How Avoiding Eggs Could Help You Avoid Diabetes

What You Need to Know About Preventing Heart Disease
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Type 2 diabetes is becoming a global pandemic. We know the consumption of eggs is related to the development of some other chronic diseases, what about diabetes? There appears to be a stepwise increase in risk as more and more eggs are consumed. One study found that eating just a single egg a week increased the odds of diabetes by 76%. Two eggs a week doubled the odds, and an egg a day tripled the odds.

Recent studies, profiled in my video Eggs and Diabetes, have confirmed the link. In 2009, Harvard researchers found that a single egg a day or more was associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in men and women. This finding has since been confirmed in Asia in 2011 and in Europe in 2012. Reducing egg consumption should start early in life, though, as it appears once we get into our 70s, it may be too late.

For those with diabetes, eggs may then hasten our death. Eating one egg or more a day appears to shorten anyone’s lifespan, but may be even worse for those with diabetes, potentially doubling all-cause mortality, meaning egg-eating diabetics seem to live particularly short lives.

This is not good news for the egg industry. From a transcript of a closed meeting I got through the Freedom of Information Act, one egg industry advisor said, “Given the rate at which obesity and incidence of type II diabetes is growing in the US, any association between dietary cholesterol and type II diabetes could be a ‘showstopper’ that could overshadow the positive attributes in eggs.”

More Freedom of Information Act insights into the egg industry can be found in:

Flax seeds may help control blood sugars (Flaxseeds for Diabetes) as well as Indian gooseberries (Amla Versus Diabetes), but our best bet may be a diet composed entirely of plants (How to Prevent Diabetes and How to Treat Diabetes).

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 – 2015 presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

Image Credit: Lif / Flickr

  • Eggman

    What horse dung! I have chickens, am 68 years old and eat over 20 eggs a week. I’m 5’8″ at 160 pounds and my combined cholesterol number is under 200. I don’t doubt that eggs have cholesterol but the link to type 2 is certainly not primary. Type 2 diabetes is wide spread because most Americans have bad diets and get little exercise. With the amount of fast food we consume and the fact that most of us get out of breath climbing a single flight of stairs eggs are the least of our worries.

    • guest

      Having cholesterol lower than “normal” in a world where normal cholesterol is much higher than it should be is not a selling point for eggs.

      Imagine if everyone smoked, and you said that your lungs were only a quarter-filled with tar while everyone’s lungs are three-quarters filled with tar, so what you smoke is better than what they smoke. Sure, it’s better that they’re not almost full, but the fact that there’s any tar in your lungs is a bad thing.

      • starbar

        smoking and cholesterol consumption are two totally different things…we need cholesterol, we don’t need cigarettes.

        • Mike Quinoa

          “Cholesterol is so important to the body that it makes it itself—Mother Nature doesn’t leave it up to humans to get whatever they need from diet alone. So even if you ate a completely cholesterol-free diet, your body would make the approximately 1,000 mg it needs to function properly.”

          http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Understanding_Cholesterol.htm

          • Robert S Redfern

            Cholesterol levels are a meaningless measure of mortality but Homocysteine is.

            Every point above 6 is a 10% extra risk of premature death (and Alzheimer’s).
            The other absolute measure is Heart Rate Variability (HRV). The moral of the story is whatever you eat or lifestyle you live that elevates these numbers is stealing your future.

          • Mike Quinoa

            My comment was more directed to the fact that one doesn’t need to consume dietary cholesterol, but can synthesize the required amounts.

            The factors you listed are certainly important, but I don’t know if you can totally dismiss cholesterol levels, since from what I’ve read, no-one in the long-running Framingham Heart Study with a total cholesterol level of 150 or below has ever had a heart attack. Most doctors still seem to put some stock in them as well.

          • Robert S Redfern

            Cholesterol is a critical nutrient and as you say manufactured by the body. Since the human body does not make mistakes it is never guilty of killing us. Cholesterol does not load the gun nor does it pull the trigger. We choose to put unnatural stuff in our mouths and commit suicide. The high cholesterol was simply our bodies last ditched attempt to protect us. I disagree with Michael Greger regarding whole grains (and all high GI foods) but he is on the nail with animal products.

          • DarylT

            The idea that it is safe to ingest things that the body makes for itself is unfounded. Cows milk for example is loaded with estrogen, this doesn’t mean ingesting estrogen is a good idea even if you body needs estrogen.

          • starbar

            yes, Mike…I agree! I guess I stated that so it sounds like I was saying we need to eat it. We don’t but it doesn’t hurt to eat it either:)

          • Michael Gaines

            Correct and it can’t make cholesterol without FAT.

        • DarylT

          Do you even understand they were making an analogy?

        • Nichole Stephen

          That is where you are wrong, I think you should make Google your best friend after that remark.

      • Michael Gaines

        Well high cholesterol isn’t necessarily bad. In fact their is data that suggest low cholesterol leads to even greater death.

        It’s complicated. We all need cholesterol otherwise we would indeed die.we have all been taught HDL is good cholesterol and LDL is bad cholesterol. Well that’s simply wrong. We need we require both of them to remain alive.

        The real enemy is arterial inflammation. What damages or arteries is sugars and carbohydrates because we clearly find inflammatory markers when they are present. Cholesterol is like a roadways asphalt patch work. It’s designed to coat internal vessels to repair damage from inflamation.

        The problem is LDL small particulates can stick to the inside vessel where inflammation has damages the blood vessel. Small prticulate LDL will keep building up on a damages interior wall of a blood vessel. Large LDL particle don’t do this sticking action to the cell…so it’s harmless.

        The key is to reduce blood vessel inflammation. Aspirin helps some, but so do many foods. Fat lower small particulate LDL, Fat increases HDL & large particulate LDL. Your over all LDL will likely go up, but it goes up with an increase in both HDL (good) & large LDL (good) cholesterol with a reduction of small LDL (bad ) cholesterol. Your over all cholesterol may rise but it’s due to improvements in your overall cholesterol.

