Eggs are a versatile food and a great source of protein, even for people with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association considers eggs an excellent choice for people with diabetes. That’s because one large egg contains only about a half a gram of carbohydrate and 7 grams of high quality protein as well as other important nutrients.

In the past, healthcare providers advised limiting egg consumption due to their cholesterol content. People living with diabetes have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease so you may wonder if the cholesterol in eggs should be avoided.

Your healthcare provider may monitor your blood levels of several types of cholesterol. High levels of some types of cholesterol in the bloodstream may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

More recent research suggests that a high intake of certain types of saturated fats and trans fat may play a much bigger role in heart disease than dietary cholesterol intake. Eggs can safely be included in a healthy diabetes eating plan.

A whole egg contains about 7 grams of protein. Eggs are also an excellent source of potassium, which supports nerve and muscle health. Potassium helps balance sodium levels in the body as well, which improves your cardiovascular health.

Eggs have many nutrients, such as lutein and choline. Lutein improves eye health and may improve heart health. Choline is thought to improve brain health. Egg yolks contain biotin, which is important for healthy hair, skin, and nails, as well as insulin production.

Eggs are easy on the waistline, too. One large egg has only about 75 calories and 5 grams of fat —a mere 1.6 grams of which are saturated fat. Eggs are versatile and can be prepared in different ways to suit your tastes.

You can make an already-healthy food even better by mixing in tomatoes, spinach, or other vegetables. Here are more good breakfast ideas for people with diabetes.

Eggs got a bad rap years ago because they were considered to be too high in cholesterol to be part of a healthy diet. A lot has changed since then. The role of dietary cholesterol as it relates to a person’s total blood cholesterol count appears to be smaller than previously thought.

Family history may have much more to do with your cholesterol levels than how much dietary cholesterol is in your food. The bigger threat to your cholesterol levels is food that is high in trans fats, carbs, and sugars. Learn more about the effects of high cholesterol on your body.

Current studies suggest those with diabetes can include one egg a day, but the whole diet should be considered instead of focusing on one food item.

The majority of beneficial nutrient content is included in the egg yolk. Current recommendations are to eat the whole egg- and limit the bacon, sausage, ham etc. that might normally accompany an egg meal.

The current recommendations suggest limiting solid saturated fats, trans fats as well as processed and red meats. Unhealthy saturated fatty acids are thought to be the driver of heart disease risk, not the actual cholesterol in an egg yolk.

In the past, you may have been advised to use only egg whites or cholesterol-free egg substitutes, but newer research supports using the whole egg to take advantage of all the nutritional benefits, while limiting the bacon, sausage, ham etc. that might normally accompany an egg meal.

Many restaurants offer egg white alternatives to whole eggs in their dishes. You can also buy cholesterol-free egg substitutes in the stores that are made with egg whites.

Keep in mind, however, that the yolk is also the exclusive home of some key egg nutrients. Almost all the vitamin A in an egg, for instance, resides in the yolk. The same is true for most of the choline, omega-3s, and calcium in an egg.

If you have diabetes, eggs can be included as part of your diabetes eating plan. If you would like to add extra egg whites to your whole eggs, you can increase the protein content of your breakfast.

Choose a non-stick skillet or use a heart healthy oil to fry your over-easy egg.

Poaching an egg in the microwave only takes one minute if you are pushed for time.

A hard-boiled egg is a handy high-protein snack if you have diabetes. The protein will help keep you full without affecting your blood sugar. Protein not only slows digestion, it also slows glucose absorption. This is very helpful if you have diabetes.

Having lean protein at every meal and for the occasional snack is a smart step for anyone with diabetes.

Healthy eating with diabetes involves considering the carbohydrate content of various foods. Experts recommend limiting the processed meats and solid saturated fats that are typically paired with eggs.

You can add a variety of veggies to your scrambled egg or create a delicious breakfast burrito for a high protein, high fiber, low carbohydrate start to your day.

Daily diabetes tip

However you like your eggs prepared, these versatile wonders are low in carbohydrate and nutrition packed. If you are interested in eggs with higher omega-3 fat content, then look for organic, pasture-raised brands. For a higher protein, higher fiber meal, try adding a few egg whites to your whole egg and then toss in peppers, onions and tomatoes. Enjoy!