Eggs have been shown to improve satiety and increase circulating HDL. They contain nutrients that may reduce the risk of T2D and CVD. Current guidelines regarding egg consumption and dietary cholesterol intake differ among countries: Australia recommends a max of 6 egg/wk for people with T2D. The US recommends that patients with T2D limit dietary cholesterol to <300 mg/d and <4 eggs/wk; and the UK has no suggested limit, but they do emphasize a dietary reduction of saturated fatty acids. Previous studies regarding the effect of a high-egg diet had confounding factors and/or limitations with respect to data. Australian researchers decided to address those limitations by analyzing the health effects of a high-egg diet.
In a 3-month prospective RCT, 140 patients with BMI >25 kg/m2, and either prediabetes or T2D, were randomly assigned to 2 diet groups. Patients in the high-egg group consumed 2 eggs/day for 6 days/wk, while the low-egg diet group consumed <2 eggs/wk with 10 g lean protein for breakfast. The primary outcome was change in HDL cholesterol at 3 months, while changes in anthropometric measurements, vital signs, nutritional analysis, and satisfaction were all done secondarily. Blood samples were collected for FBG, HbA1c, lipid panel, C-reative protein, apolipoprotein B, CBC, thyroid function, liver and renal function. Height and waist circumference was measured and a patient food diary was collected at baseline and 3-months. Questionnaires were used to obtain food, physical activity and quality of life information from the patients.
The study results showed that there were no significant differences in HDL from screening to 3 months between the two groups. There were also no significant differences in total cholesterol, LDL, TGs, or apolipoprotein B. Both groups had no significant differences in FBG or HbA1c. Waist circumference, total body fat, fat free mass, BP, and HR did not show any significant differences. Both group had an increase in overall satisfaction with the diets they were on. However, the high-egg group showed a higher enjoyment with the food they were eating and were less bored with food options. The high-egg group also trended toward being more satisfied with a high-egg diet compared to a low-egg diet with a significantly greater satiety and less hunger reported after breakfast.
Previous studies and current guidelines do not provide a clear message as to the whether eggs are safe and suitable as a dietary protein source for people with T2D with a high risk for CVD complications. This study showed there were no significant differences in circulating HDL, LDL, TC, or TGs between the high- and low-egg diet groups. The high-egg diet group also showed a significantly greater food-acceptability score and scored their diet with less hunger and greater satiety after breakfast; this suggest that a high-egg diet does not result in boredom and may likely improve nutritional management in patients with T2D.
•This study compared the health effects of a high-egg diet (2 eggs/day for 6 days/wk) with a low-egg diet (<2 eggs/wjk).
•The high-egg diet group showed no significant difference in their lipid panel at 3 months, compared to the low-egg diet group.
•Test patients showed a greater satiety after breakfast and greater food-acceptability in the high-egg diet, suggesting that a high-egg diet can be used to help improve nutritional management.
NR Fuller. The effect of a high-egg diet on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) study –a 3-mo randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015; 101: 705-713.
Based on an article in Diabetes in Control April 2016