        Search foods that are high in inflammatory categories and eat them in plenty. Parsley, dark green veggies and herbs work wonders here. Use Fats wisely to pull greater nutrition from your greens & to benefit from increasing HDL and reducing small particulate LDL…

    • Thea

      Eggman: I’m sorry to hear about your cholesterol number. It’s my understanding that many heart attacks occur for people who have between 150 and 200 for total cholesterol. To be heart-attack proof, you need to be under 150. If you want to improve your cholesterol numbers, you could try giving up the eggs along with all other animal foods – and possibly avoid Type 2 diabetes at the same time. It’s a win-win.

      I agree that Type 2 is on the rise because of bad diet. But as we have seen here, that bad diet includes eggs.

      Good luck.

      • Eggman

        Thea, you seem like an earnest vegan but you need not worry about me. At 68 I’ve already beaten the odds especially since I have no chronic conditions for which I require drugs. Regarding the subject of eggs the latest research from, for instance, Harvard Medical School states that dietary cholesterol is not the problem but saturated and trans fats. Eggs have been vindicated and are considered an important source of just about everything our body needs for good health. Please, eat some meat (or eggs). Not only will you live longer life will be worth living. Besides, diet is only half the picture. I have been doing eastern exercise for over 43 years (no, not yoga…never yoga).

        • largelytrue

          Many people get to 68 just fine only to find that their health starts to crumble from cardiovascular disease in the next decade of life. I fear for some of my loved ones who are now traveling down exactly this sort of path.

          Dietary cholesterol to the tune of 3 egg yolks a day is likely to be at least 10mg/dL of LDL according to Hopkins’ meta-analysis of controlled feeding trials — and I’m giving you a very conservative estimate because I don’t recall the exact model parameters off the top of my head and I want to leave some leeway for various other margins for error, such as your claim that you are less susceptible to cardiovascular upset by virtue of genes or other aspects of lifestyle.

          http://www.ibcmt.com/2009-03-16-EffectsOfDietaryCholesterolOnSerumCholesterol-PaulHopkins.pdf

          Eggs also contain saturated fat as well as cholesterol. 3 eggs per day is about 4.9 g/day of saturated fat from eggs alone:

          http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/114?fg=&man=&lfacet=&count=&max=25&qlookup=egg+yolk&offset=&sort=&format=Abridged&reportfmt=other&rptfrm=&ndbno=&nutrient1=&nutrient2=&nutrient3=&subset=&totCount=&measureby=&_action_show=Apply+Changes&Qv=1&Q354=3.0&Q355=1.0

          That’s about 2.2% of the calories in a 2000 calorie diet, or more than a third of the AHA’s recommended limit of 5%-6% from eggs alone:

          http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Fats-and-Oils-AHA-Recommendation_UCM_316375_Article.jsp

          Any other fatty food or oil that you consume will likely bump up your percentage of calories from saturated fat, since most fats in food are a mixture of many fatty acids, including saturated fats.

          For someone who implies that he engages in a form of exercise which helps to straighten the mind as well as the body, I find it amusing that your words are also implying that life is only worth living with meat (or eggs). What a petty view of life that would be!

          • Eggman

            I’m glad I amuse you and thanks for the uninformed assessment of someone you know nothing about. There are really only two reasons for being a vegan since that is what this thread is really all about. There is the fearful obsession with one’s own mortality – pathetic at best and the displaced love of animals – usually caused by the withholding of parental love. You also lost the broader irony of my comment to eat eggs. Stop being afraid.

          • largelytrue

            You are reading into my feelings and eating practices a bit speculatively, and I think I have shown myself to be at least somewhat informed about the risks that may come from egg consumption; more than you, at any rate. Your original comment rests upon the assumption that you value health and lifespan. Should we call that ‘obsessive’ and wildly speculate that it’s due to the withholding of parental or matrimonial love or something?

            You’re called ‘eggman’, for crying out loud. You don’t think you have a few biases of your own to contend with in this topic area? It seems to me that your identity is a bit bound up with the practice of eating eggs.

          • Eggman

            For every web site you can find that claims eggs are the devil I can find one that says they’re a “super-food” and an important addition to any diet.  The Harvard Medical school is firmly in my camp and even the usually conservative Mayo Clinic cautiously optimistic about eggs.  You’re not well informed – you’ve just chosen a side.

            Actually, you’re fairly easy to read.  You pontificate about a subject that is far from decided in the scientific or medical community.  And let’s talk handles:  I’ve been “Eggman” for the length of this thread.  The site wanted a log-in and I thought it funny considering the subject.  But “Largelytrue”!  You’ve obviously set yourself up as an authority on a number of subjects.  I can’t imagine how tiresome you must be in a social situation. 

            It would be wrong to assume that my original comments indicate that I overly value health and lifespan.  I was a career Marine so how long I was going  to live was never a convenient or sought after subject.  I was making the point that eggs have been with me a good long time with no deleterious effect. No sub text there.

            Your addition of “Matrimonial love” to my statement was also telling and uncomfortably revealing.   You write like a woman so I’m guessing that you have some issues of your own at home.

            I think we can both agree that this exchange is deteriorating and soon it will be “F__k you” or words to that effect.  Not wishing to go there I’ll ask you not to bother replying because I will not receive it.  Instead I’ll move on and leave you to the pseudo -science of the site.

          • largelytrue

            You were calling statistical research “Horse dung” because you look at yourself and find that you are not on meds yet. This is like saying that climate change is not occurring because it was a hot day today where you are. It invokes reasoning that is ignorant of the general meaning of the science which it is commenting upon.

