It is undeniable that eggs are a great source of protein packed with nutrients. Yet, the egg yolk has a bad reputation for being associated with heart disease – owing to its high cholesterol content. However, this can be debunked to a certain extent as egg yolks are not entirely or inherently unhealthy, if taken in moderation, even for diabetics. According to the American Diabetes Association, eggs are well-suited for diabetics. Studies have shown that adding eggs to the daily diet not only improves fasting blood glucose in people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, it also reduces the risk of diabetes.
A study by Mickey Rubin and Jen Houchins (September 2021) found that adding eggs to a plant-based diet can help improve nutrient intake for individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes, without affecting their cardiovascular health. The 6-week study trial adopted two varying diet plans with participants who were individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes: 1) six weeks of pure plant-based diet without food items that come from an animal source (e.g. cheese, honey, eggs); and 2) six weeks of exclusive plant-based diet with two eggs.
The randomized and controlled trial found that adding two eggs to a daily diet had no effect on the measures of the participants’ cardiometabolic health which included their endothelial function, lipid profile, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and body weight, despite an expected increase in cholesterol levels because of the egg yolk.
In addition to being low in carbohydrate, eggs are also known for its low glycemic index which means they have lesser effect on a person’s blood sugar levels. In fact, studies show that consuming eggs as the first meal of the day is known to control the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients throughout the day.
The 2021 study also points to how eggs complement and enhance a plant-based diet, making it an ideal meal for those who are worried about maintaining their cardiometabolic health. Key findings are also in line with diet recommendations to add eggs for an overall healthy and balanced diet for anyone. The new data further builds upon existing research that highlights the value of eggs for people who have diabetes, and those who are at risk.
The way eggs are prepared also factor into the overall benefits. Poaching, boiling and preparing them scrambled with low-fat milk are some of the healthier ways. Instead of pairing eggs with sausage or bacon which are high in fat, pair your eggs with mushrooms or even avocado slices to reap the full benefits of this inexpensive food choice. Having two eggs and a plant-based diet are great alternatives for diabetics looking for a balanced and improved nutrient intake.