Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2022

Thesis Advisor(s)

Maria-Luz Fernandez; Ock K. Chun

Honors Major

Nutritional Sciences


Human and Clinical Nutrition


Objective: Plant-based (PB) diets have been shown to positively affect the parameters of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). The addition of eggs, which are rich in choline and carotenoids, could also complement the beneficial effects of PB diets by increasing HDL-C and improving the other parameters of MetS. Methods: Twenty-four subjects with MetS completed this 13-week randomized, controlled, crossover clinical trial. Following a 2-week run-in period where subjects followed a lacto-vegetarian diet, subjects were randomly allocated to consume 70g of spinach with either 2 whole eggs or the equivalent amount of egg substitute. At the end of 4 weeks, subjects underwent a 3-week washout period before switching to the alternate diet. Anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, and plasma lipids and glucose were assessed at the beginning and end of each intervention period and after the wash-out. Plasma concentrations of insulin and insulin resistance were collected at calculated following completion of the study. Results: Plasma insulin concentrations and insulin resistance were slightly higher after the SUB phase compared to EGG phase and baseline, but the differences were non-significant. For the parameters of MetS, body weight and BMI were significantly reduced (p<0.05) following the EGG phase compared to baseline, but not following the SUB phase. HDL-C was also significantly higher following the EGG phase (p<0.05) compared to baseline and the SUB phase. Dietary carotenoids were significantly higher (p < 0.025) after both treatments compared to baseline. The EGG phase resulted in highest choline intakes (p<0.025). Conclusions: The inclusion of eggs in a plant-based diet increased dietary intake of choline, reduced dyslipidemias, and resulted in better weight loss outcomes for individuals with MetS.