Can You Eat Eggs If You Have Diabetes?

Nutrition science and advice have changed a lot over the past several decades. 

While it’s exciting that we’re learning more about nutrition, it can be frustrating when recommendations change over time.

One of the prime examples of conflicting nutrition advice is regarding egg consumption. 

Some studies connect egg consumption with increased cholesterol and heart disease risk, while others suggest eggs aren’t bad for your heart health.

If you have diabetes, you might wonder if eggs can fit into your diet. 

The short answer is yes, but as far as how many eggs – there isn’t a straightforward answer. 

Read on for the full scoop on eating eggs with diabetes.

Nutrition of eggs

The nutritional content of eggs varies on their size and the diet of the hens that lay them. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, here are the nutritional stats for an average large egg:

  • Calories: 78
  • Total Fat: 5 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6 grams (8% DV)
  • Cholesterol: 187 milligrams (62% DV)
  • Total Carbohydrate: 0.6 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Vitamin D: 11% DV
  • Vitamin B12: 10% DV
  • Choline: 140 mg (25% DV)

Can you eat eggs if you have diabetes?

Eggs can be part of a healthy and balanced diabetes diet. The American Diabetes Association recommends eggs as a good protein source for diabetics.

Eggs are virtually free of carbohydrates, so they aren’t likely to raise your blood sugar levels. The only reason you might need to limit eggs if you have diabetes is if you have very high cholesterol (we’ll cover more on that next), have a food sensitivity to eggs, or are allergic to eggs.

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​​How many eggs can a diabetic eat a day?

There aren’t any specific guidelines regarding how many eggs you should eat per day if you have diabetes. How many eggs you can eat in a day largely depends on your cholesterol levels and any other health conditions that eating eggs might impact.

The primary concern about eggs is that they’re high in dietary cholesterol, which is in the yolks. Eating large amounts of cholesterol, along with eating animal foods high in saturated fat (such as red meat and full-fat dairy), might increase your serum (blood) cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is called hypercholesterolemia, and it’s especially common in people with diabetes.

High cholesterol levels can increase plaque buildup in your arteries, which can restrict blood flow and lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

A reasonable starting guideline is to limit your egg consumption to two eggs per day or fewer and adjust that amount based on your cholesterol levels and your healthcare provider’s recommendations.

If you have very high cholesterol, you might consider limiting eggs to fewer than seven per week to assess the change in your blood lipids (cholesterol). Your healthcare provider might suggest limiting them even further, such as 3-4 per week, depending on your serum cholesterol levels.

You can also look into egg substitutes and using egg whites only since these are typically cholesterol-free.

Impact of eggs on blood sugar levels

Eggs are virtually carbohydrate-free with less than a gram per egg, which means they won’t have much (if any) impact on your blood sugar levels. Eggs consist primarily of protein and fat, which can make you feel satiated without raising your blood sugar.

Combining protein-rich foods with carbohydrate foods can help prevent blood sugar spikes since protein is digested more slowly than carbohydrates. For example, having an egg with a whole wheat muffin or toast is better for your blood sugar levels than eating toast or a muffin without any protein.

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6 benefits of eating eggs

Might improve blood sugar levels

According to a study, eating one large egg per day for 12 weeks was associated with a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar levels (1). 

Researchers also noted that eating one egg daily wasn’t associated with any adverse impacts on cholesterol levels in people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Supports healthy brain development

Choline is a nutrient essential for brain, muscle, and liver health. Choline is especially important in pregnant women to support healthy brain development in unborn babies. If choline intake is inadequate, especially in the first 1,000 days after conception, lifelong deficits in brain function might result (2).

Might benefit cholesterol levels 

Eggs are rich in protein while being low in saturated fat. Eating lean protein instead of protein rich in saturated fat might help promote healthy cholesterol levels.

One study concluded that eggs “exert a relatively small effect on serum LDL-cholesterol and [cardiovascular disease] risk” compared to other lifestyle habits (3).

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Easily digestible protein

Dietary protein is broken down into amino acids, which are utilized by your body to build muscle, repair tissue, and metabolize food.

Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids, which are the ones your body can’t make and you must get from your diet. The protein in eggs is highly bioavailable, meaning they are easily absorbed by your body to be used as energy. 

If you’re a fan of raw eggs, you won’t get as much protein since the protein in cooked eggs is much more bioavailable than in raw eggs.

Rich in fat-soluble vitamins

Egg yolks are rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E. Fat-soluble vitamins are important for vision health, bone health, and immune function, and can act as antioxidants. Eggs are also a source of lutein, which along with vitamin A is a nutrient important for eye health.

Not many foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, so eating eggs can help you meet the daily recommended amount. One egg provides a little over 10% of the daily value of vitamin D. That might not sound like much, but it’s considered a good source.

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Affordable protein source

With the cost of food rising, you’re probably paying more attention to your grocery budget. Compared to meat and seafood, eggs are a more cost-effective source of protein. At the time of this article, one dozen eggs cost around $3 (USD), costing around four cents per gram of protein. 

Are there any side effects of eating eggs?

If you eat a large number of eggs regularly, you might experience some side effects such as:

High cholesterol

While eggs are not considered as “bad” for your cholesterol as previously thought, they might still increase your serum cholesterol levels if you eat enough of them. Everyone’s body and cholesterol metabolism are different, so you might be more or less sensitive to dietary cholesterol than others.

Stomach upset

You might develop some stomach upset if you eat a lot of eggs. Some people are sensitive to eggs and develop symptoms like abdominal pain, gas, and vomiting.

If you notice an upset stomach after eating eggs, you might be sensitive and need to limit your portion size.


Eggs are in the top eight most common food allergens. The good news is that egg allergies developing in adults are very rare, and most egg allergies are diagnosed in childhood or infancy.


Eggs are a nutritious food that has been villainized in previous decades due to their potential negative impact on heart disease risk and cholesterol levels. However, eggs have plenty of potential health benefits and don’t raise blood sugar levels, so they shouldn’t be overlooked if you have diabetes.

How many eggs you should eat with diabetes depends on health factors like your cholesterol levels and heart disease risk factors. 

It’s likely safe to enjoy eggs daily or at least several times per week, especially if you balance it with other healthy lifestyle habits like eating enough dietary fiber and staying active.

If you’re concerned about eating eggs in terms of your cholesterol levels, you can always utilize more egg whites instead of yolks since the whites don’t contain cholesterol. Egg substitutes are another option.

Explore More

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15 Cholesterol-Reducing Foods to Add to Your Diabetes Diet.


  1. Pourafshar S , Akhavan NS , George KS , Foley EM , Johnson SA , Keshavarz B , Navaei N , Davoudi A , Clark EA , Arjmandi BH . Egg consumption may improve factors associated with glycemic control and insulin sensitivity in adults with pre- and type II diabetes. Food Funct. 2018 Aug.
  2. Wallace TC, Blusztajn JK, Caudill MA, Klatt KC, Zeisel SH. Choline: The Neurocognitive Essential Nutrient of Interest to Obstetricians and Gynecologists. J Diet Suppl. 2020.
  3. Griffin BA. Eggs: good or bad? Proc Nutr Soc. 2016 Aug.

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