The Truth About Eggs and Heart Disease (Hint: It’s Egg-cellent News!)
Australian researchers found eating up to 12 eggs per week doesn’t raise the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. The new study lengthened the testing time of an earlier study that got similar results after a period of three months. These results contrast with some research that has indicated diabetics should limit their egg consumption.
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The multi-phase randomized trial dealt with 128 adults over the age of 18 who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. In the first phase, half of the participants were assigned to eat a high-egg diet (12 eggs per week), while the other half were assigned to eat a low-egg diet (less than two eggs per week). All the individuals endeavored to maintain their weight. At the end of three months, no differences were noted in cardiovascular risk factors between the two groups.
Next, participants started a weight loss diet while continuing their high-egg or low-egg consumption for an additional three months. In the final phase, the individuals were followed six months longer while they continued their assigned egg intake.
At every phase, participants in the two groups achieved equivalent weight loss and displayed no detrimental changes in cardiovascular risk markers, explained lead author Dr. Nick Fuller from the University’s Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders at the Charles Perkins Centre. The risk markers included blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation and blood sugar.
Conclusion: Eggs Are Fine if Part of a Healthy Diet
“Despite differing advice around safe levels of egg consumption for people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, our research indicates people do not need to hold back from eating eggs if this is part of a healthy diet,” said Fuller. “A healthy diet as prescribed in this study emphasised replacing saturated fats (such as butter) with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as avocado and olive oil).”
“While eggs themselves are high in dietary cholesterol — and people with type 2 diabetes tend to have higher 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,” said Fuller.
Because of the potential health benefits from eggs for diabetics, as well as the general populace, the findings are important, said Fuller. “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.”
“Interestingly, people on both the high egg and low egg diets lost an equivalent amount of weight — and continued to lose weight after the three month intended weight loss phase had ended,” said Fuller.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The Great Egg Debate
Despite other studies like the one above that show no harm in eating eggs, some doctors still express concern, citing studies that suggest eggs may carry a health risk. On the other hand, a few studies have found eggs to be actually beneficial for certain health condition. Because of the differing results, the debate over the health effects of eggs is likely to continue.
Nonetheless, in general, the medical community seems more accepting of egg consumption now than it has in the past. When doctors started focusing on cholesterol in regard to heart health several decades ago, eggs were vilified. However, in 2015, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans added eggs, along with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish as “nutrient dense foods.” The change came in response to advice from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that said, “Cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.