Reducing Egg Consumption May Decrease Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Did You Know…that reducing egg consumption may decrease risk for type 2 diabetes?

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014, 29.1 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, and 8.1 million of them don’t even know it.  As the 7th leading cause of death, type 2 diabetes shows no sign of decline, but continues to increase alongside rising rates of obesity and heart disease.

Whether you’re looking to reduce your risk or manage the disease, it’s essential to stay on top of dietary intake.  It’s worth noting that some studies suggest eggs may play a role in diabetes risk.

Eggs Increase Risk of Developing Diabetes 

The U.S. is the world’s leading manufacturer of eggs, and as egg consumption in America increases, so has the diabetes trend.  In 2009, Harvard researchers analyzed nearly three decades worth of data from the Physician’s Health Study—made up of over 20,000 men 40 years old and up—and nearly two decades of data from the Women’s Health Study—made up of over 36,000 women 45 years old and up.

All participants in both the male and female arms of analysis were diabetes free at baseline.  The overall finding?  Diabetes was more common in men and women who reported eating more than 1 egg per week on average.

After the researchers adjusted for traditional diabetes risk factors and compared results with no egg consumption, they found:

  • Men who ate 5-6 eggs per week had a 46% higher risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Men who ate 7 or more eggs showed a 58% higher diabetes risk
  • Women who ate 2-4 eggs had a 19% higher diabetes risk
  • Women who ate 7 or more eggs per week had a 77% higher diabetes risk

In addition, a 2012 study published in Public Health Nutrition showed that participants who ate 5 or more eggs per week tripled their risk for diabetes compared to subjects who ate only 1 egg or less per week.

Eggs Increase Risks for Those Already Diagnosed With Diabetes 

If you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s even more important to monitor your egg intake.  According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating one or more egg per day can potentially double a diabetic’s risk for death from all-cause mortality.

Specifically, that study showed that occasional egg consumption didn’t seem to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but frequent egg consumption correlated with an increase in mortality in diabetic subjects.