Is It Really As Simple As Oatmeal Versus Eggs?
The other day while moderating for our Metabolic Renewal facebook forum, a member stated that she was feeling confused about whether or not she could eat eggs as part of the recommended meal plan for programming purposes. While this may appear to be a simple question, over the course of hours, the thread in response to her statement grew longer and longer.
Forum members began chiming in with their personal opinions related to eggs and soon the question was almost lost in the mix of shared opinions. Some members were in favour of eggs, encouraging the forum member to view eggs as a beneficial source of protein. Others were almost demonizing eggs, sharing that they aren’t good for you or your health. It is funny to see how polarizing the topic of eggs can be!
If this question would have been directly addressed to Dr. Jade, the answer would have been very different. According to Dr. Jade, “your metabolism couldn’t care less about the latest book you read, guru you follow, or study you analyzed.” In other words, you need to let your metabolism guide you to answering questions such as “should I eat eggs or not?”. As for my answer, it also aligned with Dr. Jade’s philosophy around figuring out the foods that work best for you and your body.
Our programs align with Dr. Jade’s teachings in that your metabolism is unique, and your job is to figure out how to begin working with your metabolism, not against it. What does this mean in a nutshell? Figure out how eggs work for you and your physiology. Take time to understand how eggs impact your SHMEC. Tune into how your body performs and feels when you fuel with eggs versus other sources of protein.
So why add oatmeal to the equation? For many years while I was growing up, oatmeal was promoted as one of the healthiest breakfasts you could choose. It was often promoted as a “stick to your ribs” food choice, with experts claiming that it would help to keep you full for hours. And if weight loss was your goal, oatmeal would be a wonderful choice to assist with that goal as well.
Coincidentally, later on in the day after answering the forum question on eggs, an acquaintance of mine was sharing how he started to eat oatmeal in place of higher-sugar desserts at night. Rather than snacking on cookies or ice cream, he started adding oatmeal with a bit of peanut butter as his after-dinner treat. He noticed it helped satisfy his sweet tooth, and as a result, he lost a few pounds.
But what if over a week, you experiment with oatmeal for that same reason and find your experience to be different? Maybe you want to lose some weight and you realize that cookies or ice cream don’t fit in with your plan. As you begin to make the swap, maybe you notice oatmeal leads you feel hungrier more often. You also notice cravings that are unusual and ever-present, and your weight is gradually increasing. Do you now think that oatmeal is the ideal food choice for you? Might you swap oatmeal with eggs and notice the reverse?
As a dietitian, I don’t have a strong opinion as to whether or not you should add or avoid oatmeal, just as I don’t have a strong opinion as to whether or not you should add or avoid eggs. In my mind, when I think of oatmeal, I automatically think of something that can be added to your diet as a starchy carbohydrate. Compare oatmeal to eggs, and I see eggs as the better and preferred source of protein.
From a macronutrient standpoint, you can think about your objective when deciding to include one versus the other, though eggs can certainly be a nice complement to oatmeal for a more well-balanced meal in the way of macronutrients. If your goal is to increase your protein intake, perhaps play around with eggs and see how they work for you. If you are wanting to add in a form of starch at dinner, and you are growing tired of things like potatoes or rice, try oatmeal for a while.
On the topic of health benefits alone, each food choice can provide your body with some benefits. If you want to learn more about how eating oatmeal can be beneficial to you and your health, aside from the impacts it may have on your weight or shape, here is a blog post outlining nine specific health benefits that oatmeal has to offer. If you want to better understand how eating eggs can be beneficial to you and your health, aside from the impacts eggs may have on your weight or shape change, this blog post shares nine health benefits that eggs have to offer.
Hopefully, now you are beginning to understand that there isn’t one way everyone should eat, nor one food that everyone must avoid versus incorporate. Every human is different metabolically, psychologically, and in their personal preferences. Whether oatmeal or eggs is a better choice for you depends on your unique physiology, and you may lean more toward one or the other based on your goals and preferences.
Find what keeps you feeling satisfied, keeps cravings in check, and allows you to see results. Remember that choices at one meal are influenced by choices at your last meal. So the right answer to the original question? It’s not as simple as “oatmeal versus eggs”. The answer is more nuanced, and by now I hope you understand why! Once you give up the notion that some foods are better than others for all people, you can finally determine what foods are right for you!
Photo by Ellen Tanner on Unsplash