Can eggs be part of a healthful diet for those with type 2 diabetes (T2D)? Research says “yes”. A study recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that consuming up to a dozen eggs a week may be safe for these individuals. This study adds to the growing body of evidence on this topic.
This study from the University of Sydney was a follow-up from a prior randomized controlled trial specifically designed to look at egg intake on cardiometabolic risk factors. It included 128 participants with prediabetes or T2D who went on either a high-egg diet (≥12 eggs/week) or a low-egg diet (<2 eggs/week). The study contained a 3-month weight maintenance phase, a 3-month weight loss phase and a 6-month follow up period. Participants remained on either a high-egg or low-egg diet throughout the study. The researchers concluded:
“A high-egg diet produced no detrimental outcomes in cardiovascular risk factors…for persons with overweight or obesity and prediabetes or T2D.”
Why did scientists question eggs’ impact on people with diabetes? Previous observational studies indicated egg and cholesterol consumption may be detrimental to cardiovascular risk factors for this population. However, the former evidence was from prospective studies, which can help identify potential associations. But only randomized clinical trials, like this recent study, can help address causality. This research adds to that existing body of evidence showing that egg consumption is not detrimental to those with established type 2 diabetes. However, more randomized controlled trials are needed for us to fully confirm these findings.
For this reason, health organizations, like the American Heart Association, have removed previous egg and cholesterol restrictions due to clinical evidence that demonstrates that dietary cholesterol does not raise blood cholesterol levels in healthy people. Eggs are included in all recommended healthy eating patterns.
REFERENCE: Fuller N, et al. Effect of a high-egg diet on cardiometabolic risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) Study—randomized weight-loss and follow-up phase. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018;107:1-11.