I was planning on writing something about eggs in my next monthly blog, but a new research paper out today has prompted me to bring that forward. The paper from researchers at the Boden Institute at Sydney University have now conducted two studies examining the effect of consumption of eggs on cardiovascular risk factors in those with Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. The first, published in 2015, was a three month trial in which participants aimed to maintain their weight while embarking on a high-egg (12 eggs per week) or low-egg (fewer than two eggs per week) diet. At the end of three months, there were no differences in cardiovascular risk markers identified between the two groups.
In the group’s latest paper published this week, also in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the same participants subsequently followed a weight loss diet for three months maintaining the same high (12) and low (<2) weekly egg intake and were then followed up for an additional 6 months. The two groups lost a similar amount of weight and there was no difference in the cardiovascular risk factors at any stage.
The researchers concluded that ‘a healthy diet based on population guidelines and including more eggs than currently recommended by some countries may be safely consumed'.
This is what I have to say about eggs in A Fat Lot of Good.
Eggs have had a bad rap for years and were probably the main victim of our cholesterol obsession. Now that it’s been agreed that cholesterol in food has no effect of cholesterol levels in the body, we can go back to enjoying the wonderful benefits of eggs. It used to make me feel like crying to see people asking for egg white-only omelets when all the goodness was in the yolks!
Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods, and arguably the single healthiest food there is. They contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, various antioxidants, choline, selenium, vitamin D and riboflavin. I certainly try to eat two to three eggs a day, usually at breakfast, but I’m not that fussed about what time of day I eat them.
A study from Finland found that egg consumption was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes as well as with lower blood glucose levels. Men who ate about four eggs per week had a 37 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than men who only ate one egg per week.
Similarly to beef and salmon, eggs from pasture-raised (properly free-range) chickens have an overall healthier nutrient profile, with more vitamins A, D and E, and higher omega-3 and lower omega-6 levels.
Remember, all the goodness is in the yolk, so please no more egg white omelets. And it’s never too early to start kids on eggs – a recent study showed an increase in growth among egg-eating 6–9-month-old babies.
Eat your eggs with nutrient-dense low carb foods such as smoked salmon and non-starchy vegetables like spinach or avocado, rather than toast. The traditional eggs and bacon is a pretty good way to go as well.
So there is no longer any need to be afraid of eggs. I would have at least 10 eggs a week.