            This site is indeed not without its biases. It’s a weak scientific authority in general compared to peer-reviewed research because it is basically one doctor’s attempt at easily-consumed public health communication on matters nutritional. But a whole-food plant based diet is not that far removed from being the concensus view of ‘optimal’ diet in a complicated debate on diet, which is complicated for many reasons, not least of which being that many disciplines try to claim authority over the discussion, and that ‘optimal’ often turns out to be somewhat of an ambiguous word when groups make recommendations. Limiting dietary cholesterol is a goal of the CDC, the WH

          • Michael Gaines

            May, might, maybe, possibly are not worss of wisdom or reasons to follow…

            The longest fast clinically tracked was a man over 500 lbs that lost 276 lbs eating absolutely nothing for 383 days. His health only go better and better and blood work improved week after week etc. Are we to assume Water & Air is nutritious? Why know, but we could deduce his body consuming nothing but his pure fat stores was indeed healthy and beneficial.

            I’m not aware of any studies where egg only diets were assessed to determine the effects on serum levels…

            But an eggs is 6g protein, .5g carbohydrate, and 5g fat. It’s borderline ketogenic, or more Atkins-genic….lol. it doesn’t cause the pancreas to secrete insulin, it doesn’t raise glucose…

            There is a claim via questionaires studies eggs *may* cause it because some scientists see a coorelation on how people responded in survey…

            I’d be more concerned if a study with rats or pigs fed nothing but eggs were to develop type2 diabetes… But again no such studies. Or a control group of nondiabetic people eating nothing but eggs for 2 weeks with blood tests validating a relation exists.

          • rumicat

            Personally I want to be there to watch my kids grow up and be well enough to help them care for their children. If that constitutes a pathetic fear of my own mortality I’ll take it. Just went through watching my 70 year old father go through double by pass surgery and worsening diabetes. He eats pretty much the same way you do for pretty much the same reasons. I hope you make it to 100, but most people that eat the way you describe don’t. If they’re lucky they live the last 15 years of their life struggling to walk across the Wal Mart parking lot. Hopefully your love of exercise and good genes will see you through.

        • b00mer

          “Harvard Medical School states that dietary cholesterol is not the problem but saturated and trans fats”

          Three eggs contain: 4.7 g saturated fat, 0.1 g trans fat

        • Nichole Stephen

          No, you will not live longer by consuming animals and their by-products, that will only kill you quicker! It’s a proven fact that vegans tend to live much longer and healthier lives on a plant-based diet because that is what we are intended to ingest. If you consume animals, you are turning your stomach into a graveyard and the statements holds true, “you are what you eat”… well if you keep eating death then you are only committing suicide. Like you said, you’ve beaten the odds… for now!

          • Eggman

            Nicole,

            Some things to consider when determining what we are “intended to ingest”.

            1. Meat consumption kick-started civilization: Early hominids found a competitive niche when they began to capitalize on an ability to digest and derive sustenance from meat. However, the meat they could catch by themselves couldn’t sustain them especially in cooler climes where edible vegetation wasn’t always available. They had to learn to cooperate with other individuals to bring down game of sufficient size. This supplied greater protein for the group and allowed it to grow in size and complexity. It also eventually freed some for pursuits besides hunting and gathering. If early hominids had been vegans we’d still be scrambling in the grass for nuts, berries and the occasional beetle, and it would be dinner without a movie.

            2. Vegetables are the original cause of most intergroup warfare: In hunter-gatherer societies when a group encountered a numerically superior group they would just retreat since there was always someplace else to hunt and gather. If they kept any domestic animals they just brought them along. One day somebody discovered that some of the plants they gathered could be cultivated and agriculture began. However, after taking the time to plant a field and wait around for the harvest too much was invested to retreat if another group came calling. The only alternative was to fight in defense of the land. In essence, plant cultivation is the root cause of the large scale expression of territorial behavior in humans.

            Please consider this when you’re feeling morally superior about being a vegan. For support of these ideas and to see what growing your precious vegetables has done to the planet see the below link.

            http://www.theecologist.org/investigations/food_and_farming/268902/humanitys_worst_invention_agriculture.html

    • RudyKint

      Dear Sir:
      thanks for your message on eggs.
      My grandmother used as therapy and her patients in Catmon, Cebu, Philippines & Argao, Cebu, Philippines.
      The patients did not become Diabetic.
      I am 69 years old and with no diabetes. And I ate plenty off eggs even until now.

    • VeganChick

      A t 160 pounds your height you must be fat, since I’m myself your height but I weigh 130 only and still think I got some junk in my trunk. Must be all those eggs making you so heavy.

      • Eggman

        VeganChick, I’m guessing by your handle that you’re female. I am not. The degree of muscle density is much different between us. For a woman you sound about right at 130 – even a bit husky if you’re under 5’8″. However, if you were a man I’d say start lifting something heavier than a veggiburger. Check the life insurance tables to better understand what people should weigh.

    • Michael Gaines

      Actually diabetes has nothing to do with eggs outside of poor coorelation studies. The citation here are mostly based on questionaires and that’s not great science.

      Also it’s not true that regular exercise would cure type2 diabetes. A 600lb obese person has bariatric surgery and in days or weeks they are cured of their diabetes in 95% of cases. They are still fat, they aren’t exercising but their diabetes is gone?

      High blood sugar isn’t diabetes. It’s a symptom of diabetes. The cause is excess carbohydrate and sugars and a fat created only when our bodies are storing excess energy as body fat. So it’s a disease of a dietary nature only caused in the presence of excess energy we consume in carbohydrates.

      The disease is in fact a cause of excess insulin secretion. It’s a metabolic disorder whereby person secretes way to much insulin than is normally required to keep glucose levels normal.

      You get your sugar checked by your doctor. He say Ahhh your fine your glucose is 99. You think wow! Gres I’m fine… What doesn’t your know? He doesn’t know if you’re secreting 3x the amount of insulin to maintain that 99 level…

      I believe all doctors need to perform fasting glucose readings on patients. If you fall out side of a normal range of insulin its an indicator you are genetically predisposed to diabetes. This would also give you time to adress your eating habits to limit sugar spikes and insulin spike before your disease grows out of control.

