Eggs, Diabetes, and the Current Scientific Evidence

by Jen Houchins, PHD | American Egg Board | Nov 10, 2020
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer provide a limit for dietary cholesterol for healthy people, however,1 some questions remain about the cardiovascular impact in people with diabetes or impaired fasting glucose. New evidence supports that eggs can be included in a healthy dietary pattern without adverse effects linked to diabetes, and in some cases, can be linked to beneficial outcomes.

Data from the Framingham Offspring Study were used to evaluate the effects of dietary cholesterol alone and in combination with markers of a healthy diet.  No statistically significant differences in glucose levels across different categories of dietary cholesterol intake were found over 20 years follow-up, and there was not an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus or impaired fasting glucose associated with higher cholesterol intake.2  In a separate analysis, these prospective data showed “…no adverse association between dietary cholesterol and serum lipid levels or CVD risk amongst those with impaired fasting glucose or Type 2 diabetes.”3  Although eggs contribute cholesterol to the diet, confounding factors have been thought to impact the relationship between egg consumption and risk of diabetes.  A recent study found egg consumption is not independently associated with type 2 diabetes risk.4

A 12-week randomized controlled trial in individuals with pre- and type 2 diabetes found that adding one large egg to the daily diet for 12 weeks did not have a negative impact on total cholesterol levels.  In this trial, fasting blood glucose was significantly reduced by 4.4% at the final measurement for the egg group.5  Finally, participants with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes had no adverse changes in cardiometabolic markers when 12 eggs/week were incorporated into a 3-month weight loss diet.6

The American Diabetes Association7 and the American Heart Association8 encourage people with diabetes to consume a healthy dietary pattern that includes nutrient-rich foods.  A large egg provides eight essential vitamins and minerals, 6 grams of protein (12% DV), as well as 252 mcg of  lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids important for eye health.  These new data continue to support that eggs are a beneficial part of healthy dietary patterns.

Article from American Egg Board:


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture.  2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  8th Edition.  December 2015.  Available at
  2. Baghdasarian S, Lin H-P, Pickering RT, et al. Dietary Cholesterol Intake Is Not Associated with Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in the Framingham Offspring Study.  Nutrients 2018.  doi: 10.3390/nu10060665.
  3. Lin H-P, Baghdasarian S, Singer MR, et al.  Dietary Cholesterol, Lipid Levels, and Cardiovascular Risk among Adults with Diabetes or Impaired Fasting Glucose in the Framingham Offspring Study.  Nutrients 2018.  doi: 10.3390/nu10060770.  Diabetologia.2009;52:1479–1495.
  4. Sabaté J, Burkholder-Cooley NM, Segovia-Siapco G et al.  Unscrambling the relations of egg and meat consumption with type 2 diabetes risk.  Am J Clin Nutr 2018;108:1-8.
  5. Pourafshar S, Akhavan NS, George KS, et al.  Egg consumption may improve factors associated with glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in adults with pre- and type II diabetes.  Royal Society of Chemistry 2018.
  6. Fuller NR, Sainsbury A, Caterson ID, et al. Effect of a high-egg diet on cardiometabolic risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) Study – randomized weight-loss and follow-up phase.  Am J Clin Nutr 2018;107:1-11.
  7. American Diabetes Association.  Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2017.  Diabetes Care. 2017;40 (supplement 1): S33-43.
  8. Fox CS, Golden SH, Anderson C, et al. Update on Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Light of Recent Evidence: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.  Diabetes Care 2015;38:1777-1803.

Rose AcreTM Recipe of the Month

The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 oz milk or semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 oz dark chocolate chunk, or your preference
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, salt, and butter until a paste forms with no lumps.
  2. Whisk in the egg and vanilla, beating until light ribbons fall off the whisk and remain for a short while before falling back into the mixture.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking soda, then fold the mixture with a spatula (Be careful not to overmix, which would cause the gluten in the flour to toughen resulting in cakier cookies).
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks, then chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. For a more intense toffee-like flavor and deeper color, chill the dough overnight. The longer the dough rests, the more complex its flavor will be.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop the dough with an ice-cream scoop onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 4 inches (10 cm) of space between cookies and 2 inches (5 cm) of space from the edges of the pan so that the cookies can spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges have started to barely brown.
  8. Cool completely before serving.
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