Eggs and Diabetes
Who doesn’t love eggs? Apart from being a complete protein, they are a nutrient powerhouse, are high in protein, and have also been linked to weight loss. However, the excessive intake of egg yolk has been long connected to high cholesterol and weight gain. As such, the debate as to whether eggs are a good food source for diabetes remains.
The article looks at the connection between egg and diabetes and diabetes and eggs.
- Protein 13 g
- Carbohydrate 1.1 g
- Fat 11 g
- Fiber 0 g
- Sugar 1.1 g
- Cholesterol 0 g
Nutritional Value of Eggs
According to the USDA, one large whole egg contains only 0.36 g of carbs, implying minimal blood sugar elevations. What’s more, you get an impressive 6.3 g of protein and just 4.76 g of fat alongside a low-calorie count of 71.5 cal. Sadly, they contain zero fiber.
Omega-3s, which are good fats for persons with diabetes, are abundant in eggs from pasture-raised chickens. Eggs, like all pure protein foods, also have a low glycemic index (zero in this case). Thus, they have little effect on blood glucose levels.
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Benefits of Egg Consumption for Diabetes
Aids Weight Management
Eggs are one of the best food options for weight loss due to their elevated levels of high-quality protein and relatively low-calorie count. Namely, their associated high satiety levels reduce hunger and promote feelings of satisfaction. Moreover, the intake of eggs may help limit glucose fluctuations, beneficial in the long-term management of eating patterns.
Eggs are a good source of dietary phospholipids — bioactive molecules with anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in the journal Nutrients recently connected dietary intake of phospholipids to a lowered number of inflammation biomarkers.
This is particularly beneficial as inflammation reduction has many health benefits for diabetics, ranging from reduced cardiovascular disease risk to an enhanced ability to break down fat in the body.
Fatigue is a common issue with diabetes and can lead to high blood pressure and other complications. Thankfully, supplementing your diet with lysine lowers anxiety and stress levels, presumably via modifying serotonin in the neurological system, according to a 2004 study.
Lysine is an essential amino acid that your body cannot make on its own and must be obtained from food. Eggs are one of the best sources of lysine — drawing from its RDA of 38 mg/kg, one large whole egg provides 16% DV (0.456 g) of lysine for a 75-kg adult.
Strengthens the Immune System
The importance of a robust immunity system in diabetes cannot be overemphasized. Namely, it provides resistance to various diabetes-related conditions.
Hence, if you don't want to play chicken with illnesses, viruses, and diseases, it’s advised you add an egg or two to your daily diet. Selenium, a vitamin that helps maintain your immune system and regulate thyroid hormones, is abundant in eggs — an impressive 28% DV (15.4 mcg) in just one large whole egg.
Increases Energy Levels
Generally, people living with diabetes experience decreased energy levels. Fortunately, one large whole egg offers a whopping 17.6% DV (0.229 mg) of vitamin B2, commonly known as riboflavin. This vitamin is one of the eight B vitamins that work together to help the body convert food into fuel, essential for energy generation.
Lowers Heart Disease Risk
According to a study, consuming an extra two eggs daily for six weeks boosts serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) by an impressive 10%. This is beneficial for diabetics as higher HDL levels are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health issues.
Other Research on Diabetes and Eggs
While there's been no thorough study on egg white and diabetes, experts say eating one egg each day could lower a person's risk of diabetes.
According to a 2018 randomized controlled trial, eating eggs daily can help persons with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes improve their fasting blood glucose levels. Another 2015 research from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proves that consuming a high-egg diet does not cause a deleterious change in lipid profile in persons with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes and can be safely included in their diet.
Concerns About Egg Consumption
If you have diabetes, you should still limit your egg consumption. According to current recommendations, a diabetic should consume no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. One large whole egg yields 186 mg of cholesterol — this means you can easily exceed the recommended daily intake by eating just two eggs.
However, most of its cholesterol content is found in the yolk. Hence, you can eat more egg white while avoiding excessive consumption of the yolk.
Overall, high levels of egg intake may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. While the link isn't clear, researchers suspect that consuming too much cholesterol from animal sources may enhance those risks.
Eggs are an excellent protein food choice for diabetics, according to the American Diabetes Association. Hence, if you have diabetes, it’s relatively safe and beneficial to stick to only one egg daily.
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