The Egg Diet: Really?

This article is part of our Stupid Diet Series, therefore we do not recommend this diet.

Of all the crazy diets, this one actually sounds at least moderately plausible. Eggs are a good, healthy source of protein and some of the nutrients you need in your daily diet, they taste good, and you can cook them in lots of different ways.

It’s no surprise, then, that a diet fad involving eating only eggs, or mostly only eggs, has been doing the rounds for nearly two decades. After rumours that celebrities had lost dozens of pounds by following the egg diet to lose weight it became even more popular.

Eggs are typically eaten boiled or poached to avoid excess cholesterol. However, when you’re eating only eggs, a certain amount of cholesterol is unavoidable.

What’s In It

Modern egg diets generally involve a little more than eggs, but they do require you to get most of your protein from eggs. For example you’ll have a boiled egg on half a bagel or a piece of whole wheat toast for breakfast, an egg with spinach for lunch, and a boiled egg with steamed vegetables for dinner.

Other variations involve small pieces of lean meat like chicken or fish being substituted for eggs at one or more meals of the day, but the general constant is that steamed vegetables and eggs should make up the majority of your meals.

All in all, as long as you keep up the veggies with each meal, this is a very healthy and low-fat way of eating.

Who’s On It

Two very notable celebrities have been rumoured to lose a great deal of weight on the egg diet. Nigella Lawson’s current husband, Charles Saatchi (not the previous one, who sadly died), was rumoured to have lost over 60 pounds on the egg diet.

Adrian Brody is another celebrity who lost dozens of pounds on the egg diet, this time for his role in The Pianist. However, Brody later clarified that he used a modified version of the egg diet in which he ate an egg for breakfast, but then small pieces of chicken or fish with steamed or raw vegetables for lunch and dinner.

He said it was an extreme but generally healthy diet that promoted rapid weight loss, but was not entirely sustainable.

Why You Might Want to Avoid It

There are only two real reasons why you might want to avoid the egg diet. The first is cholesterol. No matter how well you cook eggs, they still contain quite a lot of bad cholesterol per ounce than most things you can put on your plate, including bacon. If you have high cholesterol, or you are concerned about your cardiovascular health, you shouldn’t be on a diet that involves you eating more than three or four eggs a week.

Another reason to avoid the egg diet is that eggs contain sulphur. Sulphur cannot be digested by your body, and is combined with a number of other things in order to make it safe to pass. One of the things your body will make out of sulphur is hydrogen sulphide – a smell you might remember from high school science as the ‘rotten egg smell’.

That’s right, folks – if you go onto the egg diet it’ll only be a matter of time you’ll be able to clear a room faster by farting than by announcing your affiliation with Scientology.

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