Cardiometabolic health is a relatively new term that encompasses cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Collectively, such conditions are the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. They all share similar risk factors (e.g., overweight/obesity, elevated blood pressure) which can be modified by diet and lifestyle choices. The available evidence indicates that eggs, when consumed as part of an overall healthy diet pattern, do not affect risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. Recent recommendations from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and American Diabetes Association do not limit egg or cholesterol intake, a change from earlier guidance from these organizations. In fact, several global health organizations, including Health Canada, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Australian Heart Foundation and the Irish Heart Foundation, promote eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet.
Given the public health significance of understanding cardiometabolic diseases, research on risk reduction remains an active area of pursuit. For example:
- A randomized controlled study in people with metabolic syndrome showed that those consuming three whole eggs per day as part of a reduced carbohydrate diet experienced favorable changes in HDL-cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and other aspects of the lipoprotein lipid profile
- A randomized controlled weight loss trial in people with diagnosed type 2 diabetes showed improved lipid and glucose markers following consumption of 2 eggs per day for 12 weeks.
- An egg-based breakfast, rich in protein (35% energy; 26.1 g egg protein), promoted glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes relative to a high-carbohydrate breakfast.
Featured article in the July, 2017 Issue of Nutrition Research Update; written by Kevin C Maki, PhD and Orsolya M. Palacios, PhD, RDN from MB Clinical Research and Consulting.
Consuming a healthful diet and participating in an adequate amount of physical activity are key tools for managing metabolic abnormalities that can increase risk for both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. A growing body of evidence supports the view that a diet high in refined starches and added sugars exacerbates disturbances in carbohydrate (CHO) metabolism. Replacement of these macronutrients with protein and/or unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) may help to improve the cardiometabolic risk factor profile. The research team from the Midwest Biomedical Research: Center for Metabolic & Cardiovascular Health, Glen Ellyn, IL and Great Lakes Clinical Trials, Chicago, IL conducted a trial to evaluate the effects of a combination of egg protein (Epro) and UFA, substituted for refined starches and added sugars, on insulin sensitivity and other cardiometabolic health markers in adults with elevated (≥150 mg/dL) triglycerides (TG).1 Continue reading “Replacing Refined Carbohydrates with Egg Protein and Unsaturated Fatty Acids Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiometabolic Profile”
1. USDA ARS, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
2. Campbell B et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sport Nutr. 2007;4:8
3. Vishwanathan R, Goodrow-Kotyla EF, Wooten BR, Wilson TA, Nicolosi RJ. Consumption of 2 and 4 egg yolks/d for 5 wk increases macular pigment concentrations in older adults with low macular pigment taking cholesterol-lowering statins. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:1272-9.
4. Egg Nutrition Center. 2016 Health Professional Tracking Survey: http://www.eggnutritioncenter.org/content/uploads/2017/03/2016-HP-Tracking-Survey-Recap_web.pdf
Featured article in the Spring 2017 Issue of Nutrition Close-Up; written by Lynn Cofer-Chase, MSN, CLS, FAHA, FPCNA, FNLA
It is well-known that high cholesterol levels in our blood, particularly high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (i.e., the “bad” cholesterol) levels, increase our risk for heart disease, bypass surgery, etc. And it seems logical that eating animal foods that have atypically high amounts of cholesterol, such as egg yolks and organ meats, would worsen blood cholesterol levels thereby increasing our risk for heart attack.
Continue reading “Eggs & Cholesterol: Getting to the Heart of the Matter”
February is heart month, a time to build awareness around prevention and treatment of heart disease. Fortunately, for many Americans, prevention can be as simple as regular physical activity, avoiding cigarettes and second hand smoke, and following a heart healthy diet. Continue reading “Do Eggs Belong in a Heart Healthy Diet?”
In 2016, the long-standing limit on cholesterol intake was lifted with the release of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a decision based on years of research suggesting the connection between dietary and plasma cholesterol is minimal. This was welcome news for egg-enthusiasts everywhere, but came with one caveat: a compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) that appears to increase risk for heart disease. TMAO is a byproduct of choline, an important nutrient of which eggs are an excellent source. The prevailing hypothesis is that choline-containing foods, such as eggs, may elevate plasma TMAO. The good news is that it’s not quite so straightforward. Continue reading “New Research Further Confirms that Egg Intake Does Not Raise the Risk for Heart Disease”