Special Populations

People with Diabetes

There has been some debate over the appropriate dietary cholesterol and whole egg intake guidelines for people with diabetes. The Dietary Guidelines state that daily intake of one egg is safe for most healthy people, but recommend that those at high risk for cardiovascular disease, including people with diabetes, consume 200mg of cholesterol or less per day.10

Although a few epidemiological studies have linked egg consumption to increased risk of type-2 diabetes these study findings were unexpected and warrant further research. Other similar studies did not find the same association. Since these studies were epidemiological in nature, they were able to detect associations, but not to determine cause and effect.

Conversely, consumption of eggs may assist in metabolic control and provide additional nutritional benefits to individuals with type 2 diabetes. In fact, a recent study found that, when consumed as part of an energy-restricted, high protein diet, two eggs per day can improve a number of key health metrics for people with type 2 diabetes, such as glycemic control, lipid profiles and blood pressure.14


While there is no specific guideline for number of whole eggs children should consume in a day, the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents recommend that children 12 months and older limit cholesterol intake to 300mg per day.15 At just 70 calories and 185mg cholesterol in one large egg, eggs are an easy and affordable source of high-quality protein that can easily fit within this recommendation.

Research Papers

For a comprehensive collection of scientific articles related to dietary cholesterol, click here.



1 Committee on Nutrition, American Heart Association. Diet and Heart Disease. Dallas, Texas: American Heart Association; 1968.
2 Fernandez ML and Calle M. Revisiting Dietary Cholesterol Recommendations: Does the Evidence Support a Limit of 300 mg/d? Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2010; 12(6):377-383.
3 McNamara DJ. The impact of egg limitations on coronary heart disease risk: do the numbers add up? J Am Coll Nutr. 2000; 19:540S-548S.
4 Fernandez ML and Webb D. The LDL to HDL Cholesterol Ratio as a Valuable Tool to Evaluate Coronary Heart Disease Risk. JACN 2008;27 (1): 1-5.
5 Greene CM, et al. Maintenance of the LDL cholesterol: HDL cholesterol ratio in an elderly population given a dietary cholesterol challenge. J Nutr. 2005; 135:2799-2804.
6 Harman NL, et al. Increased dietary cholesterol does not increase plasma low density lipoprotein when accompanied by an energy-restricted diet and weight loss. European Journal of Nutrition 2008; 47:287-293.
7 Qureshi A, et al. Regular egg consumption does not increase the risk of stroke or cardiovascular diseases. Medical Science Monitor. 2007; 13(1):CR1-8.
8 Kritchevsky S and Kritchevsky D. Egg consumption and coronary heart disease: an epidemiological overview. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000; 19(5):549S-555S.
9 Lee A and Griffin B. Dietary cholesterol, eggs and coronary heart disease risk in perspective. Nutrition Bulletin (British Nutrition Foundation). 2006; 31:21-27.
10 U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010.
11 Djouss? L and Gaziano JM. Egg consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease and mortality: the Physicians’ Health Study. AJCN. 2008; 87;964-9.
12 Djousse L, et al. Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care. Published online November 18, 2008.
13 Nettleton JA, et al. Incident Heart Failure is Associated with lower Whole-Grain Intake and Greater High-Fat Dairy and Egg Intake in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities. JADA. 2008; 108:1881-1887.
14 Pearce KL, Clifton PM and Noakes M. Egg consumption as part of an energy-restricted high-protein diet improves blood lipid and blood glucose profiles in individuals with type 2 diabetes. British Journal of Nutrition 2011, 30. 584-592.
15 NHLBI. Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents. November 2011.

back to top

Scroll to Top