As of 2012, 29.1 million Americans were living with diabetes, with 1.4 million new cases diagnosed each year. Considering diabetes affects almost 10% of the population, continued research is necessary to understand lifestyle factors that influence disease risk and prevention. Two recent papers highlight researcher’s efforts to clarify the role of dietary fat and egg intake on risk for type 2 diabetes.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examines the impact of saturated fat intake on incidence of type 2 diabetes. Researchers found participants who ate high levels of saturated fat and animal fat were twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The study also reviewed the impact of different sources of animal fat, including yogurt, eggs, butter, cheese, red meat, processed meat and whole-milk. While butter and cheese were associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, whole-fat yogurt had the opposite effect. There was no effect of eggs, meats, or whole-milk on risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Another paper published in the British Nutrition Foundation-Nutrition Bulletin examines available studies on egg intake and type 2 diabetes. The authors note that research on eggs’ and type 2 diabetes have produced mixed results. For instance, previous epidemiological research saw a positive association between egg intake and risk for type 2 diabetes. However, these studies suffered from confounding factors that were not well controlled for. More recent studies show no evidence of increased risk for diabetes with egg intake, especially when eggs are consumed as part of an overall healthy diet.
The current body of scientific evidence has shifted to include eggs as part of an overall nutritious diet. While continued research is necessary to understand eggs impact on type 2 diabetes, available studies are showing that eggs can be included in a diabetes diet.
- American Diabetes Association. Statistics About Diabetes. April 1, 2016. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics (Accessed March 4, 2017)
- Guassch-Ferre Marta, et al. Total and subtypes of dietary fat intake and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea (PREDIMED) study. Am J Clin Nutr 2017; 105:723-35.
- Fuller, N.R., et al. Eggs and type 2 diabetes: Current evidence suggests no cause for concern in the short-term. British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin. 2017.