Weight loss: Why this "healthy" food might actually increase your diabetes risk

One recent study found eating too many eggs, despite all their benefits, can contribute to type 2 diabetes

Health foods diabetes weight loss
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As many of us know, your diet is the most important factor when losing – and gaining – weight. Although exercise can burn calories and keep you fit, if you're looking how to lose weight on your stomach, it's predominantly based on how well, or how badly, you eat. The wrong kinds of foods are heavy in calories and cholesterol, increasing your risk of weight gain and resulting health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and type-2 diabetes. 

Eggs are a surprising culprit. It's well-known they contain a lot of cholesterol, a contributor to heart disease, but they can also be very healthy if poached or boiled. They can be a great source of protein, vitamin A, magnesium and vitamin D, among other useful micronutrients. However, one study has found when eaten every day, the risk of eggs far outweighs the benefits.  

The study, published by researchers from the University of South Australia, examined egg consumption in a large amount of Chinese adults from 1991 to 2009. The results were pretty shocking: people who regularly consumed one or more eggs per day, equivalent to around 50 grams, increased their risk of diabetes by an enormous 60 per cent.

UniSA's Dr Ming Li said: "What we discovered was that higher long-term egg consumption (greater than 38 grams per day) increased the risk of diabetes among Chinese adults by approximately 25 per cent.

"Furthermore, adults who regularly ate a lot of eggs (over 50 grams, or equivalent to one egg, per day) had an increased risk of diabetes by 60 per cent. While the association between eating eggs and diabetes is often debated, this study has aimed to assess people's long-term egg consumption of eggs and their risk of developing diabetes, as determined by fasting blood glucose."

Eggs

(Image credit: Ismael Trevino/Unsplash)

As we mentioned earlier, eggs aren't all bad, especially when cooked in a healthy way. However, it's probably a good idea not to eat omelettes or scrambled egg every day: once or twice a week will be sufficient to get the benefits of eggs while reducing your risks.

Dr Li adds: "Over the past few decades China has undergone a substantial nutritional transition that's seen many people move away from a traditional diet comprising grains and vegetables, to a more processed diet that includes greater amounts of meat, snacks and energy-dense food."

Following a whole-foods diet of grains and veggies is one of the simplest ways to reduce your risk of obesity-related illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. If you're looking to cut down on eggs and meat, our best vegan cookbooks are a great place to start.

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Matt Evans
Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and Staff Writer at Fit&Well. He's previously written for titles like Men's Health, and covers all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. 

Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen kickboxer and runner. His top fitness tip? Stretch.