Eggs & Diabetes
For many people with diabetes, the most challenging aspect of care is determining what to eat. As a diabetes educator, one of the many questions I’m frequently asked is, “Can I eat eggs?” Until recently eggs were demonized because of their high cholesterol content. But eggs seem to be making a bit of a comeback, particularly after the release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) Scientific Report.
The DGAC removed the prior recommendation to limit consumption of dietary cholesterol to no more than 300 mg per day because current evidence shows no appreciable relationship between dietary cholesterol – found in food and cholesterol found in the blood. Moreover, there are many factors that influence your blood cholesterol more than dietary cholesterol, such as physical activity, your body weight, intake of saturated and trans fat, heredity, age, and your sex.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) also recommend three healthy eating patterns—the Healthy U.S.-style, the Healthy Mediterranean-style and the Healthy Vegetarian-style. These healthy eating patterns, which have been shown to reduce the risk of major chronic health conditions—including diabetes, all incorporate eggs. However, the change in cholesterol recommendation and the inclusion of eggs in the healthy eating patterns is not an indicator that dietary cholesterol is no longer important to consider.
Studies show that eating one egg a day does not increase blood cholesterol levels in most people. But diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease. So, if you have high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes, you should monitor your cholesterol levels and ask your health care provider just how many eggs you can eat.
There is more to eggs than cholesterol. Here are some of the health benefits of eggs: