How many eggs can diabetic eat per day?

Quick Answer

Most health experts recommend limiting egg consumption to no more than 7 eggs per week for people with diabetes. Some studies suggest that up to 1 egg per day is safe for most diabetics. The key is moderation and paying attention to overall diet quality.

How Many Eggs Can a Diabetic Eat Per Day?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how many eggs a person with diabetes can eat per day. The amount considered safe can vary based on factors like:

Type of Diabetes

– Type 1 diabetes – There are no specific restrictions on egg consumption for people with type 1 diabetes. However, eating too many eggs may contribute to high cholesterol levels, so moderation is still advised.

– Type 2 diabetes – People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have high cholesterol and heart disease risk. Limiting dietary cholesterol from eggs and other sources can help manage these risks.

Individual Health Status

People with well-managed blood sugar levels and minimal complications of diabetes may be able to eat more eggs than those with uncontrolled diabetes and existing health issues. Any other conditions like heart disease or high cholesterol should also be considered.


Some diabetes medications can cause increased cholesterol absorption from foods. People taking these types of medications may need to limit egg intake more than those not on cholesterol-altering medications.

Lifestyle Factors

Elements of an overall healthy lifestyle like regular exercise, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy body weight allow for more leeway in egg intakes. Unhealthy lifestyle choices may mean needing to restrict cholesterol-containing foods.

Expert Recommendations

Most health experts recommend limiting total dietary cholesterol to no more than 200 mg per day for optimal heart health. Here are some common expert guidelines on egg consumption for people with diabetes:

– American Diabetes Association: 1-2 eggs per day or 7 eggs per week

– American Heart Association: No more than 7 eggs per week if dietary cholesterol intake remains under 200 mg daily

– National Cholesterol Education Program: Less than 200 mg dietary cholesterol per day. This allows 1-2 egg yolks per day for most people.

So in summary, most experts agree that 1-2 eggs per day or 7 eggs per week is a moderate, generally safe amount for people with diabetes. This limit allows the inclusion of eggs in the diet while ensuring overall cholesterol intake remains in the recommended range.

Potential Benefits of Eggs for Diabetes

While they are high in dietary cholesterol, eggs also have characteristics that benefit diabetes management and overall health when consumed in moderation. Some benefits eggs may offer people with diabetes include:

High Quality Protein

Eggs are one of the best sources of high quality, complete protein. Getting enough protein helps control hunger and prevent muscle loss, which is important for managing diabetes.

Nutrient Density

Eggs contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for health like selenium, vitamin D, and choline. They are a nutrient-dense food choice.


Egg yolks contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which may help prevent eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts – complications people with diabetes are at increased risk for.


Eating protein-rich, low carb foods like eggs helps increase feelings of fullness compared to high carb breakfasts. This can prevent overeating later in the day and help control blood sugar spikes.

Heart Health

Despite their cholesterol content, some research indicates eggs may improve markers of heart health in people with type 2 diabetes by raising HDL (good) cholesterol while also promoting the formation of larger, less atherogenic LDL cholesterol particles.

So in moderation, eggs can be a healthy complement to an overall diabetes-friendly diet. Focus should remain on limiting overall dietary cholesterol from all sources to 200 mg or less per day.

Are Egg Whites or Whole Eggs Better?

Many people wonder if eating just egg whites is healthier than eating whole eggs. Here is some information on how egg whites and whole eggs compare:


– Egg whites provide high quality lean protein but minimal fat and no dietary cholesterol.

– Whole eggs also provide high quality protein with the addition of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and unsaturated fats from the yolk.


– Egg whites contain no cholesterol while one large egg yolk contains around 185 mg cholesterol.

– For people with high cholesterol levels, egg whites may be a better choice. For those within normal limits, whole eggs in moderation are likely fine.


– Protein is the most filling macronutrient. Both egg whites and whole eggs are protein-rich and promote satiety.

– One study found whole eggs keep you fuller and less likely to overeat later compared to egg whites. The fat content of the yolk may contribute to increased satiety from whole eggs.

Convenience and Taste

– Egg whites are easier to obtain in cartons than whole eggs, but lack some flavor.

– Whole eggs may be more versatile and palatable due to the added fats and texture of the yolk.


– Cartons of egg whites are often more expensive than whole eggs per gram of protein provided.

– Whole eggs are typically cheaper and may provide more nutrients per calorie.

Overall, either whole eggs or whites can be part of a healthy diet for diabetics. Get protein however it best fits your nutritional needs and health status.

