Some years before it was believed that consuming an egg daily will reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. But a study published in the British journal of Nutrition shows that eggs may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
“Diet is a known and modifiable factor that contributes to the onset of Type 2 diabetes, so understanding the range of dietary factors that might impact the growing prevalence of the disease is important,” Dr Li says.
Participants who consumed greater amount of eggs were physically less active, consumed more fat and animal protein. They also had high levels of serum cholesterol. The possible mechanisms for the increased risk for diabetes include oxidation and inflammation from choline found in egg yolks and hindered carbohydrate absorption, which is due to the chemical present in the egg whites.
The authors suggest the rise in the egg consumption may be due to increased affordability of eggs and an over shift towards the western diets which is low in vegetables, high in meat and fatty foods. The people are now found to move away from a traditional diet comprising of vegetables, pulses and grains to a diet full of processed foods like greater amount of red meat, snacks, energy dense food, and fatty food.
University of South Australia conducted this research in partnership with China Medical University, and Qatar University from 1991 to 2009. During this period it was noticed the consumption of eggs amongst the Chinese population had increased drastically (almost double).
Dr Li said, “What we discovered was that higher long-term egg consumption (greater than 38 grams per day) increased the risk of diabetes among Chinese adults by approximately 25 per cent. Furthermore, adults who regularly ate a lot of eggs (over 50 grams, or equivalent to one egg, per day) had an increased risk of diabetes by 60 per cent. The effect was also more pronounced in women than in men.”
Between the years 1991- 2009, researchers found that the average daily consumption of eggs increased continuously from 16 grams in 1991-1993, to 26 grams in 2000-2004 and 31 grams in 2009. The study population comprised of 8545 adults with an average age of 50.
International egg consumption across the same period was:
- 65 g/day in Europe
- 43 g/day in America
- 56 g/day in Asia
- 45 g/day in the world
- 20 g/day in Oceania (including Australia)
- 93 g/day in Africa.