When it comes to healthy breakfast foods, eggs are some of the most versatile. Whether you like yours scrambled, poached, or soft boiled, you can make your meal even more weight loss-friendly, dietitians tell us, by adding one nutritious leafy green. We reached out to registered dietitians, nutritionists and health experts to learn more about the benefits of pairing eggs with spinach, and how this can promote overall healthy weight loss, and pesky belly fat (when added to a balanced diet and when regularly exercising of course ). Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements and Jay Cowin, NNCP, RNT, RNC, CHN, CSNA, registered nutritionist and Director of Formulations at ASYSTEM.
How Spinach Paired With Eggs Can Promote Healthy Weight Loss
Spinach, Best says, is a dark leafy green that is “packed with weight loss-boosting nutrients and can be easily added to many recipes, especially eggs.” When these nutrients are heated with water, she explains, they become active in such a way that the body absorbs them more easily.
“This allows the consumer to take in weight loss friendly nutrients, like vitamins K, E, and fiber, while eating a low carbohydrate, high-nutrient meal,” she adds. The fiber content in spinach will help the consumer “feel and stay full for longer, which can help prevent overeating throughout the day,” Best stressed. She notes that spinach can also help with weight loss by adding it to your eggs by “integrating antioxidants into this meal.”
Antioxidants have anti-inflammatory compounds that help to “reduce inflammation in the body” that would “otherwise prevent weight loss,” and harm overall health, she points out. Cowin agrees, and says to cook eggs and spinach in a small amount of water or steam them instead of frying them in oil. Another healthy way to prepare your eggs, he adds, is to “avoid adding salt, butter, or other high-calorie condiments.”
The Importance Of Protein Re: Weight Loss
Another reason why you might want to opt for spinach in your favorite egg dish, Best says, is due to its protein content (one cup of it, when adding to eggs can give 0. 7 grams more protein). Cooking with egg whites, she adds, can be a “great way to cut down on the fat of a traditional egg-based meal while maintaining a lean source of protein.” Eating just the egg whites allows you to “cut down on calories from 71 to 18, while only losing 2 grams of protein,” Best recommends. The fat content, however, drops from “5 grams in an entire egg to zero, when only eating the egg whites,” she notes.
Cowin says that ultimately, the “best breakfast food for healthy weight loss is anything that’s packed with protein,” as eating protein while doing strength training will “help you maintain muscle mass, which means the weight you’ll shed during this period will be pure body fat.” Out of the three macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein), Cowin stresses that “protein will keep you fullest for the longest because it suppresses your appetite.” This is a big help when you’re trying to cut back, he concludes, noting that “protein also has a higher thermal effect than the other macronutrients, which means your body has to burn many calories to digest and process it.”