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BEIC comment on article in Clinical Nutrition on egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease

12/03/2021

The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) has reiterated that there is no convincing evidence of a link between consuming eggs as part of a healthy diet and risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

A paper published in Clinical Nutrition1 on 11 March 2021 analysed several large US surveys to investigate associations between egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes or coronary heart disease.  The authors concluded that egg consumption is not associated with risk of heart disease but suggested an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in people eating more than 2 eggs a week. 

“Other observational studies – for example a study of nearly 40,000 Danish adults published this week – have found that eggs are linked with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, or have no link2,” says UK dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton.  

The Danish study3 found that swapping 100g of red meat for a serving of eggs lowered diabetes risk by nearly 3 per cent.

“Eggs contain negligible carbohydrate, are low in fat, high in protein and rich in vitamin D. Clinical trials have reported that eggs support weight management4 – which is a benefit for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. High egg diets, providing 12 eggs a week, have been shown to be safe in people living with type 2 diabetes5.”

“Eggs are safe for everyone to eat. The NHS advises that eggs are a good choice as part of a healthy, balanced diet and there is no limit on how many eggs people can eat, a recommendation which is backed by all major UK heart and health advisory bodies,” concludes Dr Ruxton.
 

[1] Egg consumption, overall diet quality, and risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease: a pooling project of US prospective cohorts

[2]Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: findings from 3 large US cohort studies of men and women and a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies - PubMed (nih.gov)

[3] Replacing Red Meat with Other Nonmeat Food Sources of Protein is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in a Danish Cohort of Middle-Aged Adults - PubMed (nih.gov)

[4] Why Eggs Are a Killer Weight Loss Food (healthline.com)

[5] Effect of a high-egg diet on cardiometabolic risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) Study-randomized weight-loss and follow-up phase - PubMed (nih.gov)