Is the Egg Diet Healthy?

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If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, then the egg diet might be appealing to you. The weight loss program requires that you build at least one meal each day around the traditional breakfast staple. But there are different versions of the egg diet, including an egg-only diet, and not all of them are healthy or even likely to work.

What Is the Egg Diet?

There are different versions of this weight loss plan, but as you might imagine, all of them require that you eat primarily egg-based meals These are the most popular variations:

  • 14-Day Egg Diet: If you choose this version of the diet program, you’ll consume three meals each day. You will not consume any snacks and no drinks with calories. Each day, you eat one meal with eggs, but other meals can be built around other sources of lean protein such as chicken or fish. To supplement the protein on your plate, you can add low carbohydrate vegetables such as broccoli or spinach. Citrus fruit is sometimes allowed. This diet is sometimes called the “​Boiled Egg Diet” and requires that you eat your eggs hard-boiled, rather than poached, scrambled, or fried.​
  • Egg and Grapefruit Diet: This is a variation of the 14-day Egg Diet and lasts for the same amount of time. On this version of the diet, you eat ½ grapefruit at each meal with your egg or lean protein. No other fruit is allowed.
  • Egg-Only Diet: This version of the weight loss program is a mono diet. Mono diets are extreme, unhealthy weight loss programs where you eat only a single food for an extended period of time.  According to sources, dieters on this program eat only hard-boiled eggs and water for two weeks. As you might imagine, exercise is not recommended on this plan because of the extreme fatigue that you are likely to experience.

  • “Medical” Egg Diet: This version of the egg diet requires that you eat one egg and one piece of bread, three times each day. You can also eat as many fruits and vegetables as you like. You’ll drink water, black coffee, or other zero-calorie beverages. Eggs can be prepared any way you want as long as no calories are added. That means you can’t use butter or oil to prepare your egg. Some dieters believe that this version of the egg diet is used in medical settings to reduce a patient’s weight prior to surgery, but there is no evidence to support that rumor. While some bariatric physicians put their patients on diets before surgery, it is often a liquid diet (including meal replacement shakes) and the program is supervised by a physician or other medical expert.

  • Keto Egg Diet: Ketogenic diets, also called keto diets, require that you increase your intake of fat to put your body into a state of ketosis. So this version of the egg diet recommends that you eat eggs with butter and cheese to get your body to produce ketones. The most popular ratio promoted on the internet is one egg to one tablespoon of fat (cheese or butter).

Some variations of the egg diet are better for you than others, but none of them provide balanced nutrition.

Is the Egg Diet Healthy?

Surprisingly, some websites suggest that you speak to your doctor before going on the egg diet. If you do, it is not likely that your physician will approve. Most versions of the egg diet are not well rounded enough to provide your body with the energy it needs to function properly—even though eggs are full of healthy nutrients.

Eggs provide your body with protein and fat. They also provide vitamin D, phosphorus, vitamin A, and two B-complex vitamins that your body needs to convert food into energy. Eggs are a very good source of riboflavin, selenium, and choline.

But your body needs more than the nutrients in eggs to function properly. For example, fiber boosts healthy digestion and you’re not likely to get the fiber you need when you’re on this program.

If you eat only eggs, you also won’t provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals.

Furthermore, it is likely that you won’t get the calories or the carbohydrates you need on this program—especially on the mono version of the egg diet. There are about 75 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of carbohydrate in a single egg. It is unlikely that you will be comfortable eating the number of eggs you’d need to eat to reach recommended guidelines for calorie and carbohydrate consumption. Your body may suffer as a result.

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