A Forbidden Food That Can Save Your Life
It’s true; some foods should be locked up. Put ‘em
away in a prison cell and throw away the key, because
they are good for nothing but tempting us. But this list
of forbidden foods isn’t as long as many people make
it out to be. You don’t have to stick to a diet of lemon
water and steamed vegetables for optimal health.
And you don’t have to be scared of putting things on
your plate. This special report I’ve put together goes
in-depth on five particular food choices that have a
lot of myths and apprehension attached to them. But
I will go about things differently than diet books and
many health-related publications by telling you the
truth. All we hear about is the need to quit eating this
and drinking that. Here I’ll tell you why you can keep
eating five things that might seem taboo and not feel
the least bit bad about it.
I’ve read a lot of the literature out there regarding
healthy eating. While most of it is basically correct, I
often see unnecessary fear mongering. Words such as
“calories,” “cholesterol,” “sodium,” and “fat” leap off
the page as things to avoid at all costs. Well, I hate
to break it to everyone, but not only is it virtually
impossible not to get these things in our diet, but it’s
also downright necessary!
- We burn calories for energy. Want to feel really
fatigued? Try eating a scant amount of calories.
- Not all cholesterol is bad. High-density
lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is imperative
to your body’s function.
- As for sodium, we have it in the fluid around
every single cell in our bodies. We need it
- Not all fat is equal. Polyunsaturated and
monounsaturated fats are powerful healthboosters
and are critical for disease prevention.
There are too many myths involved in the food
world. I want to dispel some of them. Overall, what
you need to remember is moderation. Get your
nutrients, calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium in the
right amounts and from the right sources. Obesity is
caused by many things, and one of them is overeating.
Moderation is the road to health.
What follows are five stories being set straight. They
are forbidden foods that need some discussion, because
they do carry colossal benefits—so long as you eat
them in the right amounts. As you’ll find, these foods
will slash your risk of getting heart disease and all the
conditions that lead to it. Eaten correctly, they will help
stave off obesity. They’ll drop low-density lipoprotein or
LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels in your body and replace
some of them with HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
They help your body flush toxins out of its system. But,
that is only the beginning. These foods have special,
individual, unique benefits that cut across the whole
Sit back and smile, because you don’t have to give
up everything you crave for the sake of health.
The first scratch to make on your list of forbidden
foods should be used on the word “eggs.”
One of my friends is a vegetarian, and in the
past few months she also tried to cut out eggs. She
soon found it quite difficult to do so, because eggs
are in so much of what we eat. It’s easy to spot them
on breakfast plates across North America; that goes
without saying. But eggs are critical ingredients in a
huge array of sauces, dressings, dips, and desserts.
Many things would not resemble themselves any
longer if eggs were removed. So my friend tries to
avoid them, but know she slips quite often.
You can trace back our consumption of eggs to
about when we started eating chicken as a food. You
can trace it, but you’ll never figure out when it began.
It is assuredly in the ancient times. Humans have been
consuming eggs and chickens for some time now.
Whichever came first—that long-posed question—is
really a moot point. It was around the 1930s egg
production started to go through significant change.
Before the Second World War, eggs mostly came from
small farms that had fewer than 400 hens. In the few
decades following, technology was introduced, and
by the 1960s, egg production had turned into a major
operation. There are flocks of between 100,000 and
one million hens laying eggs in any one operation. In
total, the U.S. produces roughly 70.5 billion eggs a
year. No joke.
Eggs: Quality and Color
An egg consists of the yellow yolk surrounded by a
liquid see-through egg white, capped off with a shell.
No other food is quite like the egg, which transcends
food groups because of its use in cooking. The colors
of the shell and the yolk tend to vary—but they don’t
have anything to do with the quality of an egg or its
- The shell gets its color from the breed of the hen.
It will be somewhere between white and dark
brown. The only difference is price: brown eggs
are generally costlier because the chickens that
lay them are larger birds and require more food.
When farmers pay more, so do consumers.
- The white, translucent part of the egg is called its
“albumen.” It doesn’t turn white until cooked. If it
has some yellow or green in it, this simply signals
the presence of vitamin B2—quite the opposite of
something to worry about.
- The yolk’s color depends on what the hen was
eating. There are no artificial colors. It will be
mostly yellow if the hen eats lots of plant pigments
called “xanthophylls.” Medium-yellow yolks
come from a hen’s diet of yellow corn and alfalfa.
