This seemingly simple question actually forces us to address a lot of diet questions about the hCG program. The oldest versions of this diet have very simplistic rules around protein intake without any discussion on the reasoning. Today we prefer to take a more analytical approach and break all food options down into their macros and then understand if and how those can fit into the daily target macros we give people to follow.
Eggs are one of THE only source of animal protein where the protein and fat and 100% separate and easy to isolate from each other. This actually gives it a nice advantage in that you can just use the whites and during the VLCD avoid the yolks. This isn’t possible with animal protein, so egg whites are one of the easiest ways to get lean protein without using some form of processed protein.
1 egg is made up of about 6 grams of protein from the egg white and 4 grams of fat from the yolk. Knowing that 1 gram of protein is 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat is 9 calories, we then know that the whites of 1 egg is about 25 calories, and the yolk from 1 egg is around 36 calories.
Protein macro targets while on hCG are one of the most important dietary variables, as it will be the primary way to ensure muscle preservation while on the hCG diet. Older versions of the hCG diet don’t typically allow for enough protein, so as an example, we would recommend around 110g of actual protein for an average female 5’6 and 180 lb. For reference 1oz of chicken breast has about 7g of actual protein.
When you’re tracking the diet with your individual macro targets then you can see 1 egg white as 6 grams in your allowance of (in this example) 110g. Almost the same amount of protein as 1oz of chicken breast and 100% interchangeable. Protein is protein, but some older versions of the hCG diet don’t take into consideration the actual reason you would limit any specific type of protein which is its fat content.
So yes, egg whites are ok, whole eggs or the yolk would be adding unwanted dietary fat and so are not recommended. An egg white scramble or omelet with leafy greens, garlic, salt/pepper would work with the target hCG diet macros as its only contributing protein and fiber.
Some vegetarian patients rely very heavily on egg white protein as an easy way from them to get protein without carbs or fat which can be challenging for them. Some patients who are sensitive to whey protein sometimes opt for pure egg white protein powder as a reliable option to hit their macro targets.
The hCG diet can generally be summed up as a ketogenic diet with adequate protein, low carb, no fat. What makes it unique is that it is one of the few low fat ketogenic diets. Once dieters understand this in terms of macros allowances it becomes easy to look at any food item and understand if it would fit your hCG diet macros. The hCG diet recommendations seem like they are a delicate and highly rigid or specific set of rules, but the body only understands the food as macros.
For example, here is a rough example of around 7 to 8 grams of protein from various sources; 1 egg white = 1 oz of chicken = 1/3 scoop protein shake = 1.5 oz shrimp. The main rule is that the protein choice has to be lean, it doesn’t matter what animal or plant it came from.