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Is Breakfast Increasing You Diabetes Risk?

A new study appearing in the February 2009 issue of Diabetes Care found that eating one or more eggs a day may significantly increase your risk of type-2 diabetes.

For their analysis, researchers from Brigham Young and Harvard Universities reviewed data on 20,703 men and 36,295 women from the Physicians' Health Study (1982-2007).

All of the participants were free of diabetes at the beginning of the studies and egg consumption was determined using food frequency questionnaires.

Initially, the researchers found that participants who consumed up to 6 eggs a week had no increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes. However, once the daily intake reached one egg or more per day, the risk rose substantially.

Men who ate 7 or more eggs each week had a 58% increased risk of type-2 diabetes compared to the non-egg eaters in the study. Women who ate one or more eggs daily increased their risk by 77%.

The researchers note that these findings do not necessarily mean that eggs alone are a cause of diabetes. This is because other factors, such as pairing eggs with bacon or choosing eggs over whole grain cereal (which lowers diabetes risk), may play an important role in these findings.

Some animal studies have shown that high cholesterol diets may increase the risk of type-2 diabetes and eggs are high in cholesterol. For this reason, the researchers urge people at high risk of developing type-2 diabetes to keep an eye on their overall cholesterol intake, which may mean taking it easy on the eggs.

For all of you egg lovers out there, no need to remorse, you can always try using only egg whites in your morning omelet. Egg whites are primarily protein, contain little fat, and no cholesterol.

Eggs can also still make a significant contribution to a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. They contain around 7g of protein, and a number of vitamins a minerals including all the B vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin D.
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