Your Heart Loves Eggs. You Want Proof?
It seems every few years I have to go back and restate what the literature continues to show which is – “eggs are good food.” There is a MYTH that eggs elevate cholesterol and cause heart disease. That statement has a couple of problems. First of all cholesterol does not cause heart disease. This has been an established fact for more than a decade. The majority of patients that suffer a heart attack have a NORMAL cholesterol level. This has been reported in the medical literature for years. Your doctor knows this . . . or at least he/she should.
The second problem with the statement above – “eggs elevate cholesterol” is just not correct. And even if it did, since cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease then who should care? The truth of the matter is that multiple studies have tried to claim that eggs cause heart disease but these studies where improperly designed and jumped to an unproven conclusion. For example the first studies that made the claim of a link between eggs and heart disease where studies done with rabbits. Rabbits were fed eggs and their hearts examined. Rabbits are HERBIVORES. They eat plants and NO eggs. Their body is not designed to handle, process, metabolize or excrete cholesterol as they were never intended to eat eggs. A poor model by design and not applicable to humans.
One study looked at physicians that recorded a food diary of everything they ate over a period of time. They claimed that those who ate more eggs had more heart disease. They failed to highlight that these same patients with heart disease reported eating little to no vegetables and ample servings of starchy carbohydrates. This is the cause of heart disease. Heart disease is the result of “inflammation” and an inflammatory diet is comprised of starches, sugars and processed foods. These foods elevate insulin, which is needed to handle all the sugar that arises from wheat, potato and pasta intake.
Key Point: Sugar (especially from whole grain wheat) causes insulin to rise and the combined effect from these two elements leads to vascular disease and heart attacks.
Wait a minute, I thought this article was about eggs. See how easy it is to get off track? But understanding that sugar causes heart disease is important to understand how ludicrous it is to blame eggs. Eggs offer protein and fat, both of which have been shown in studies to reduce blood sugar and reverse type 2 diabetes. The Paleolithic diet is devoid of ANY starchy carbs or wheat and this diet has been shown to be THE #1 best diet for reducing uncontrolled blood sugar and diabetes. By the way, the Paleolithic diet includes eggs.
Now for the death blow – “eggs IMPROVE cholesterol profiles”. Yep, it’s true. Yet another study just released this year showed that clearly, as have other studies in the past. In this simple and elegant study, they had people eat 3 eggs per day or eat an equivalent amount of “egg substitute”. The cholesterol was measured before they started and again after 12 weeks. Here are results of eating 3 eggs per day every day for 12 weeks:
- LDL, the bad cholesterol dropped 1%. That’s not much of a drop but it didn’t go up.
- HDL the good cholesterol increased 17%. This is awesome as HDL takes bad cholesterol out of the vessels and returns it to the liver for breakdown and removal from the body.
- Triglycerides which are real fat in the blood stream went down 29%
- Insulin production went down 21%. This is great. The more insulin you make on a daily basis the shorter your life will be and more degenerative disease you will experience. Lowering insulin is critical for good health.
- HOMA is a measure of how insulin resistant you are which is a precursor to diabetes. HOMA dropped 22%. Less risk for diabetes.
- Real eggs produced better results than egg substitute.
Diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease – 80% of diabetics die from vascular disease.
Our bodies have the ability to adjust our cholesterol level. The yolk of an egg contains the greatest nutritional value. Choline found in eggs is great for brain health. The body makes 1000 mg of cholesterol every day because we need it to make hormones, cell membranes and it keeps our brain sharp. We possess the ability to reduce cholesterol absorption, increase excretion, and modify our own natural production based on body need. In short, your body is smart and knows how to regulate your cholesterol. The cholesterol you eat from eggs is easily managed by the body and doesn’t contribute to increased cholesterol levels. More importantly when we eat our eggs the fat in them keeps us feeling full. We eat less carbs when we are feeling full. Less carb = less diabetes = less heart disease.
Eggs are good food on many levels. Don’t live in fear of eggs. Enjoy them and allow them to improve your health.
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