  • Jerome

    I would like to ask Dr Greger on how to increase testosterone production without(or very low) saturated fat/cholesterol. Everywhere I
    research it seems to be the general consensus that to increase testosterone production (along with better sleep, more
    zinc/magnesium/vitamin D and such) it really starts with building the testosterone from cholesterol/saturated fats. Is there any way to
    increase testosterone levels while limiting/replacing cholesterol(or at least balance its negative effects with something else).

    Thank you for any clarity/information on the subject !

  • Tom

    Green eggs! I recently started blending two egg whites with a handful of spinach, broccoli or broccoli sprouts and then scrambling them. You never mention anything about egg whites. Do you consider eggs whites bad too?

    • Thea

      Tom: Here is what I share with people when they ask about egg whites:

      There are two problems with eggs, the yolk and the white. (To paraphrase Dr. Barnard.)

      With
      egg whites, the cholesterol issue is not in play. But egg whites are
      just as bad for you. Dr. Barnard talks about the problems that animal
      protein presents for kidney health. Other experts talk about the (strong
      in my opinion) link between animal protein and cancer. The question
      scientists then want to answer is: Is there a causal link? If so, what
      is the mechanism by which animal protein might cause cancer?

      If
      memory serves, Dr Campbell in The China Study mentions several ways in
      which we think that animal protein causes and promotes cancer. Here on
      NutritionFacts, you can get a great education on how animal protein is
      linked to the body’s over-production of a growth hormone called IGF-1.
      IGF-1 helps cancer to grow. To watch the series about IGF-1, click on
      the link below and then keep clicking the “next video” link on the
      button to the right until you get through the bodybuilding video. Then
      you will have seen the entire series.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/igf-1-as-one-stop-cancer-shop/

      And
      Darryl recently reminded me about the methionine issue. Egg whites have
      *the* highest concentration of methionine of any food:
      http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000084000000000000000.html?categories=1,18,9,0,13,14,5,4,42,16,17,15,6,3,2,11,7,19,21,12,10,8,22
      Dr.
      Greger did a nice video showing the link between methionine and cancer.
      So, there are two clear pathways linking animal proteins, especially
      egg whites, to cancer.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/starving-cancer-with-methionine-restriction/

      Darryl
      also pointed out that, “…high methionine diets increase coronary risk
      in humans. In its associations with cardiovascular disease and other
      disorders, homocysteine may be functioning partly as a marker for the
      major culprit, excess methionine.”
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0939475305001092

      And while I can’t find it right now, I believe that Toxins has pointed out two other health issues with egg whites.

      With
      all of the information we have about the harmful effects of animal
      protein in general and egg white in particular, I think it’s best to
      stay away from egg white. Why not get your protein from safe sources?
      Sources which are known to have lots of positive health effects and will
      naturally give you a balanced amount of protein? (ie: whole plant
      foods) Make sense?

  • starbar

    I’m completely confused by this information…and please no one call me an idiot for that! Is this correlation between eggs and DMII because people are eating processed foods along with those eggs? Because dietary cholesterol is necessary for so many processes in our bodies and if we are only getting cholesterol from sources like eggs instead of processed foods/carbs/sugar then then our bodies will benefit from it. We make our own cholesterol especially if we avoid it dietarily and we make extra cholesterol out of these processed foods and if we eat too much of them we end up with high cholesterol overall. I’ve known people that avoided dietary cholesterol completely and still had to be on statins because if not their cholesterol would be in greater than 500! I have always eaten eggs and meat and saturated fat-I am not Paleo-but was just raised on food like that along with vegetables and my total cholesterol has always been 170’s with triglycerides in the 50’s and HDL between 70-92! Those numbers equate to a very low risk for heart disease. I have never worried about saturated fat in my diet.

    I like to read about nutrition and health but I am so exhausted from all the conflicting information that gets put out there by people depending on their personal opinions and letting that dictate what they think people should eat and what information they think is valuable that they put out there for others etc. I am going to keep eating intuitively and stop buying into or reading about all the opinionated information/studies out there. “Studies” mean nothing to me. They can be skewed by all kinds of things no matter now systematic they are because we are human. Eat what works for you individually.

    • Darryl

      The egg components responsible for the association between egg intake and diabetes could be the high methionine protein, high levels of arachidonic acid, or the high choline content. It may also be some complex interaction mediated by gut microbiota, as suggested for choline and CVD.
      Divergent associations of plasma choline and betaine with components of metabolic syndrome in middle age and elderly men and women (2008)
      Dietary patterns, food groups, and nutrients as predictors of plasma choline and betaine in middle-aged and elderly men and women (2008)
      Gut flora metabolism of phosphatidylcholine promotes cardiovascular disease (2014)
      At the moment, all we have is the repeated association of egg intake with diabetes, and CVD in diabetics, in studies from diverse cultures (and background risks). Only recently have many humans lived long enough, on rich enough diets, to experience the long-term harms of nutrient excess in chronic disease risk, and the precise mechanisms aren’t always as well characterized as those for nutrient deficiencies.

    • John

      I am experiencing the same thing. I read Dr. Greger, Joel Fuhrman, and Neal Barnard, and they say don’t eat meat, milk, eggs or we’ll get fat, diabetes, heart problems. Then I read Dr. Perlmutter, Dr. Masley, Dr. Mercola and others, who say the problem is our brains will atrophy, we will get diabetes and Alzheimers if we eat grains and don’t eat enough fat. The latter group always says to eat organic pastured and non-GMO which I do. It’s so expensive that I can’t eat much of it, so I guess that’s my compromise. Lots of veggies and fruit, some grains (less wheat/Gluten), low to moderate healthy fat and very little free range organic pastured non -GMO meat/eggs/yogurt, etc.
      I don’t have time to sift through each study. I have work and children to raise so I guess this is the best I can figure out what to do.
      JOhn

      • DarylT

        Neal Barnard is someone you should trust, he does actual research, publishes papers in peer reviewed journals and does extensive clinical trials. He more than most has the actual proof to back up his claims. Likewise Dr John McDougall, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn and Dr Dean Ornish.

