In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Research researchers determined the benefits of eggs for type 2 diabetics.
Diabetes in Canada is very common nowadays, with about 8.1% of the Canadian population living with diagnosed diabetes in 2014. Ninety percent of these cases are type 2 diabetes, which happens when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the insulin is not properly used in the body. Type 2 diabetes is most common in those who are obese, those who do not get enough physical activity and those who have a family history of diabetes.
Insulin resistance is higher in the morning
It is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle with diabetes, and one effective management strategy is to minimize spikes in blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet. Breakfast, compared with lunch and dinner, tends to produce the largest blood sugar spikes in people with type 2 diabetes. This is because insulin resistance is higher in the morning with individuals with type 2 diabetes, as well as the fact that breakfast often contains high-carbohydrate foods such as cereal, toast, and fruit.
Although these typical breakfast foods are healthy, some people prefer lower-carbohydrate breakfasts. Eggs are a common low-carbohydrate breakfast food, as their macronutrient profile consists of solely fat and protein alongside many vitamins and minerals. A Canadian study published in the American Journal of Clinical Research investigates the benefits of eggs for breakfast on blood sugar spikes throughout the day.
A total of 23 adults with physician-diagnosed type2 diabetes completed two 24-hour meal plans with the same amount of calories under researchers’ supervision. One day, they had breakfast with less than 10% of calories from carbohydrate, 85% of calories from fat, and 15% of calories from protein. The other day, they had a breakfast compliant with a standard macronutrient profile: 55% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% of calories from fat, and 15% of calories from protein. Both days had lunch and dinners with a standard macronutrient profile, and researchers continuously monitored the participants’ blood glucose levels throughout both of the 24-hour periods.
Low-carbohydrate breakfast reduced hyperglycemia
The low-carbohydrate breakfast reduced postprandial hyperglycemia, or after-meal blood sugar spike, and it did not negatively affect blood sugar spikes in lunch or dinner. It also reduced premeal hunger before dinner compared to the average breakfast. This is because low-carbohydrate meals do not spike blood sugar levels as much as higher-carbohydrate meals, as they contain less glucose. Reducing the amount of blood sugar spikes throughout the day is typically good for diabetics as it often results in fewer complications of high blood sugar.
These findings give insight into different strategies of managing type 2 diabetes and the benefits of eggs on blood sugar levels. More research is needed to examine the long-term risks and benefits of low-carbohydrate breakfasts. Everybody is different, and what matters most is eating a healthy diet full of nutrients to help you feel your best.
Written by Avery Bisbee, BSc Candidate
- Chang, C. R., Francois, M. E., & Little, J. P. (2019). Restricting Carbohydrates at Breakfast is Sufficient to Reduce 24-Hour Exposure to Postprandial Hyperglycemia and Improve Glycemic Variability. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,0, 1-8. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy261/5435774
- Public Health Agency of Canada. (2017, November 14). Diabetes in Canada. Retrieved April 25, 2019, from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/diabetes-canada-highlights-chronic-disease-surveillance-system.html