Breakfast Is Back: Diabetics Can Eat Up To This Many Eggs With No Effect On Heart Health
There’s good news if you like eggs: a new, comprehensive study has concluded that they do not increase cardiovascular risk factors—even if you eat dozens of them.
A 2018 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no difference in cardiovascular risk factors between a group that consumed a high egg diet (12 eggs a week) and a low egg diet (less than two eggs a week). Study participants had either type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, both of which are associated with increased heart disease risk, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure (for more on the link between heart health and diabetes, check out this article).
Eggs have gotten a bad rap because of their high cholesterol content, and people with type 2 diabetes have been advised to limit egg consumption, though studies have offered differing opinions on the effect of egg consumption. The Mayo Clinic noted the need for more research as late as April of 2018.
But the new study, published in May of 2018, is offering a confident answer to the egg conundrum.
A group of 128 study participants was broken into two groups and advised to try and maintain their weight while on either a high- or low-egg diet. At the end of the first three months, researchers found no differences in cardiovascular risk factors. The study continued, and for the next three months, participants began a weight-loss diet while continuing with their same prescribed egg consumption. Finally, participants went back to their regular diets while still continuing the same high or low egg consumption. At the end of the study, the high-egg participants had eaten 12 eggs a week for 12 months, or 52 dozen eggs.
Neither group showed negative changes in cardiovascular risk factors at any point in the study, and both groups achieved the same amount of weight loss.
The study was led by Dr. Nick Fuller of the University of Sydney. He concluded: “Despite differing advice around safe levels of egg consumption for people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, our research indicates people do not need to hold back from eating eggs if this is part of a healthy diet.”
The study monitored participants’ cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure, and found no significant difference between the two groups.
This is great news for omelette lovers. Not only are eggs an excellent source of affordable protein, but they contain micronutrients that support eye, heart, and blood vessel health. Eggs also contain vitamin A, vitamin B-12, and selenium, which support brain health. Anyone still concerned about cholesterol but still wanting to enjoy an egg or two can simply use just the egg white, because an egg’s cholesterol content is found exclusively in the yolk.
Looks like breakfast is back on the menu! But be cautious when rounding out your breakfast; bacon, ham, and hash browns are still firmly on the naughty list.