curb your appetite. Protein is a powerful force against belly fat and weight gain, and you can find it in some of the cheapest foods on the market. For starters, a tiny little egg packs a powerful punch when it comes to protein. Eggs can do much more than provide your daily protein dose, though.
All About the Egg
You don’t really need to answer the “which came first” question to know that eggs have long been on the menu for both humans and animals alike. Eggs are a dietary staple, being both cheap and nutritious. You can cook them and serve them in several different ways, adding calcium, protein, and a number of other vitamins and nutrients to your meal. In one large hard-boiled egg, you get a healthy serving of Vitamins A, B5, B6 B12, D, E, and K. For only 77 calories, you get six grams of protein, five grams of healthy fat, calcium, zinc, folate, phosphorous, and selenium. Though you may have paused at the word fat, eggs contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
The Cholesterol Dilemma
There has been a lot of back and forth dialogue over the effects of eating eggs and the impact on a person’s cholesterol levels. Egg yolks, specifically, are what are high in cholesterol. A large egg could have up to 186 mg of your daily cholesterol needs, but don’t take eggs of the plate just yet. Further studies have been done that show eggs affect cholesterol levels differently in different people. The majority of people (about 70%) don’t experience a jump in their cholesterol levels at all. Research indicates that the remaining 30% of individuals can experience a mild rise in both total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol when consuming eggs. For those that battle with healthy LDL cholesterol numbers, moderation is key when it comes to egg consumption. Conversely, eating eggs can have a positive effect on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. HDL is considered a good cholesterol, as those with higher HDL levels have lower risks of developing heart disease, having a stroke, or succumbing to other health issues. Though you may not want to consume this many eggs, eating two eggs a day for six weeks can potentially increase your HDL levels by 10%.
The Nutritional Power
Eggs are one of the smaller food items found in nature that have a well-rounded balance of nutrients. In one hard-boiled egg, you get 147 mg of choline. This is a water-soluble vitamin that builds cell membranes and help the brain produce signaling molecules. An egg yolk gives you a healthy dose of both lutein and zeaxanthin. These are antioxidants that support eye health. These nutrients, in addition to the high levels of Vitamin A, reduce your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
The Weight Management Support
As mentioned, eggs carry a significant amount of protein, which supports good body health. In addition to the six grams of protein found in an egg, you also get a healthy portion of amino acids. Protein is good for weight management, but it can also help you increase your muscle mass, help develop strong bones, and lower your blood pressure. It is important to note, that not all eggs are created equal. Those that are enriched with Omega-3 are better for your mind and heart. Eggs have been found to play a role in reducing the risk of developing heart disease, but only when the individual also followed a low-carbohydrate diet. Other studies have found the opposite to be true, so always check with your physician for advice on what your diet should look like.
The Easy Meal Solution
When you eat eggs for breakfast, you may notice that you feel fuller for a longer period of time. This is because of the high protein levels. However, eggs can be more than a breakfast food. Omelets and scrambled eggs are great for breakfast with whole-grain toast, but a hard-boiled egg can be a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks. You can add chopped hard-boiled eggs to a salad or bed of greens for a heart-healthy lunch. Sweet potato hash with eggs makes a comforting dinner food. Whatever time of day you decide to eat them, you get the benefit of nutrients that improve your health and support your weight management goals.
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