Egg Consumption in the Context of Plant-Based Diets and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Adults at Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

J Nutr. 2021 Dec 3;151(12):3651-3660. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab283.


Background: Plant-based diets (PBDs) are typically recommended to those at risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Objectives: We examined how including eggs, compared with excluding them from PBDs, affected cardiometabolic risk factors in adults at risk of T2DM.

Methods: This was a randomized, controlled, single-blind, crossover trial of 35 adults (mean age: 60.7 y; 25 women, 10 men) at risk of T2DM assigned to 1 of 2 sequence permutations of 2 dietary treatments (plant-based plus eggs, and exclusively plant-based), with a 4-wk washout period. A dietitian counseled participants to exclude or include 2 eggs daily in the context of PBDs for a 6-wk interval. Our primary outcome measure was endothelial function (EF) measured as flow-mediated dilatation. Secondary outcome measures included lipid profile, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, anthropometry, and dietary intake. Data were analyzed using generalized linear models.

Results: Compared with egg exclusion, egg inclusion in the context of PBDs did not adversely affect EF (-1.7% ± 6.5% compared with -1.8% ± 7.5%; P = 0.9805). Likewise, egg inclusion, compared with egg exclusion, did not adversely affect (P = 0.1096-0.9781) lipid profile, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, or anthropometry. Egg inclusion, compared with egg exclusion, improved reported intakes of selenium (23.1 ± 30.3 μg/d compared with 2.3 ± 34.9 μg/d; P = 0.0124) and choline (172.0 ± 96.0 mg/d compared with -3.4 ± 68.1 mg/d; P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Consuming 2 eggs daily in the context of PBDs does not adversely affect cardiometabolic risk factors among adults at risk of T2DM. Eggs could be used as an adjuvant to enhance PBDs that are typically recommended for those at risk of T2DM.This trial was registered at as NCT04316429.

Keywords: cardio-metabolic risk factors; eggs; endothelial function; nutrient intake; plant-based diets; risk of diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiometabolic Risk Factors
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Diet
  • Diet, Vegetarian
  • Eggs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Single-Blind Method

Associated data


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