SOURCE: ConAgra Foods

ConAgra Foods

April 18, 2013 10:42 ET

Egg Whites Pack Protein, but Leave the Calories Behind

Experimental Biology Research Preview

OMAHA, NE--(Marketwired - April 18, 2013) -  More than 66 percent of Americans eat eggs for breakfast at least once per week[1], and new research presented by ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) one of North America's leading food makers, at the 2013 Experimental Biology Conference provides good reason to keep making this breakfast choice -- especially when it comes to egg whites.

Researchers found that a portion of egg whites that had half the calories of two whole eggs was just as filling. In fact, those who ate 70 calories-worth of egg whites -- in the form of Egg Beaters -- as part of their breakfast instead of 140 calories worth of whole eggs actually kept the calorie savings through lunch. .

"Previous studies have shown that whole eggs are more filling than a high carbohydrate breakfast food, like a bagel," says Kristin Reimers, PhD, RD, Nutrition Manager of ConAgra Foods. "This new research shows that egg whites at half the calories are just as filling as whole eggs, which suggests that egg whites are an excellent choice for a light breakfast that will keep you just as full as a higher calorie whole egg or bagel breakfast."

As much protein and volume, fewer calories

The egg whites were a filling food choice because even at half the calories they provided as much protein and volume as the whole eggs. Since egg whites provide fewer calories per serving than whole eggs, swapping egg whites for whole eggs at breakfast can lead to a lower total calorie intake throughout the day. In the study:

  • 53 men and women were asked to eat a breakfast containing scrambled egg whites (70 calories) or two large scrambled eggs (140 calories). Both breakfasts were served with toast and a beverage too.
  • Throughout the morning, participants were asked to rate their level of fullness, hunger, satisfaction and desire to eat. Three hours after breakfast they were served lunch and invited to eat as much as they wanted. The amount of calories consumed during lunch was measured. They found that there was no difference between groups in the amount of calories eaten at lunch.
  • The study found that the Egg Beaters breakfast, containing Egg Beaters with half the calories of the portion of whole eggs, was just as filling and satisfying throughout the morning as the whole egg breakfast. Because the participants eating the lower calorie breakfast didn't eat any more at lunch, the lower calorie benefit of Egg Beaters stuck with them even after lunch.

"This research confirms the advice I have been giving my clients for years," says Tara Gidus, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. "Egg whites provide the perfect breakfast option for those trying to manage their weight. You can eat the same portion, for less calories than whole eggs, and the protein helps to ward off hunger pangs until your next meal."

A serving of lycopene

In addition to the egg white study, a second healthy lifestyle study was presented at the Experimental Biology conference that extends beyond the breakfast hour. It suggests practical implications for those who want to increase their consumption of lycopene. This red pigment is found mainly in tomatoes, and has been studied extensively for its role in maintaining heart health. The study found that:

  • People who increased their tomato intake to include one cup of canned tomatoes, sauce or paste every day for six weeks saw an increase in the amount of lycopene in their bodies.
  • This serving size of tomatoes is consistent with the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) MyPlate recommendations, and shows that eating in accordance to the recommended levels leads to increased levels of lycopene.

"Tomatoes are the main source of lycopene in the diet," says Reimers. "The results of this study indicate that eating the equivalent of one cup of canned tomatoes per day will not only help you to meet the USDA's dietary recommendations for red and orange vegetables, but also provides a significant amount of lycopene to the body. Examples of this amount include 1 cup of pasta sauce, a bowl of tomato soup made with 1 cup sauce, or a bowl of chili with ¼ cup tomato paste plus ½ cup diced tomatoes. Research indicates that higher levels of lycopene are related to heart health in men and women, so this very simple (and delicious) habit can go a long way in terms of health promotion."

This research was supported by ConAgra Foods, Inc., and abstracts are available as of April 20, 2013, via WEBSITE HERE

[1] Egg Beaters commissioned a survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans from Feb. 1-4, 2008 with a +/- 3 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's largest packaged food companies. Its balanced portfolio includes consumer brands found in 97 percent of America's households, the largest private brand packaged food business in North America, and a strong commercial and foodservice business. Consumers can find recognized brands such as Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hebrew National®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®, Orville Redenbacher's® popcorn, PAM®, Peter Pan®, Reddi-wip®, Slim Jim® beef jerky, Snack Pack® and many other ConAgra Foods brands, plus food sold under private brand labels, in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club and drug stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong commercial foods presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice, bakery and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. ConAgra Foods operates, an interactive recipe website that provides consumers with dinner ideas and more. For more information, please visit us at

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