Egg diet: what is it and who is it suitable for? Nutritionist's opinion

Egg diet: what is it and who is it suitable for?  Nutritionist's opinion

Among the advantages of the egg diet is a short duration and a healthy diet of eggs, nutritious protein foods, and a large amount of vegetables and fruits. But this diet, like any other, has its downsides.

  • The essence of the diet
  • Regulations
  • pros
  • Minuses
  • Contraindications
  • Menu for the week
  • Comments from nutritionists

The material was commented on:

Alexandra Razarenova, dietician, nutritionist, therapist, member of the European Union of Nutritionists, Dieticians and Food Industry Specialists;

Alexandra Streltsova, nutritionist at BestDoctor.

What is the essence of the egg diet?

Contrary to the name, it is not mono-diet, and not only eggs are on the menu. The essence of the diet is to consume foods high in protein and severely limit carbohydrates and fatty foods. Eggs become the main source of proteins and fats at this time. Depending on the specific program, you are allowed to consume from two to six eggs per day. The diet is supplemented mainly by green vegetables, plenty of citrus fruits, sour and unsweetened fruits, low-fat dairy products, lean poultry and fish. The ban includes sweets, products made from white flour, cereals, nuts, sweet fruits, potatoes, fast food, and alcohol.

Weight loss occurs by reducing caloric intake and carbohydrate deficiency. The body begins to burn fat stored in cells to obtain energy. Reducing fat tissue helps you lose excess weight. At the same time, protein consumption has a positive effect on muscle mass, especially with additional exercise. In this, the egg diet is similar to sports nutrition.

The peculiarity of the diet is the absence of severe hunger and the ability to maintain a feeling of fullness for a long time. This is due to the high nutritional value of eggs and the presence of fiber in the diet.

Before starting any diet, including the egg diet, it is important to consult with your doctor or nutritionist. A specialist will be able to adequately assess your health status, take into account the individual characteristics of the body and give recommendations for safe and effective weight loss. Taking tests before starting a diet is also important to assess your overall health, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and other indicators, notes nutritionist Alexandra Razarenova.

Egg diet rules

Photo: freepik

A diet involves changing your usual diet to a stricter one. To get rid of extra pounds and not lose good health, you need to follow the rules.

Basic principles of the egg diet:

  • Duration from three days to four weeks. Options for an egg diet for one or two weeks are possible. It is undesirable to stick to a protein diet for more than a month, since the body will not have enough vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber for normal functioning.
  • Three meals a day. Snacks are allowed when you feel hungry. For example, low-fat kefir, carrots or cucumber. It's better to eat small portions than a lot at once.
  • You can eat two to four eggs per day. Other types of protein foods are allowed: low-fat poultry, fish, cottage cheese, cheese.
  • Be sure to consume fiber. Green vegetables, tomatoes, sweet peppers, garlic, herbs are acceptable. Include citrus fruits and other low-carb fruits, such as apples and plums. WHO recommends consuming 400g (five servings) of vegetables and fruits per day (1). Fiber will help the digestive system work properly.
  • Drinking regimen: at least 1.5-2 liters of liquid per day. This promotes the proper functioning of all body systems. Non-calorie drinks are allowed: water, coffee, tea.
  • Eliminate carbohydrate-rich foods and dishes from the menu: flour and pasta, fatty meats, fried foods, nuts, sweet fruits such as bananas and grapes, chocolate, starchy vegetables, in particular potatoes.
  • You will have to give up sugar and add a minimum of salt to your food. But the taste of the dishes can be enhanced with aromatic herbs and spices.
  • Physical activity, such as morning exercises, will be beneficial. They will keep muscles toned, help get rid of stress and have a positive effect on the results of your diet.
Photo: freepik

Pros of the egg diet

  • The egg has a very special composition, since in essence it serves to nourish and develop a new organism. Egg white is easily digestible and has an essential set of amino acids. The egg contains selenium, iodine, iron, and unsaturated fatty acids. One egg satisfies a person’s daily need for fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K (8–38%), as well as water-soluble vitamins B1 (4%), B2 (11%), B7 (30%) (2). This promotes the development of brain cells, strengthens hair and nails, and maintains strong immunity. Despite the abundance of nutrients, eggs have a moderate calorie content.
  • Losing weight without losing muscle mass. Protein intake is one of the conditions muscle preservation and growth. The egg diet allows you to reduce the calorie intake and, as a result, weight, but does not deplete muscle reserves. In combination with physical exercise, it will be possible to maintain the condition of the muscular system and avoid the unsafe state of “skinny fat” (“thin fat”) (3).
  • Feeling full. According to WHO, eggs and other high-protein foods satisfy hunger for a long time (4). During the diet, this allows you to reduce your appetite, avoid snacking and avoid overeating during the day.
  • Simple preparation. Prepare eggs are easy. They are convenient to take with you to work and on trips. Chicken eggs are sold at any grocery store and are often served for breakfast in hotels.

Cons of the egg diet

  • Lack of nutrients, vitamins, calories. Like any diet, the egg diet is far from a balanced diet. It lacks such healthy foods as cereals, legumes, nuts, and many sweet fruits. A long-term calorie deficit can lead to malaise, weakness, and dizziness. For those on an egg diet, it is recommended take multivitamins.
  • Risk excess cholesterol. The yolk of one egg contains about 185 mg of cholesterol, more than half the daily value of 300 mg (5). There is a lot of information about the relationship between the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and cholesterol intake, including from eggs (6). However, many scientific studies suggest the opposite. The body of a healthy person is able to regulate the concentration of cholesterol in the blood and prevent its excess (7). Nevertheless, it is important to monitor this indicator every year, and if cholesterol metabolism is disrupted, reduce the number of eggs in the diet.
  • Digestive problems and constipation. The predominance of protein foods in the diet and lack of fiber can cause problems with the gastrointestinal tract. (8).

Contraindications to the egg diet

Diet can lead to poor health or aggravate chronic diseases. When it is contraindicated to go on an egg diet:

1. For diseases of the kidneys, liver, problems with the pancreas

A large amount of protein in the diet increases the load even on healthy liver and kidneys (9), (10). During the digestion of food, proteins are broken down into amino acids, and nitrogen-containing products of protein metabolism, in particular ammonia, are produced (11). During metabolism, the liver converts this harmful substance into a non-toxic compound – urea. The kidneys help remove these and other waste products from the body. If liver and kidney function are impaired, high-protein diets can be dangerous, for example, increasing the amount of ammonia in the blood and causing the growth of kidney stones. This is why it is recommended to drink more water while on a diet. This is important for the normal functioning of the body.

In addition, egg yolk is most often contraindicated for pancreatitis – inflammation…