May 7 (UPI) -- Contrary to previous dietary advice, the consumption of eggs don't increase cardiovascular risk factors in people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, according to a study in Australia.
Researchers at the University of Sidney's Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders found eating up to 12 eggs per week for a year did not lead to increased heart disease. Their findings were published Monday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans removed a daily limit on cholesterol and listed eggs along with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and nuts as "nutrient-dense foods."
In a previous study published in 2015, the researchers found the number of eggs was safe during three months that researchers monitored cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure in participants. The new study was longer term, but conducted with the same participants between January 2013 and July 2014.
"Despite differing advice around safe levels of egg consumption for people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, our research indicates people do not need to hold back from eating eggs if this is part of a healthy diet," Dr Nick Fuller of the the University of Sydney said in a press release. "A healthy diet as prescribed in this study emphasized replacing saturated fats [such as butter] with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats [such as avocado and olive oil]."
The study included 128 participants diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes 18 years and old.
In the initial trial, participants, while maintaining their weight, were broken into two groups -- 66 participatns ate 12 eggs per week, and 62 participants ate less than two eggs per week. There was no difference in cardiovascular risk markers identified at the end of three months.
Following the initial part of the study, participants kept the same egg diet for an additional three months, and then another six months. In every stage, both groups had no adverse changes to cardiovascular risk markers, while also extending equivalent weight loss. Their goal was 500 calories less than their estimated energy requirements for weight maintenance.
The researchers said the new study supports the assumed health benefits of eggs, including being a source of protein and micronutrients that support a broad range of health factors, including the intake of fat and carbohydrates, eye and heart health, health blood vessels and health pregnancies.
"While eggs themselves are high in dietary cholesterol -- and people with type 2 diabetes tend to have higher levels of the 'bad' low density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol -- this study supports existing research that shows consumption of eggs has little effect on the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the people eating them," Fuller said.