        I’d love to see some credible evidence supporting the outrageous claims the ‘grain brainers’ make.

    • Phil Larschan

      It’s easy to be confused. After all, that’s why the egg industry pays for “confounding studies.” Many of the same folks who brought us ads that smoking is good for us (Doctors choose Lucky Strikes,) have been seeing checkbook-science claims about the killer foods. Just to be clear, no dietary cholesterol is necessary for people. Your liver makes all you need. Check out this video: [http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eggs-and-cholesterol-patently-false-and-misleading-claims/]. (Just to clarify, there is no dietary requirement for cholesterol. Your liver makes all the cholesterol you need.)

  • guest

    Who knows what those people in the study were eating along with their eggs….corn tortillas? Toast? English muffins? Processed meats? Donuts? Potatoes? Sugar in one form or another? i.e: everything I just listed prior to sugar. I don’t agree with any study that just tweaks or looks at one part of someones diet and doesn’t take into consideration anything else they are putting into their mouths.

    • Han

      feel free to come up with your own study. I’d love to see the results.

      • guest

        My study is on myself Han. So far I can’t complain and I have never been worried about saturated fat or fat at all for that matter (monounsaturated, saturated, medium chain triglycerides) in my diet at all (I do not however, consume soy, canola, or vegetable oils, etc) and I have the very lowest risk of heart disease every time I have ever had my lab drawn. I am one of those people who believe that fat does not make us fat.

        Big companies pay to have “studies” done on their products and drugs and what not and we just trust that whatever the results of those studies are must be correct. That is just naive. My point is, if you are doing a study on people who you tell to add one egg a week or one a day or whatever…..it REALLY matters what else they are consuming. Wouldn’t you say that makes sense??? What I believe (and I am also a Registered Nurse) is that the number one thing that raises triglycerides and cholesterol/LDL levels in the blood is excess sugar…whether it is bread or potatoes or rice or processed, packaged non-foods, it is all sugar to your body and when your body runs out of cell space to shuttle that glucose into that sugar is then made into fat and excess cholesterol. Period.

        • Han

          Well then by all means: produce a study that proves these _beliefs_ and publish the results.

        • DarylT

          You shouldn’t equate processed sugar with whole plant based carbohydrates, they are very different things in terms of how they affect your health and body. At the very least you need to acknowledge the importance of fiber in natural foods along with all the other nutrients. Nature made us like sweet things because in their natural state those foods that taste sweet have what we thrive on. Starch rich grains and tubers have been the staple foods of all the world’s most successful populations and in whole form they’ve consistently been shown to be good for your health.

  • Frank

    It so easy to throw number ……………… I want to see the real study …….
    I personally saw study that said the opposite of this gentlement…………. it so easy to scare people….
    Eating egg is like eating chocolate or meat or carrots or fish or else ……
    Diversity is the word …..
    for example: eating carrots is good but eating 20 pound a week it maybe too much …. as your apetite will go smaller then you eat less other meals (meat/fish/vege/fruit/weats) then your body may miss important thing for your health ……..

    • Han

      As always, links to the “real study” are included. You can find them at “Sources cited.”

    • DarylT

      There ARE studies that show otherwise, but here’s the trick, cholesterol consumption has a plateau effect so that up to a certain level of consumption it increases morbidity then there is a saturation point beyond which further consumption has little additional effect. The egg board has been notable in publishing such studies that show people on already high cholesterol diets can eat eggs without further increasing their health risks, they neglect to mention that these people are already at high risk of heart disease and would do better to change their diet as soon as possible.

  • chateaux

    Looks like the dairy, eggs & meat triple death foundations are infiltrating NutritionFacts judging by these less than insightful comments.

    • Han

      It means they are really worried. Which is a good thing.

      • guest

        Worried about what exactly? Go read a study Han.

        • Bob

          …worried about science educating people and cutting into their food industry profits. Dr Greger does not profit from his advocacy, advocacy supported by clinical and epidemiological evidence.

  • Martha

    While the studies that Dr. Greger cites in this post and others may support his belief in a vegan diet, these studies should not be taken as proof. As others have commented, many research studies do not follow the protocols necessary to support the claims they make. I’m disappointed that Dr. Greger never includes the findings of research studies that challenge his beliefs. Good science and and a healthy sense of ethics requires that we all continually challenge our beliefs. This is particularly true for Dr. Greger who represents his information as good science that supports his claims. It’s a good idea to look at Dr. Greger’s citations and then look to see if the research has been peer-reviewed.

    In any case, I do eat high quality eggs from pastured chickens. So far, I have not seen any evidence that eggs from healthy, pastured hens are the poison that Dr. Greger makes them out to be.

    Here is summary and link to a review of research studies that looked at the relationship between eggs consumption, type 2 diabetes, and CVD that contradicts Dr. Greger’s post. : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24711708

    Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2014 Mar 24;7:121-37. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S58668. eCollection 2014.
    Egg consumption and cardiovascular disease among diabetic individuals: a systematic review of the literature.
    Tran NL, Barraj LM, Heilman JM, Scrafford CG.

    BACKGROUND:
    This study reviewed epidemiological and experimental evidence on the relationship between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks among type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) individuals, and T2DM risk in nondiabetic subjects.

