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Are eggs good for you, or do they cause heart disease and diabetes? That’s the “great egg debate” that’s been going on for years.
Eggs are high in protein, so they should be great for balancing blood sugar and filling you up when you’re trying to lose weight.
But there is also the cholesterol controversy surrounding eggs — that eating too many eggs could set you up for heart disease.
Research, too, has been ongoing into just how eating eggs affects other health issues.
The latest research, when added to past work on this topic, may give us the answer we all want to hear…
Research on eggs and diabetes
A long-term study that ran from 1991 to 2009 found that people who regularly ate one or more eggs per day increased their risk of diabetes by 60 percent — and that this effect was greater in women than in men.
The study was conducted by public health experts at the University of South Australia, in partnership with the China Medical University and Qatar University.
Study subjects were 8,545 Chinese adults (average age 50 years) who were participating in the China Health and Nutrition Survey.
Dr. Ming Li, an epidemiologist at the University of South Australia, explains why this study was undertaken, and why it is important.
“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.”
But not so fast…
Conflicting results wipe out the egg’s bad rap
Researchers at the University of British Columbia would disagree with the above findings.
Their study of people with well-managed diabetes concluded that eggs are, in fact, the best breakfast there is for controlling blood sugar levels.
Study participants ate an omelet for breakfast one day, then fruit and oatmeal the next. Their glucose levels were monitored continuously throughout the day (they ate the same lunch and dinner on both days).
When they had an omelet for breakfast, there were none of the blood sugar spikes that many diabetics experience after breakfast, and their blood sugar levels remained more stable over the following 24 hours.
Another plus: Participants reported feeling less hungry throughout the day and having fewer sugar cravings on the day they ate the omelet for breakfast.
The reason for these results?
The researchers believe that eating a high-fat, low-carb meal for breakfast sets you up for healthy blood sugar levels for the rest of the day. This is true, they say, whether you are diabetic or not.
Could the news about eggs get any better? Yes…
One large study has saved the egg’s reputation
To try and answer this question once and for all, a team of researchers from the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) at McMaster University in Hamilton examined data from three large, long-term studies.
Rather than taking a small sample, they looked at the egg-eating habits of 177,555 people from 50 countries across the world.
As long as you stay at one egg a day or less you’re not increasing your risk for diabetes or heart disease.
Why the difference in conclusion here?
The Canadian researchers maintain that other studies simply aren’t big enough or extensive enough to come to any reliable conclusions.
So, rather than being afraid of eggs, you can rely on them as part of a high-protein breakfast that will help maintain your energy level throughout the day.
Just don’t go to egg-cess, and you’ll be fine.
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