To say that eggs are a controversial subject in nutrition would be an understatement. Perhaps no other food has been more widely debated by researchers, with there being no general consensus on whether or not it should be included as part of our daily diet. While eggs are super rich in vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients they are also at the same time detrimental to the health of many individuals. Their high fat and cholesterol content can cause many issues for those with diabetes or cardiovascular problems, and we will discuss precisely how in this post.
To start off, what does research say in regards to this controversial food? Recent studies seem to dispel the idea that eggs are linked to the development of cardiovascular disease or strokes in healthy individuals. Despite its high cholesterol content, whether or not one can enjoy this food without worrying about health issues depends on the person. In general, The American Heart Association recommends that one should consume around 300 mg of cholesterol on a daily basis. One large chicken egg typically contains 185 mg, which is a substantial amount, but can be balanced out by eating responsibly. However, simply by a matter of genetics some individuals may be predisposed to having higher cholesterol than others. Those with already elevated levels should naturally avoid eating eggs and other similar foods for this reason alone.
On the other hand, studies have found a strong correlation between the consumption of eggs and the development of diabetes type 2. Individuals who frequently ate them were found to have a 42% higher chance of becoming diabetic. As for those who already have either diabetes type 1 or 2, that same study found that they had a 69% higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Those are both huge numbers, and precisely why there is concern over the regular consumption of eggs as part of a healthy diet.
Despite these concerning statistics, this controversial food has tremendous nutritional value as well. The yolk of the egg, which is responsible for its high cholesterol content, is rich in vitamins A, B12, D and calcium, folate, and omega-3s as well. The whites are also beneficial in that they are a potent, low calorie source of potassium and protein. Selenium and iodine are both minerals found in eggs that can be difficult to obtain in other foods, which also makes them nutritionally valuable.
Here at diabetv, we always urge that individuals speak with their physician or nutritionist before making dietary changes. This is especially true for those with diabetes, since they are much more prone to health issues arising from what they eat. That being said, we feel that we can safely recommend for healthy individuals a maximum of three eggs per week. Ideally, they would come from organic, pastured raised chickens since they contain significantly better nutritional content from being raised in a proper environment. For those who are diabetic, all we can say is that they must be truly careful before consuming eggs or any products which contain them. Since they are at a substantially higher risk from developing problems by simply eating this food, they should consult with a doctor or nutritionist before looking to incorporate it into their diet.