    RESULTS:
    Four of the six studies that examined CVD and mortality and egg consumption among diabetics found a statistically significant association. Of the eight studies evaluating incident T2DM and egg consumption, four prospective studies found a statistically significant association. LACK OF ADJUSTMENT FOR DIETARY CONFOUNDERS WAS A COMMON STUDY LIMITATION. A small number of experimental studies examined the relationship between egg intake and CVD risk biomarkers among diabetics or individuals with T2DM risk factors. Studies among healthy subjects found suggestive evidence that dietary interventions that include eggs may reduce the risk of T2DM and metabolic syndrome. STUDIES AMONG HEALTHY SUBJECTS FOUND SUGGESTIVE EVIDENCE THAT DIETARY INTERVENTIONS THAT **INCLUDE EGGS ** MAY REDUCE THE RISK OF T2DM AND METABOLIC SYNDROME.

    CONCLUSION:
    Differences in study design, T2DM status, exposure measurement, subject age, control for confounders and follow-up time present significant challenges for conducting a meta-analysis. CONFLICTING RESULTS, COUPLED WITH SMALL SAMPLE SIZES, PREVENT BROAD INTERPRETATION. Given the study limitations, these findings need to be further investigated.

    • Gootgazelle

      Please read the “Acknowledgments: This work was partially funded by the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC). ENC did not contribute to the writing, analysis, or interpretation of research
      findings.”

      • Martha

        Ok, I missed the acknowledgement. But I’m still not convinced the studies Dr. Greger cites are adequate to determine that all egg consumption leads to disease. Here is another interesting analysis that looks at the kind of eggs consumed and how they are prepared. I don’t see anything about the author being affiliated with the egg industry. Plus, the author presents a realistic and nuanced conclusion. He think eggs can be beneficial for many people, but he acknowledges that “consumption may remain advised against in some metabolically/genetically-sensitive and/or hyperlipidemic individuals.” You may also want check out the references for more information on this topic. Please let me know if you see an conflicts of interest.

        Not All Eggs Are Created Equal: The Effect on Health Depends on the Composition
        http://www.onlinecjc.ca/article/S0828-282X(10)00011-5/fulltext

        • largelytrue

          You are aware that what you are citing is a letter to the editor, and that there is therefore some question as to whether it has passed peer review (it almost certainly has not). Looking at her publications in PubMed and some blurbs in the popular media, Shapira is at the very least a single researcher who is committed to a certain stance about the possibility of a slightly tweaked egg being much healthier. She has lead authorship on articles like “Egg Fortification with n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA): Nutritional Benefits vs. High n-6 PUFA Western Diets, and Consumer Acceptance.” That “Consumer Acceptance” facet is suggestive of the idea that she is pursuing industry interests or funding in some way, although not conclusive.

          A search of her name also reveals that she holds a patent related to modifying eggs for consumer acceptance: http://patents.justia.com/patent/6156351

      • guest

        Anyone can write anything…sorry!

    • guest

      Amen

    • DarylT

      You are yourself guilty of making claims without evidence. You didn’t provide a link to a study that contradicted Dr Gregor’s quoted studes so much as provide a link to a review that found many studies could not be meaningfully compared to each other. This is hardly surprising since so many studies have failed to take into account the plateau effect of cholesterol consumption where beyond a certain point additional dietary cholesterol has little effect. Dr Gregor has talked extensively about this in other videos, I think his evidence stands up well without bias and is not about supporting ‘his belief in a vegan diet’. You certainly haven’t yet demonstrated otherwise, perhaps you are a little biased?

    • guest

      in the UK reading works by dr. john briffa—should shed light on this issue, as well —when i look for the bottom line, i would be dr. david brownstein also why not a mention of lecithin in eggs

  • LG King

    Nice to see Robert Redfern on this forum. I look forward to some further interesting discussions.

  • anthonyp

    The saturated fat and cholesterol in eggs play a double whammy in the body, which can unhealthy unbalance our good and bad cholesterol ratios, Eggman, do yourself a favor and try to lower your consumption of eggs. Heres a great video: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/does-cholesterol-size-matter/

  • eggy

    Egg is mostly protean. I wonder if fish is simarly bad for health ?

    • DarylT

      Fish has lower levels of cholesterol, has omega 3 oils and numerous other differences.

    • b00mer

      Eggs are not mostly protein. By calorie, eggs are mostly (60%) fat. Like eggs, fish contains cholesterol, trans fat, and deleterious amino acid profiles. Fish are also concentrated sources of biomagnified pollutants. Neither are health foods.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/fish/

  • GettingBetter

    I never read anything by Dr. Greger about egg whites vs. whole eggs that include the yolk – I have switched to egg whites only and wonder how damaging or not that is.

    Everyone knows that if you have the good genes, you can eat what you want and smoke as much as you want and you will still live to be 100 with good health. It’s the overall population numbers and the occurrence of disease within that population that these studies are trying to uncover. High intake of eggs, milk, cheese, meat, sugar, etc. are things our evolution never had to combat up until 100 or so years ago. Our bodies don’t have internal mechanisms that tell us “HEY! TOO MUCH! I CAN’T HANDLE IT!”

    I did recently switch to a vegetarian diet (except for an occasional egg white omellete) and I found tremendous benefits: lost weight, sleep better at night, more energy, better digestion and bowel movements, lower food bills, better tasting ability, much better cholesterol/glucose/A1C blood test numbers. Actually, nothing negative. I slowly worked myself off all dairy (including butter).

    A recent pre-diabetes diagnosis and the loss of my gallbladder FORCED me to make this change – and the new diet has helped tremendously. Wish I could say I just woke up one morning, saw the light, and did it on my own – I’m not that smart or that disciplined. My hope is that I don’t follow so many others in my family tree who suffered years from diabetes and Alzheimers. All of them were heavy meat and dairy product eaters.