Optimal Meal Pairings

The foods you eat with eggs are important for keeping meals nutritionally balanced. Here are some healthy meal ideas that incorporate eggs:

Breakfast Ideas

– Scrambled eggs with sautéed veggies
– Egg muffin cups with spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese
– Quiche with veggies like broccoli, onions, zucchini, etc
– Egg sandwich on whole grain toast with avocado spread

Lunch or Dinner Ideas

– Omelet filled with veggies, cheese, beans, etc
– Salad topped with hard boiled eggs and chickpeas
– Soups or stews with sautéed greens and poached eggs
– Stir fry over cauliflower rice with scrambled eggs

Focus on including non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc. Avoid pairing eggs with high carb options like pancakes, hash browns, biscuits or large amounts of starchy carbs which can spike blood sugar.

Tips for Incorporating Eggs into a Diabetic Diet

Here are some tips for getting the benefits of eggs while managing diabetes:

– Stick to the recommended intake of no more than 2 eggs per day or 7 per week
– Prepare eggs by boiling, poaching, scrambling with nonstick spray, or making omelets to avoid added fat or oil
– Include plenty of low carb vegetables when cooking eggs
– Avoid bacon, sausage, cheese or high fat meats which can increase cholesterol and saturated fat intake
– Use whole eggs instead of just egg whites to get benefits of antioxidants like lutein
– Be cautious with adding salt, as people with diabetes are more prone to high blood pressure
– Avoid fried eggs or cooking with added butter or oils high in saturated fat
– Incorporate eggs into meals throughout the week for sustained protein, nutrient intake
– Talk to your doctor or dietitian about your individual egg intake recommendations

With some simple modifications, people with diabetes can still enjoy the taste, versatility and nutritional benefits of eggs in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. Keeping total daily cholesterol intake under 200 mg remains the priority.

Risks of Eating Too Many Eggs

Moderate egg intake is likely safe for most people with diabetes. However, regularly eating more than the recommended amount carries some risks including:

High Cholesterol

– Egg yolks are high in dietary cholesterol, with around 185 mg per large egg.

– Eating more than 200 mg cholesterol per day can increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels for some individuals.

Heart Disease

– Higher LDL cholesterol raises risk for atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke – already concerns for diabetics.

– Excess eggs may promote plaque buildup in arteries when combined with high saturated fat intake.

Weight Gain

– Eggs are relatively high in calories, with about 70-80 calories per each large egg.

– Overeating eggs makes it easier to exceed daily calorie needs, potentially leading to weight gain.

Blood Sugar Spikes

– Although a low-carb food, eating just eggs for meals risks blood sugar spikes. High protein intake without carbs requires insulin.

– Pairing eggs with sources of fat, fiber like veggies helps control blood sugar changes.

Sticking within the limits of 1-2 eggs daily helps mitigate these risks while still allowing their inclusion in a diabetic diet. Moderation and variety remain key principles.

Are There Any Alternatives to Eggs?

For those wanting to further limit dietary cholesterol or follow a vegan diet, several egg alternatives may be used. Common substitutes for eggs include:


– Tofu is made from soybeans and provides protein with minimal fat or carbs. It can be scrambled or used in baking.

– 1/4 block of firm tofu equals about 1 egg.


– Ground flaxseeds and water bind together to form a gel-like texture like eggs.

– Use 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water per egg substituted.


– Mashed ripe banana can provide moisture and binding properties in baking recipes.

– About 1/4 cup banana puree equals one egg.


– Due to its moisture and texture, applesauce works well in baked goods as an egg replacement.

– Use 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce per egg substituted.

Commercial Egg Replacers

– Powdered egg substitute products like Ener-G Egg Replacer or Bob’s Red Mill work as binders.

– Follow package instructions for substituting for eggs in recipes.

With some experimenting, most recipes can be modified to use egg alternatives. Sticking to whole food options provides more nutrients than processed egg replacers.

Sample Meal Plan with Eggs

Here is a sample one day meal plan incorporating eggs within a diabetic diet:


– Veggie omelet made with 1 whole egg + 2 whites, peppers, onions, spinach. Paired with 1 slice whole grain toast, 1/2 grapefruit.


– Chicken salad over mixed greens with 1 whole hard boiled egg, tomatoes, carrots. Dressed with olive oil and vinegar. Serve with whole grain crackers.


– Sheet pan meal with tofu, broccoli, peppers, onions. Serve with 1 poached egg on top.


– 1 hard boiled egg.
– Celery sticks with 2 tablespoons hummus.

This provides a balanced mix of protein, carbs, fat and fiber over meals and snacks, including 2 whole eggs within the daily limits. Variations could include egg muffin cups, frittatas, etc.


Most experts agree that 1-2 eggs per day or up to 7 eggs weekly can be part of a healthy diet for people with diabetes. This moderate intake allows the nutritional benefits of eggs while limiting risks from excess cholesterol. Pay attention to overall eating patterns, lifestyle factors, and any individual health considerations that may alter personal egg intake recommendations. Diabetics can work with their healthcare team to fine tune the egg amounts that fit best within their individualized meal plan.

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