Hens fed wheat or barley produce light-colored
yolks. Sometimes hard-cooked or scrambled eggs
can have some green in them. Other than not
looking great, it’s not a health problem. (The cause
is iron found in the hen’s feed, or another cause is a
chemical change when you scramble for too long.)
When anyone discusses Grade AA, A, or B eggs,
they are talking about how big a particular egg is, how
firm the yolk is, and how thick the white inside is. It
is not so much a quality control measure. Then there
are organic eggs, produced when hen food is made
with ingredients that have never touched pesticides,
fertilizer, herbicides, or the like. They are more
expensive, as is organic produce, but worth the price
if you can manage it. Organic eggs will have the same
Eggs get a bad rap from those pushing healthy food
choices in our society. The main promoted cause
for concern is the high cholesterol count of eggs
that negatively impacts our heart to the point where,
if you eat enough of them, they put you at greater
risk of heart disease. But this needs some serious
First off, yes, the yolk in every egg is very high in
cholesterol for such a small thing. What is also true
is that the yolk contains many B vitamins, including
riboflavin, vitamin A, and iron. Meanwhile, the white
of the egg has no cholesterol at all and no fat. Now,
cholesterol is equated with getting blocked arteries—
which we all know can lead to strokes and heart attacks
and the condition of atherosclerosis. Logically, people
start assuming that, since eggs have cholesterol and
since cholesterol clogs arteries, eggs are not good.
But there is a distinction to be made here: dietary
cholesterol (found in your food) is far different than
blood cholesterol, which is the amount flowing through
your body. These two are not as directly related as
scientists used to think. The cholesterol inside the yolk
does not immediately become blood cholesterol, which
is the real problem that leads to heart conditions. Our
liver actually makes blood cholesterol, which comes in
two kinds: HDL (good) and LDL (bad).
Eggs are considered a forbidden food because of
this misconception about the similarity or difference
between dietary and blood cholesterol. I’ve read several
studies recently showing that adding one or two eggs a
day to your diet does not effect any major changes in
blood cholesterol levels.
There’s also a very interesting study out of the
University of Arizona, published in 1997. Examining 25
years’ worth of dietary research, these scientists came
to the conclusion that it is saturated fat—not dietary
cholesterol—that raises our blood cholesterol levels.1
And eggs are not that high in saturated fat, which would
explain why people who eat a couple of eggs a day
don’t have increased cholesterol levels.
So there you have it. The cold facts on cholesterol,
shredding the egg myth.
So, on the healthy side of the equation, what exactly
do eggs contain? Well, as you read the following bullet
points about the essential nutrients, the ingredients
shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider that
an egg is meant to contain everything that a baby chick
needs to develop properly.
- Protein: You get 11% of your daily value of protein
by eating one egg, which has 5.5 g of protein. And
it costs you less than 70 calories to do so. It’s highquality
protein, fresh and natural, and our bodies
crave it. The best part is that the egg whites are
loaded with protein, so if you elect to avoid the
high-cholesterol yolks, you still gain the nutrients.
- Vitamin K: This oft-forgotten nutrient is packed
into eggs, with one egg netting you 30% of your
daily value. Vitamin K plays a central role in blood
clotting, which is important for healing wounds. It
also helps make bones, in essence gluing calcium
to the bone. It is thought to prevent osteoporosis.
- Selenium: This powerful antioxidant mineral
protects your heart by empowering enzymes to
keep the artery walls clear and healthy. Selenium
is in the midst of serious discussion about its
seemingly important role in preventing cancer.
- Choline: We need to get this through the diet for
an adequate supply. Eggs contain a good chunk of
choline, essential for keeping folate levels strong.
One yolk provides 300 μg of choline, and 315 mg
of another form of choline. The nutrient boosts your
brain function, nervous system, and raises your
- Iodine: This mineral can be tough to come by
through food. One egg gets you about 15% of your
daily value, which is good. Iodine is critical for your
thyroid gland to work properly.
- Vitamin B2: Also known as riboflavin, you get about
14% of your daily value in one egg. This essential
vitamin helps convert carbs, fat, and protein into
usable energy. It also functions as an antioxidant,
and is believed to help prevent deteriorating eye
- Tryptophan: This is an essential amino acid that
your body uses, among other things, to make
serotonin and melatonin. You get more than 20%
of your daily value in an egg.
