The People's Perspective on Medicine

Can People with Diabetes Really Eat Eggs?

People with type 2 diabetes have been told not to eat eggs–or at least not very many–because that will raise cholesterol and increase their cardiovascular risk. A new study shows that just isn't so.

For decades, Americans were warned not to eat eggs for fear that their blood cholesterol levels would rise. After all, egg yolks are high in cholesterol. Even after data showed that there was no link between egg consumption and cholesterol levels for most adults, nutrition specialists made an exception for people with type 2 diabetes. Because people with this metabolic disorder are at increased risk for heart disease, they were told to restrict their consumption of eggs.

What Happens When People with Diabetes Eat Eggs?

A new study shows, however, that even people with diabetes or prediabetes do just fine when they eat eggs (Fuller et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online May 7, 2018). The research built on a previous clinical trial in which the investigators randomly assigned 128 volunteers with elevated blood sugar to eat a low-egg or high-egg diet (Fuller et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2015). The low-egg diet included fewer than two eggs per week. The high-egg diet contained a dozen eggs weekly.

For the first three months, the volunteers maintained their weight while eating their weekly allotment of eggs. At the end of that time, the investigators measured cholesterol and other markers for heart disease. They found no significant differences between the groups.

Can You Really Eat Eggs for a Year and Not Raise Your Cholesterol?

During the following three months, the volunteers continued with high or low egg consumption while cutting 500 calories a day. Both groups lost weight during that part of the study. Even a further six months continuing with their assigned egg consumption did not push cholesterol levels up. That includes people who were eating 12 eggs a week.

The Bottom Line:

In conclusion, this Australian study should get rid of the prohibition of eggs once and for all. Even people with diabetes can enjoy eggs when they wish.

The authors conclude:

“A healthy diet based on population guidelines and including more eggs than currently recommended by some countries may be safely consumed.”

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Please don’t push junk egg industry studies. You have not helped people with this article. You’ve enabled harm to come to them.

DIABEGG was a shady study:

The evidence on eggs (preferably in moderation) is still extremely unclear. While a study recent published in JAMA suggests that people who eat any foods containing cholesterol are more likely to have heart attacks and die prematurely [], a number of other studies have found no link between egg consumption and heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, additional studies do suggest that egg consumption poses a risk. It is likely to be some time before scientists know for sure whether eggs truly pose a problem and for whom.

I use a liquid egg-substitute product, which has no cholesterol, instead of regular eggs in the shells!

It’s only egg white that will help both ways. No cholesterol and still get egg protein.

I have very painful feet. The doctor said it’s due to diabetes. I have been taking gabapentin for a few years now and find no relief for the terrible shocking pains in my feet. I am desperate to be pain-free from this, and now with the summer heat as well it’s not good for my feet. Please, please help. I’m in agony every day. Thank you so much.

I bought into that argument and after decades of avoiding egg yolks, which I love, I began eating whole eggs again. Since they were said to be safe, I ate six eggs every day, sunny side up. A few months later, my cholesterol, which was always normal, shot up well over 200 and my doctor wanted to put me on statins. So I went back to my yolk-free diet. I’m not into moderation. I do not have diabetes and was about 60 at the time. Please stress that your recommendations are dose-related.

I have been eating eggs my whole life (70 yrs), 2 per day as an adult, but my cholesterol is in the normal range below 200. During the early 90s however, I tried to follow the fat free, sugar free recommended diet which often included refined starches, and during a two year period I put on 60 lbs and was told I was pre-diabetic. Since then I started eating fats, protein, vegetables, eggs again and only high fiber carbohydrates, and although I was never able to lose those pounds, my A1C is normal as are my lipid values.

Subsequent DNA testing has revealed that I have 3 strong obesity genes although my parents and grandparents were never overweight. I attribute the fat free, high carb years to activating those genes to their maximum. MY RECOMMENDATION IS TO EAT EGGS! I fear the latest fad of gluten free is going to have a similar effect on people because a lot of refined starches are used to produce these ersatz foods.

good to know. I eat 2 eggs per day cooked in extra virgin coconut oil

I’ve enjoyed eggs for 87 years, eggs at breakfast are satisfying and stick to the ribs. My mom prepared eggs, every day, for my Aunt Josie and thank God she recuperated and gained her strength and energy. History: When my Aunt Josie fell down into a huge glass covered frame, she severed her artery.

This was before 911 was around. She called my sister at 6 AM and said in Italian, “sangua” (blood). My sister knew sometime was wrong and called our brother-in-law, a doctor. He summoned the ambulance and called his good friend, the head surgeon at the hospital.

When the ambulance arrived at her apartment, there was blood in the corridors. It was a miracle that she survived!

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