By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
That’s the conclusion of a 2015 population-based study from Finland through which researchers monitored more than 2,000 men (ages 42 to 60) for nearly twenty years.
While previous experiments have indicated that egg consumption can improve blood sugar (glucose) balance, the Finnish researchers said that this study demonstrating a reduced risk of diabetes as a result of eating eggs was the first of its kind; limited previous research findings were inconclusive.
The researchers reported that men who ate four eggs a week had a 37% lower risk of diabetes than those who ate only one egg a week. The association between egg consumption and lowered risk persisted even after taking account of other factors such as exercise, weight, smoking, and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Eating more than four eggs a week did not result in any additional benefits of significance.
My Viewpoint: Eggs are the perfect food. I’ve said that for years, and always recommended eggs to my patients, even though many of them were worried about the cholesterol content of whole eggs. In 2015, U.S. nutrition experts declared – and at last – that dietary cholesterol is not a problem and there is no need to avoid it. Still, many people believe that whole eggs contribute to heart disease because of the cholesterol in the yolks. So they will only eat the white of the egg. They’re totally misguided.
What This Means to You: The Finnish study adds another good reason to eat eggs. In addition to reducing diabetes risk, eggs provide solid protein, healthy fat, an assortment of important vitamins and minerals, and about a quarter of the daily requirement of choline, a vitamin-like nutrient essential for the body’s production of cell membranes.
My Recommendation: Don’t be egg shy, and opt for organic or cage-free eggs whenever possible.
- Virtanen JK, et al. Egg consumption and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(5): 1088-1096.
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