Type 2 diabetes: Eating eggs for breakfast every day could increase your risk

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Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health complications if left untreated, so doing what you can to control and prevent it is crucial. There’s nothing you can’t eat if you have type 2 diabetes, according to the NHS, but certain foods should be limited.

It advises you eat a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, to keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum, and to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner evert day.

When it comes to the first meal of the day, breakfast, a popular choice is eggs.

But while eggs are seen as seemingly healthy food, a new study found people who regularly consumed one or more eggs per day (equivalent to 50g) increased their risk of diabetes by 60 per cent.

The study from the University of South Australia, conducted in partnership with the China Medical University and Qatar University, is the first access egg consumption in a large small of Chinese adults.

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The prevalence of diabetes in China now exceeds 11 per cent – above that of the global average of 8.5 percent.

Epidemiologist and public health expert, UniSA’s Dr Ming Li, said the rise of diabetes is a growing concern, especially in China where changes to the traditional Chinese diet are impacting health.

“Diet is a known and modifiable factor that contributes to the onset Type 2 diabetes, so understanding the range of dietary factors that might impact the growing prevalence of the disease is important,” Dr Li said.

“Over the past few decades China has undergone a substantial nutritional transition that’s seen many people move away from a traditional diet comprising grains and vegetables, to a more processed diet that includes greater amounts of meat, snacks and energy-dense food.

“At the same time, egg consumption has also been steadily increasing; from 1991 to 2009, the number of people eating eggs in China nearly doubled.

“While the association between eating eggs and diabetes is often debated, this study has aimed to assess people’s long-term egg consumption of eggs and their risk of developing diabetes, as determined by fasting blood glucose.

“What we discovered was that higher long-term egg consumption (greater than 38 grams per day) increased the risk of diabetes among Chinese adults by approximately 25 per cent.

“Furthermore, adults who regularly ate a lot of eggs (over 50 grams, or equivalent to one egg, per day) had an increased risk of diabetes by 60 per cent.”

The effect was also found to be more pronounced in women than in men.

Dr Li says that while these results suggest that higher egg consumption is positively associated with the risk of diabetes in Chinese adults, more research is needed to explore causal relationships.

“To beat diabetes, a multi-faceted approach is needed that not only encompasses research, but also a clear set of guidelines to help inform and guide the public. This study is one step towards that long-term goal.”

Diabetes is also a big problem in the UK. Diabetes UK says if nothing changes, more than five million people will have diabetes in the UK by 2025.

While the study suggested excessive egg consumption should be avoided, eggs shouldn’t be cut out of a person’s diet completely.

Eggs are a source of protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, folate and iodine.

The NHS advises: “There is no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat.

Eggs can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet, but it’s best to cook them without adding salt or fat. For example boiled or poached, without added salt and scrambled without butter and using low-fat milk instead of cream.

“Frying eggs can increase their fat content by around 50 percent.” 

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