Why Eggs Are a Better Choice Than Bagels

By Mike Howard


When you “get cracking” in the morning with an egg breakfast, you are likely to stave off hunger, therefore reducing your calorie intake by as much as 18 percent.

This, according to a study in the journal Nutrition Research. 21 male subjects, each ate two different test breakfasts. On one test day the participants ate an egg-based, protein-rich breakfast including three scrambled eggs and one-and-a-half pieces of white toast. On another test day they ate a bagel-based, carbohydrate-rich breakfast including one plain bagel, one half tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese and six ounces of low-fat yogurt. The two breakfasts contained identical calories.

The macronutrient breakdown was as follows:

  • Eggs: 22:55:23 (carbohydrate, fat, protein)
  • Bagel: 72:12:16 (carbohydrate, fat, protein)


  • The men ate roughly 112 fewer calories at a buffet lunch three hours following the egg breakfast, compared to the bagel breakfast.
  • They consumed approximately 400 fewer calories in the 24-hour period following the egg breakfast.
  • Blood tests showed that ghrelin, the hormone which stimulates hunger when elevated, was significantly higher after the bagel breakfast.

Take-home message

This reinforces the satiating power of a higher protein meal. The study showing participants consuming 400 calories less, is consistent with a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Weigel et. al), which showed a 441 calorie reduction on a moderately high protein diet.

Eggs are relatively low in calories (about 70), nutrient dense and inexpensive. They are certainly an ally in terms of weight control as part of an overall healthy diet.

Oh, and you can keep the yolks in!


  1. Miss Sam

    Great info Thanks

  2. GiGi

    I am completely obsessed with eggs and eat 1 to 3 whole eggs along with billions of egg whites every day! So delish!!! 🙂 They do keep me full for awhile too!

  3. paprika

    O, as a child I too could not stand the smell of eggs. As an adult, I found that I have an allergy to chicken eggs. Your body may be giving you a hint! Don’t force yourself to eat them — there are other great high-protien alternatives for breakfast, like Greek yogurt with berries (a personal favorite).

  4. CalorieGirl

    I love eggs, especially egg whites, I buy them in the cartons so that I don’t have to feel badly about wasting a yolk. 4 egg whites is about 60 Calories still less calories than one egg and I make the most delicious omelets with them.

  5. CalorieGirl

    Some people are very allergic to eggs. O. could be highly allergic to them – stay away.

  6. ArrowSmith

    I should eat more eggs.

  7. ArrowSmith

    Grow up child and eat what’s good for you.

  8. b

    They are, but it turns out that dietary cholesterol has little impact on your cholesterol levels. The vast majority of the cholesterol in your bloodstream is manufactured by your body, and that process is primarily affected by saturated fats (bad), trans fats (bad), monounsaturated fats (good) and fiber (good). The cholesterol in the egg doesn’t really have much of an effect. They do have some saturated fat, but as long as the rest of your diet is balanced it’s not enough to cause major problems.

  9. blob

    i eat 4-6 eggs every day and love them.

  10. Spectra

    I’ll often eat a hard-boiled egg as a snack, but maybe I’ll start eating them for breakfast as well now.

  11. Mike Howard

    Fat is also very satiating, however protein in most cases seems to be the trump card.

    I agree, nonametomention – the Weigle study I cited showed that the fat content – even at 20% didn’t really matter so long as protein was kept at 30%.

    The difference between 16 and 23% protein can make a pretty substantial difference – not so much from one meal but from an overall caloric intake perspective.

  12. nonametomention

    Studies have shown that the protein vs. carbs is the deciding factor. Yes, fat plays a part, but not so much in reducing caloric intake throughout the day.

  13. Mitch

    I eat 2 eggs every morning with 2 pieces of whole grain toast. This keeps me full for hours.

  14. musajen

    I think it’s funny that you’re fixating on the protein content when it’s the fat content that changed the most substantially between the two meals.

    Protein content increased 7 grams or 28 calories… fat content changed 43 grams or 387 calories.

    Do you still really believe that it’s the “protein” that made the difference here?

  15. Ann

    Studies have already dispelled this myth …

  16. Erica

    Aren’t eggs high in cholesterol? Wouldn’t three eggs everyday be bad for you?

  17. Erica

    Aren’t eggs high in cholesterol? Wouldn’t eating three eggs for breakfast a day be bad for you?

  18. Anya

    Well O, if you don’t like them don’t eat them. No one is forcing you.

    I love eggs – eat them almost everyday in one form or another and I think that the protein is the key. It works for me – keeps hunger away, and my blood sugar and cholesterol are nice and regular.

  19. O.

    I hate eggs. As a kid I could barly go to a restaurant for breakfast without getting sick because the smell of them cooking was overwhelming.

    I can eat a little boiled egg, in a potato salad or 1 deviled egg. And I kind of just pick it out of my fried rice, but anything more than that makes me vomit.

    Unless I can’t taste it or smell it ( like in a cake) don’t even ask me to eat it!