By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH
We’ve heard the warnings that too many eggs can cause an elevation in our cholesterol and lead to a stroke or a heart attack. It has been thought that the high cholesterol contained in the yolk would elevate blood cholesterol and thereby increase the risk of cardio vascular disease. What has come to light recently is that dietary cholesterol has very little effect on blood cholesterol in most people, but saturated and trans fats are the biggest culprits. Here are some of the worst offenders:
Hydrogenated oils – Commercially processed palm kernel and coconut oils are 93% saturated fat.
Dried Coconut – Coconut is often used in sweet confections like cakes and candy bars. Dried coconut can also be found in some Asian curries and soups.
Butter – Common in cakes, cookies, on bread, and vegetables, butter is everywhere
Animal Fats – These fats are typically used to make burgers, meatballs, sausages, gravy, or fried foods.
Milk Chocolate – A bar of milk chocolate in has 9.1 grams of saturated fat, but dark chocolate
is a nutrient and antioxidant packed food that is probably your best source of saturated fat, in moderation!
Fish Oil – Even though fish and fish oils do carry good omega 3 fats their quantity of saturated fats should not be ignored. The fish with the most saturated fats are Menhaden and Sardine.
Cheese – Hard goat cheese contains the most saturated fat followed by Cheddar, Roquefort, Fontina, Gruyere, Muenster, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan.
Nuts and Seeds – Packed with vitamins, minerals, and heart healthy fats and fibers, nuts and seeds are a great snack food, particularly if they are dry roasted, unsalted. Pilinuts are the highest, followed by Brazil nuts Macadamia nuts ,watermelon seeds, Cashews, Pine nuts and Sesame Seeds.
Processed Meats – Sausages and Pâté contain a lot of the animal fats mentioned in #4 above. Most sausages and pâtés are 15% saturated fat.
Whipped Cream – The classic topping to cakes, pies, and coffees, whipped cream is about 14% saturated fat.
Getting back to eggs. A study published by BMJ “found no relationship between one egg a day and heart disease or stroke.” The exception was an increase of heart disease risk for those with diabetes who consumed an egg a day in the study.
The bottom line here seems to be that saturated fats are more harmful to the body than cholesterol found in foods. Moderation is the key and we probably want to limit ourselves to the one egg-a-day regime and not two or three.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health: “You also need to pay attention to the “trimmings” that come with your eggs. To your cardiovascular system, scrambled eggs, salsa, and a whole wheat English muffin are a far different meal than scrambled eggs with cheese, sausages, home fries, and white toast.” The best way to eat an egg is to poach it, hard or soft boil it, or fry it in 1/2 teaspoon Canola oil. Skip the butter and cheese and make a one-egg omelet you top with 1-2 Tbsp guacamole or salsa and be sure to use egg whites two to one per yolk. Get the heart healthy recipe for Eggs Benedict here.
Eggs are easy, inexpensive and an excellent source of protein, vitamins A&D some B vitamins, iron, zinc and choline – a terrific food for the brain. Eggs beat pastries for breakfast 100-1 in terms of health and nutrition.
So you can have your egg and eat it too, as long as you keep to the one a day rule and keep it free of saturated fats. Yay chickens!!!!!!
– Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding. Get more information at http://www.HeartEasy.com