Get cracking- more good news to report about eggs

It’s time to stop limiting the eggs you consume-even if you have diabetes. Eggs have so long been vilified as a dietary demon that many people still fear eating them on a regular basis. This is in spite of the accumulating research which has shown that eggs are not the blood cholesterol-boosting food that we once thought. In fact, they are jam- packed with nutrition, economical and quick to prepare. But if that’s not enough, consider that they also help to tame hunger and increase satiety.

But while eggs have been given the all clear for most of the population, there was always one group where the egg-heart disease question remained. Those with diabetes, as they were at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke, were told to limit the number of eggs consumed. The research on eggs and diabetes was simply lacking.

Well, we now have good news as recent research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that those with diabetes can enjoy eggs in the same way as the general population. In the accompanying editorial, the author states, “Goodbye to the egg-white omelet—welcome back to the whole-egg omelet”.

But first the research. Australian researchers had previously showed that a 3-month weight-maintenance study had no adverse effects on heart disease and stroke risk factors for subjects with type 2 diabetes. They had compared those eating a high-egg (12 eggs per week) diet compared with a low-egg diet ( less than 2 eggs per week). In this investigation, the scientists assessed the impact of the high-egg regime compared with the low-egg diets as part of a 3-month weight-loss period which was then followed by a 6-month follow-up period.

Blood tests throughout the study period for risk factors such as blood sugars, the various types of cholesterol, inflammatory compounds were similar in both groups, leading the researchers to conclude that those with diabetes can safely consume more eggs than has been currently recommended.

Now back to the editorial. It points out that when it comes to healthy eating, it’s time to stop pointing to one food or nutrient as a villain.

And I agree wholeheartedly.

It’s the whole package or dietary pattern that counts. All the research keeps pointing to eating more whole foods and moving ultra-processed ones off our plates. Don’t point to one food as being a culprit while elevating another to a superfood.

That being said, I do think there’s room for egg whites in our diets. For example, if you’re making a large frittata – let’s say, for example, with 6 or 8 eggs- throwing in some egg whites can help to stretch the portion size while offering fewer calories. Pasteurized egg whites are also a boon for those who want to use raw egg whites in their cooking and not risk foodborne illness.

I will be posting more about eggs soon so stay tuned!

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Categories: Nutrition News

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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4 Comments on “Get cracking- more good news to report about eggs”

  1. Linda Woods
    July 23, 2018 at 11:48 am #

    Thanks for this Rosie. Is there a new weekly recommendation?

    • July 26, 2018 at 10:55 pm #

      I’m very glad to bring the good news, Linda! As for weekly recommendations, there are none – other than what would constitute a balanced diet ( a foundation of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts and seeds). The research has shown, though, that eating two eggs a day is fine.

  2. July 25, 2018 at 6:59 pm #

    Hello…thanks for your post. I was a strict vegan for a number of years, but started adding seafood and a little diary to my diet. For additional protein, I eat hard boiled egg white, but eliminate the yolks (186 mg of dietary cholesterol in 1 egg yolk).

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