Cardiometabolic Health

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.

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Eggs Can Fit into a Diabetes Eating Plan

Baked Eggs Cup Amy Campbell

High quality protein in eggs makes them a great choice in a carbohydrate-controlled diet.

The nutritional benefits of eggs have been well established, despite their dietary cholesterol content. In fact, the forthcoming Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 may no longer restrict dietary cholesterol intake, as experts agree that it’s no longer a “nutrient of concern.” However, researchers have questioned the consumption of eggs in the type 2 diabetes (T2D) population. For example, as part of the Health Professional’s Follow-up Study, Hu et al. (1999) noted a two-fold increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in men with T2D who consumed more than one egg per week, and 49% increased risk in CHD in women with T2D in the Nurses’ Health Study. Another study, published in 2009, looked at the relationship between egg intake and the risk for developing T2D; the authors suggested that an intake of one egg per day was linked to an increased risk for T2D diabetes (Djousse, 2009).

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Using Herbs and Spices to Inspire Dietary Change…For the Better

Eggs and Herbs

“If it doesn’t taste good, people won’t eat it.” – Chef, Jacques Pepin

Advice to consumers to improve their diet works when solutions balance convenience and cost with good taste. Using herbs and spices more widely in preparing food is one way to great tasting healthy choices. They provide flavor without adding salt or calories. Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND, summarized “The Importance of Flavor in Dietary Counseling” as part of a series of articles in a special supplement to the journal Nutrition Today entitled “Spices and Herbs: Improving Public Health Through Flavorful Eating.”

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