Other nutrients it has, to lesser but still significant
extents, include vitamins B12, B5 and D, molybdenum,
Clinical Studies Prove It
Here I’ll let you in on the results of some studies that
back up the fact that eggs aren’t as forbidden as they
might seem. In fact, they are proven to exert some
significant health benefits.
Eggs Improve Your Cholesterol Levels
See, far from making things worse, an egg can make your
cholesterol situation better. Take this study, for instance,
published late in 2004 in the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition. It took place in northern Mexico, where
residents have diets that contain a lot of fat and have a
high risk of getting coronary artery disease. Researchers
sought to see what adding two eggs to the daily diets
of 54 children would do—specifically to their LDL and
HDL cholesterol levels. (Remember: first is bad, second
After a month of eating two eggs a day, the
children’s ratio of LDL to HDL did not get any worse.
And, as a matter of fact, it actually improved. What
improved was the size of those LDL molecules. This is
good, because bigger molecules are less likely to get
stuck in arteries and cause atherosclerosis than smaller
ones are. After one month, 15% of the children shifted
to a “low-risk” status.2
Eggs Do NOT Raise Your Risk of Heart
Research published in the prestigious Journal of the
American Medical Association confirms that up to
one egg a day is not likely going to affect your risk
of heart disease. The study group was enormous;
totaling more than 117,000 Americans aged 34 to
- Importantly, nobody had heart disease, diabetes,
cancer, or cholesterol at the beginning. In other words,
they were pretty healthy.
They wanted to see what relationship there were
between eating eggs and getting heart disease. Over 14
years, about 1,800 got heart disease and 820 people
suffered strokes. Then they looked at all the reasons
why this could happen—smoking, age, genetics, and
other risk factors for heart disease. After adjusting for
everything, the researchers found “no evidence” of any
association between eating eggs and getting stroke or
heart disease. Their results were based upon eating one
egg every day, and applied to both men and women.3
Yolks Could Prevent Dangerous Blood Clots
Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by eating
eggs—that’s the conclusion of a study from 2003.
Researchers say proteins found in yolk stop platelet
aggregation, which is a major factor with blood clots.
Those proteins also slow down the body’s creation of
fibrin, a substance that begins the clumping and clotting
process. In essence, the egg yolk is an anti-clotting
mechanism because of the special proteins it contains.4
Eggs Help Protect Your Vision
Can you believe it? Well, eggs have been found to
contain significant amounts of lutein, an antioxidant
nutrient that is documented to prevent cataracts and
macular degeneration. We’ve believed that leafy green
vegetables such as spinach were the best natural place
to get lutein. But recent research suggests the best place
could be eggs—the yolk increases the availability of
lutein because of the cholesterol and choline it contains.
(See, another advantage of cholesterol.) A big study last
year confirmed it: lutein’s availability is higher in eggs
than in other sources such as spinach, and even lutein
supplements themselves.5 Chew on that for a while!
The truth is that eggs need not be avoided. The key
is to eat them in moderation. Although many studies
show proof that one egg a day doesn’t raise your risk
of heart disease, I would still recommend not making
eggs a definitive part of your daily diet. But, say, four or
five times a week is perfectly fine, so that you gain the
nutritional value they contain. Many people love eggs,
and wouldn’t consider a breakfast spent without them.
Heck, even the Atkins’ diet proposes them for every
morning meal. If you are going to eat eggs every day,
may I suggest limiting it to one egg per morning? You
also might consider every few days eating a yolkless
egg—frying it up and cutting out the yolk, or cracking
an egg open into a strainer that catches the yolk.
Final point: the way you cook eggs will influence
the amount of oxidized—bad—cholesterol in your
blood. Cooking eggs in high heat is not a great idea,
as the temperature will promote the oxidation. Since
the yolk is the problem here, the one whose delicate
balance can suffer oxidation in high heat, the safest way
to cook eggs is to remove the yolk altogether. And cook
the whites only.
If you want the yolk—because, let’s face it we all
do—here are the two best ways to ensure its cholesterol
won’t be oxidized: 1) boil the egg; 2) poach the egg.
The reason is that the chances of oxidation grow when
the yolk is exposed to air while cooking. Both of these
methods keep it covered. Going by this reasoning, the
worst way to cook eggs is scrambling them.
If you are concerned about your food intake, and need help,
Please call to set up an appointment.
Health and Wellness Associates