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No link between egg intake and diabetes risk

Eating a dozen eggs a week poses no health risk for people suffering from diabetes, according to new Australian research.

The 12-month study found that eating as many as 12 eggs a week as part of a healthy diet carried no adverse risk for people suffering from type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study found that blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol – all popular cardiovascular risk factors – were unaffected by diets that vary between 1 and 12 eggs a week.

High egg diet vs low egg diet

The team, led by Nick Fuller, from the Boden Institute, Sydney Medical School, carried out the research as a follow up to previously published research that showed a high egg diet compared with a low egg diet had no adverse effects on cardiometabolic risk factors in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

In the published research, two cohorts of volunteers were established, all with either pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Members of 1 cohort ate fewer than 2 eggs a week, while people in the other cohort had 12. Egg consumption remained fixed throughout the year with volunteers asked to maintain, then lose, then choose their own weight for periods within the 12 months.

The results of the research, sponsored by Australia Eggs, found none of the participants showed any increase in adverse markers for diabetes or cardiovascular risk, and the weight loss outcomes were identical across both the low egg and high egg cohorts.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Fuller told the Australian scientific magazine Cosmos: “Our research indicates people do not need to hold back from eating eggs if this is part of a healthy diet.

“While eggs themselves are high in dietary cholesterol – and people with type 2 diabetes tend to have high levels of the “bad” low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – this study supports existing research that shows consumption of eggs has little effect on the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the people eating them.

“Eggs are a source of protein and micronutrients that could support a range of health and dietary factors including helping to regulate the intake of fat and carbohydrate, eye and heart health, healthy blood vessels and healthy pregnancies.”

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