Table of Contents
There is a straight answer to this question, unlike other health related dilemmas but one must delve into the details for a more comprehensive discussion. Eggs have no causal relation with diabetes. Eggs have nothing to do with type one diabetes. They do not cause type two diabetes unless someone is already predisposed to it or vulnerable owing to many other factors. However, there are some moderate risks of consuming eggs everyday and one of them is related to diabetes.
Nutrients in Eggs
It would be futile to demonize egg without first acknowledging the nutrients it offers. A large egg has very little carbohydrates, around half a gram. This has no impact on blood sugar. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, eggs are a healthy staple for diabetics, either in meals or as a snack. A large egg, including the yoke and the white, has around seven grams of protein. Eggs are rich in potassium, choline, lutein, biotin and omega-3 fatty acids. The potassium supports muscle and nerve health. It also regulates levels of sodium in the human body. Optimum levels of sodium are necessary for a healthy heart and cardiovascular functions. The lutein in eggs protects against various diseases and choline can enhance brain health. The biotin in the yolk of an egg contributes to healthier skin, nails and hair. Biotin also regulates insulin. Pasture raised or free range eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fats that can help anyone but more importantly are healthy for diabetics.
The Cholesterol Factor
The only concern with eggs is cholesterol. A large egg, when eaten whole, would provide up to two hundred milligrams of cholesterol. Diabetics should watch their cholesterol levels. Those who suffer from type one or type two diabetes and have high levels of bad cholesterol in their blood are more vulnerable to heart ailments or cardiovascular diseases. While cholesterol in eggs is a concern, it is not as much a threat or hazard as some people may have you believe. Dietary cholesterol, which is what you consume through various foods, has very little impact on the bad and good cholesterols in the blood. Genetics, lifestyle and other health factors have a greater impact on cholesterol in blood.
Calories in Eggs
One egg offers seventy five calories. Fat content is only five grams. Around one and a half grams of the total fat content is saturated fat. There is no trans-fat. Eggs are hence nutritious, not too heavy on the calorie front, there is no impact on bodyweight if consumed in moderation and there is an immediate energy boost courtesy the protein and its resulting impact on the metabolism of carbohydrates. Eggs can be more nutritious if they are combined with spinach, tomato and vegetables. Diabetics will do well with such a breakfast, meal or snack.
The Alternative for Diabetics: Egg Whites
Since cholesterol is the only concern, albeit when you diabetics consume too many eggs, one can always go for the whites. Diabetics should not consume two hundred milligrams of cholesterol or more in a day. Since a large egg with its yolk will have around a hundred and eighty to two hundred milligrams of cholesterol, it is better to go for the whites. There will be other foods that will contain cholesterol, for instance sausages and bacons. Diabetics should avoid bacons and sausages anyway. There are problems with shunning the yolk. The yolk is rich in vitamin A, choline, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. The whites do not contain these nutrients and hence you would have to let go off the respective health benefits.
The Ideal Solution
Diabetics should limit consumption of whole eggs to three or four a week. If you are consuming egg whites, then you can have one egg a day. Those who are not diabetic can safely eat one egg with its yolk every day. It is better to avoid other fat rich foods that would also contain cholesterol while eating an egg in any form. Poached egg or hard boiled is a better option compared to fried eggs or omelets. You can have two eggs a day if you exercise and you have normal blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
Eggs will not make you diabetic. If you are genetically vulnerable to develop type two diabetes, then egg will have little to no role to play in that. You would have diabetes regardless of including eggs in your daily diet. If you are already diabetic and are extremely concerned about the cholesterol in egg yolks, go for whites or choose egg white alternatives. You may choose tofu, a good source of plant protein, over egg whites and whole eggs. Moderate consumption of eggs does not cause or facilitate diabetes. Eggs whites are ideal if you wish to limit your cholesterol intake.