    • b00mer

      I’m reposting a comment regarding egg whites from NF Team member Toxins from the “Is One Egg a Day Too Much?” video [http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-one-egg-a-day-too-much/]:

      1. Egg whites are high in the amino Acid Methionine. Rice has 14 times less of this amino acid and beans 7 time less. When one consumes Methionine in a large quantity (like that found in egg whites), it is broken down into sulfuric compounds. these sulfuric compounds are buffered by the calcium of the bones. the result, over time, is osteoporosis and kidney stones.
      http://www.vivalis.si/literatu

      2.Cancer cell metabolism is dependent upon methionine being present in the diet; whereas normal cells can grow on a methionine-free diet feeding off other sulfur-containing amino acids.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu

      3. Insulin like growth factor is raised significantly by Methionine. Raised levels of IGF-1 = accelerated aging/tumor promotion.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu
      http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org

      4. Sulfur from Methionine is known to be toxic to the tissues of the
      intestine, and to have harmful effects on the human colon, even at low
      levels, possibly causing ulcerative colitis.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu
      http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org

      (information courtesy of Dr. McDougall)

  • Bob

    To the merchants of doubt (all of you bloggers on this site who profess skepticism):

    Your presence on this website is mystifying. Those of us who support the site have been reading the clinical and epidemiological evidence for decades, and here is the consensus: eating a low fat, whole food, plant based diet prevents, and if present reverses, most of the most common life threatening diseases seen in primary care. And such people as these just plain feel better.

    No one is telling you to change your eating habits. So by all means, go to the market right now, and fill that basket with pizzas, brie, rib-eyes, bacon, eggs, and a half-ham for good measure, and don’t forget the chicken. And if you’re tempted to reply to me that “everything in moderation”, then why moderation? Is it because you know that this stuff will kill you after all, so you only plan to eat some imagined quantity that will allow you to indulge guilt-free? Because plant based consumption has no such upper limit: you can eat all the kale you want without running up against some upper limit past which you’re at risk.

    You will never convince anyone who has studied the clinical and epidemiological evidence that you have a valid point on this subject.

    • largelytrue

      Do you understand that sometimes people find their way in here from social media, and that Disqus itself is capable of drawing people in to a site where they have not been before, which may not share all their views exactly but is within an area of interest? Do you realize that sometimes people need to think and learn and consider information from multiple sites before fully accepting the position of this one, and that remaining aware of the news and discussion on this site (even so far as having their own critical comments answered) can be a helpful part of the process?

      I think you should relax more, even though I do agree that there are probably some This post of yours comes off as somewhat intolerant of ideological breaks, and that in turn suggests dogmatism. That’s the kind of attitude that turns people off to a new movement, so I ask that you be careful. Part of NF’s appeal for me is that it has considerable mainstream appeal, and I would not want you to be among the insiders who detract from that.

    • DarylT

      LOL. First I must preface this with EAT MORE KALE! Most people do not eat anywhere near enough. Having gotten that out the way, here you go, the dangers of eating too much Kale.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/overdosing-on-greens/

  • LOL

    Using your reasoning, I believe that the increase in cell phone usage also parallels the increase in type II diabetes thus that must be considered a cause also….not good for Verizon.

    • largelytrue

      So you ‘believe’ that there is a dose-dependent, graded, positive relationship between cell phone use and type II diabetes in recent cohorts of American, Asian, and European populations, when statistically controlling for a variety of other risk factors?

    • b00mer

      And using your own standards for critical analysis, I guess we’ll never know if cigarettes cause cancer.

  • Tracker

    The scientific studies cited by Dr. Greger in his piece on eggs and Type 2 diabetes all appear to be correlational which are not really very meaningful. I’m 70 and have eaten eggs all my life and continue to have normal blood sugar as well as a good lipid panel without any medications. Likewise my grandparents raised chickens and regularly ate eggs through out their lives and lived into their early 90’s without ever developing diabetes. Same for my mother who lived to 97 diabetes free but loving eggs in all its cooked forms. So to say that the consumption of eggs causes diabetes is not meaningful or accurate….maybe in some people it does but I suspect in the majority of the population it does not. The rise in type 2 diabetes is caused primarily by the increase in obesity among the American population.

    • largelytrue

      This is “it’s cold today, so climate change must not be happening!” type reasoning in many ways. You do need to understand that Greger is not explicitly stating a causal link, and that a sensible model for type 2 diabetes may show eggs to be a cause for diabetes without being a necessary or a sufficient cause. Understand that in statistical models the type of causation that is being inferred is probabilistic and multifactorial — you seem to know this (with your talk about ‘primary’ causation) but are forgetting somehow to bring it to mind when using your family experience to dispute the findings. Even if avoiding a risk factor is not certain to prevent the disease, and hence produces counterexamples to a rigid rule of necessary causation, I will avoid the risk factor if it reduces the probability of the disease sufficiently, and the disease is sufficiently worrisome.

      I agree so far that the evidence is not so strong that eggs make an especially large, positive contribution to diabetes risk, and my concern about developing diabetes if all else remains equal is not among the main reasons why I try to avoid eggs. A number of things about me seem to be pretty good for preventing the development of diabetes over the long term, so there is some reason to think that the absolute risk reduction that I might be getting by avoiding egg consumption (to the tune of 1-3 per week) is probably not that great.

  • Don’t eat Pickles

    Nearly all sick people have eaten pickles. In a survey of 10,000 cancer patients, 99% were found to have consumed pickles at some time in their life.
    92% of people involved in air and auto accidents had eaten pickles withing 30 days of preceding the accident.
    97% of juvenile delinquents come from homes where pickles are served frequently.
    All pickle eaters born between 1880 and 1930 have wrinkled skin, have lost teeth, brittle bones and failing vision, if the eating of pickles has not already caused their death.

    • largelytrue

      Yes, there are some problems with residual confounding in prospective cohort studies, but they are still valuable lines of evidence. I don’t know enough to say that the bulk of the evidence presently suggests that eggs are a cause diabetes of type II, but if these associations are robust across multiple and various study populations, it seems that a causal link is more likely. After all, out of all the possible causal factors that correlate with egg consumption under a wide variety of circumstances, egg consumption itself is what correlates best.

