A major UK review of studies into the effects of eating eggs has found that egg contains a powerful ingredient that can help to cut the amount of calories people go on to eat at lunch and dinner.
Scientists say boiled, fried, poached or scrambled, eggs keep people fuller for longer compared with other common breakfast foods.
This appears to help people who are desperately trying to resist tempting but naughty afternoon snacks such as biscuits, cake or chocolate.
The review, published in the journal Network Health Dietitian, also revealed that the specific proteins found in eggs are far superior to other types when it comes to keeping hunger at bay.
Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton examined the results of six different studies over eight years.
The studies show a consistent effect on satiety and short-term energy intake. Two studies found changes in appetite-related gut hormones, which may explain why egg-eaters feel full.
A single, longer-term study revealed that people who ate an egg breakfast rather than having cereal had a significantly greater weight loss and lost inches around the waist.
“While more research is needed, particularly on long-term weight loss, the evidence suggests a promising role for eggs in weight management,” the Daily Express quoted Dr Ruxton as saying.
He also noted two additional benefits of including eggs in a weight loss diet.
The first is portion control. Dr Ruxton said that since eggs come in a fixed unit of around 78 calories per egg, this helps people to recognise how much they have consumed.
Secondly, he said, the vitamin D content of eggs may help to support general health in overweight people since vitamin D levels are known to be low in this group, leading to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
“There are few natural sources of vitamin D in the diet so eggs can play a role here too,” he added.
An average egg contains a high level of protein at 6.5g, representing 13 per cent of an adult’s daily requirement.