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Eggs may benefit those at risk from heart disease

11/02/2011

Two new research papers published this month offer more good news about eggs. The first study* suggests that eggs could be beneficial for people at risk from heart disease. The paper indicates that a high-protein, reduced calorie diet which contains two eggs a day may have nutritional benefits and could help maintain a healthy metabolism in people with type 2 diabetes.

This joins a second research paper** published in the February issue of Public Health Nutrition which found that a ‘high’ egg consumption was not associated with significantly increased coronary heart disease mortality.

This research adds to the growing body of evidence that overturns previous advice to limit egg consumption. Eggs are now known to have little effect on blood cholesterol levels and do not increase the risk of heart disease.

The first study, published in the February issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, found that eating two eggs a day as part of a high-protein, low-saturated fat energy-reduced diet did not adversely affect blood lipid profiles in individuals with type 2 diabetes. On the contrary, the diet actually improved ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and boosted levels of folate and the antioxidant lutein more effectively than a low cholesterol diet which contained similar calories but was based around meat, chicken or fish.

Eggs are a nutrient-dense food, containing high quality protein and a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Eggs can therefore make a significant contribution to a healthy diet.

Dr Carrie Ruxton, a dietitian and registered public health nutritionist, says: “These studies offer more good news about eggs. There are clear nutritional benefits to eating eggs on a regular basis. Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein, low in fat and saturated fat, and are a great source of many key nutrients.”

References

*Pearce KL, Clifton PM, Noakes M. Egg consumption as part of an energy-restricted high-protein diet improves blood lipid and blood glucose profiles in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Br J Nutr. 2011 Feb;105(4):584-92. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

**Scrafford CG, Tran NL, Barraj LM, Mink PJ. Egg consumption and CHD and stroke mortality: a prospective study of US adults. Public Health Nutr. 2011 Feb;14(2):261-70. Epub 2010 Jul 16.