Researchers from the University of Sydney have cleared up several conflicting dietary tips about egg consumption, saying their new study found eating up to 12 eggs per week throughout the year did not increase cardiovascular risk factors in people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Based on a past study that found similar results over a period of three months, the new study led by Nick Fuller extended the experiment for the entire year. In the trial, participants were divided into two groups -- one who consumed a high-egg or 12 eggs per week and the other group consumed a low-egg or less than two eggs per week diet, with no difference in cardiovascular risk markers identified at the end of three months.
The same participants were then put on a weight loss diet for three more months, while continuing their high or low egg consumption. They have been duly followed up by researchers and both groups showed no adverse changes in cardiovascular risk markers and achieved equivalent weight loss, regardless of their level of egg consumption.
"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," Dr Fuller said.
The new study tracked cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure during the study and found no significant difference in results between the high egg and low egg consuming groups.
"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," Dr Fuller explained.
The study is important due to the potential health benefits of eggs for people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, said Dr 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."
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.