The Completely Preventable Disease
Type-2 diabetes affects around 24 million Americans, maybe more if you count the number of people who have it but don't know it yet. And about 86 million more have prediabetes: high blood glucose levels but not high enough yet to get the full diagnoses. Most with prediabetes will get full-blown type-2 diabetes within 10 years.
Sad, really. Actually, it's pretty pathetic since prediabetes and type-2 diabetes are both preventable and curable. All you have to do is not be fat, move around more, and stop eating crap. All completely within your control.
Still, most of us have close relatives or friends who are on their way to developing type-2 diabetes, and it's probably not a good idea to call your mom or dad "pathetic" to their faces. So what can we do for them? What tiny bit of advice can we offer that would help? A new study is giving us an idea.
According to research out of Finland, men who ate four whole eggs per week had a 37 percent lower risk of type-2 diabetes than men who only ate one egg or less per week. (More than four eggs per week didn't seem to increase the positive effects.) This was associated with eggs' beneficial nutrients that positively affect glucose metabolism and help with inflammation.
The study followed 2300 men for almost 20 years, and things like activity levels smoking, etc. were factored in.
The researchers noted that many people avoid whole eggs because of their cholesterol content. Most progressive doctors and researchers are already backing away from the "all cholesterol is evil" mantra, noting that there's very little correlation between cholesterol intake and bad cholesterol in your blood. Also, we need dietary cholesterol for optimal testosterone production.
Researchers also noted that the overall health effects of foods are difficult to anticipate based on just one of its nutrients, like cholesterol. In other words, throwing out the yolks to avoid one "bad" thing may mean you're missing out on lots of other good things.
So if you know one of those 86 million people with prediabetes, tell them to at least have four whole eggs per week. And maybe move around some more.
- Virtanen JK et al. Egg consumption and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 May;101(5):1088-96. PubMed.