      I agree, however, that while a causal link between egg consumption and physiological changes predisposing to T2DM is looking more plausible, the evidence is not yet particularly conclusive, and Greger’s tone is perhaps a bit too certain. This is basically what the authors of the British study said of the current state of the evidence in their discussion section. Even if there is a causal link between some components of the egg and factors disposing to T2DM, the effect size may be small enough that it does not account for the bulk of the associations found so far. There are still a number of reasons to restrict eggs as part of a strategy for reducing cardiovascular disease, but perhaps no strong reason to single out eggs as something to avoid if T2DM is all that you care about.

      • Don’t eat Pickles

        I just put in the pickles thing to lighten up the mood a bit. I eat strictly a whole foods plant based diet so wholly agree with this web sites message. And I really enjoy the comments. Except sometimes they get a bit testy. Happy day.

  • vegank

    Apparently, the fat in the blood makes it hard to transport substances including glucose and also worsens the insulin resistance. This information is from another Dr , Dr E Slywitch,MD, and others cited in a book called “Rethink food” :100 + Drs can’t be wrong by Castle, S and Goodman, A. (2014). (Saturated fats in this study include butter, milk, cheese, egg & meat ). They also discussed the correlation between cholesterol and diabetes, or the metabolic syndrome which backs Dr Greger’s study in this video.

  • Sue

    I have written before but not heard back on a very important element
    that is never mentioned. I am under a Dr’s and Nutritionist’s care who
    agree with all that you write. The exception is their stance that meat
    and eggs can be acceptable and very beneficial in small quantities IF
    it is pasture raised, hormone-free, and non-GMO meat. Obviously, this
    would make a huge difference! I am so curious what Dr. Greger’s view
    is on the popular Sally Fallon and Westin Price’s info. that
    substantiates the importance of differentiating between
    hormone-injected meat vs. natural hormone-free, pasture-raised meat.
    A response would be much appreciated!

    • largelytrue

      Seriously, Sally Fallon?! Whatever her popularity may be in your subcultural niche (and I suspect you are overestimating her popularity) her position is on the very fringe of nutrition science, she does no peer-reviewed research, and her educational qualifications are in English, rather than anything actually relevant to nutrition. If your doctor (really an M.D. or D.O.) and ‘nutritionist’ (what educational qualifications?) are seriously advocating the Westin A. Price Foundation as a source, methinks they are not thinking to carefully and giving undue leeway to a middle ground fallacy, presuming that correct practice and true theory is essentially a compromise between extreme beliefs. Rationalizing a circumstance under which animal products are Perfectly Okay is also good for relations with patients who don’t want to relinquish animal products and can’t abide with the idea of eating a diet with ‘unhealthy’ components in it, however small, and therefore want a doctor to sanctify their food choices.

      To see what I mean about the WAPF as an organization far on the fringe of science, you may want to look at some of Plant Positive’s coverage of the organization and its claims starting with the video here:

      http://plantpositive.com/blog/2012/3/25/tpns-26-weston-price.html

    • b00mer

      “natural hormone-free, pasture-raised meat”

      Hormones are signalling molecules. There is no such thing as a “hormone-free” animal. Any animal you consume will necessarily contain hormones. Eating grass instead of corn does not somehow induce a magical non-hormonal alternative method of cell-cell communication.

      Plenty of evidence exists to suggest that negative results associated with animal product consumption are in fact inherent to animal product consumption, and that feeding an animal grass instead of corn does not transform it in to something completely different. Heart disease and cancer studies that look at rural Chinese populations, the Inuit, and the ancient Egyptian ruling class support this.

      The impetus should be on your sources to provide some real-world evidence to support this statement:
      “[…] pasture raised, hormone-free, and non-GMO meat. Obviously, this would make a huge difference!”

  • DONELLA FLORENCE

    The matter is just awesome and very informative for the title and thanks for sharing this site with us.

    Usmle Medical Books

  • Andrea Baker

    I know egg and chicken are two of my favorite food. I have learned that egg and chicken are packed with protein. One lesson I learned from this article I came across with http://bit.ly/1GKDO2j but I have never realized how eggs can prevent diabetes. So, 2 eggs in a week, I am guessing this is enough where you can still say ‘healthy’.

  • jj

    There is no one item such as eggs that causes diabetes type 2. As in Dr. Greger’s next video “Eliminating 90% of Heart Disease Risk”
    it says:

    Follow men over time and those making healthy lifestyle choices are associated with a 90% drop in risk. Same with women, 92% of the risk gone. SAME WITH DIABETES–91% OF CASES COULD BE CONTRIBUTED TO BAD HABITS AND BEHAVIORS. That includes not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and maintaining an optimal body weight, may reduce the risk of multiple chronic diseases—not just heart disease and diabetes but stroke as well. Up to 80% of strokes avoidable with simple lifestyle changes.

    BAD HABITS AND BEHAVIORS That is not just eating eggs. There is not just one lifestyle/dietary factor causing ill health. Just as there is not just one lifestyle/dietary factor that makes us healthy.

  • tpkyteroo

    Problem: They have proven that a VEGAN DIET reverses Type II diabetes. Also, those with Type II diabetes who can’t lose it by losing weight, most likely have a Allergic Immune response to certain Non-Vegan proteins. This has nothing to do with eating or not eating eggs. It has everything to do with how the body responds to certain non-vegan proteins.

  • mom

    High Fructose Corn Syrup is a MAJOR CULPRIT of the diabetes epidemic in today’s society. Once my hubby started eliminating it from his diet (it is in breads, spaghetti sauce, sweet tea, cereals, you name it!) He can eat those same things with sugar in them and will be fine but if it has HFCS in it…BAM….blood sugar levels go up and GOUT attack comes on full force.

  • JD

    Now I don’t know what to believe. I wish doctors would make up their minds.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11514251/Four-eggs-a-week-can-reduce-risk-of-diabetes.html

  • Michael Gaines
  • Roy Whitman

    What a bunch of bullshit…. I am diabetic and was told to eat eggs…