A Forbidden Food That Can Save Your LIfe


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

for life!

  • 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

medical spectrum.

Sit back and smile, because you don’t have to give

up everything you crave for the sake of health.

1: Eggs

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

nutritional value.

  • 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

nutritional content.


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.

Nutritional Profile

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

heart’s health.

  • 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,

and phosphorus.

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

is good.)

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

  1. 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!

Final Word

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

Archived Article


Diets and Weight Loss

Nuts and Seeds for a Healthy Weight


Nuts and Seeds for a Healthy Weight and a Long Life


Nuts and seeds are healthful, natural foods that are full of beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals. Although the myth that nuts and seeds are fattening has persisted, the research suggests that nuts are actually beneficial for weight loss. In any case, it’s not the fat content of a diet that makes it healthy, it’s the nutrient content. And based on their nutrient content, nuts are a health-promoting source of calories.

Nuts and seeds are nutritionally important. Nuts and seeds contain a spectrum of micronutrients including LDL cholesterol-lowering phytosterols; circulation-promoting arginine; minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, and selenium; and antioxidants, including flavonoids, resveratrol, tocopherols (vitamin E), and carotenoids.

Eating nuts and seeds reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease Epidemiological studies have consistently shown that nut consumption is beneficial for heart health. Eating five or more servings of nuts per week is estimated to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 35%.1 Eating nuts and seeds protects against sudden cardiac death and reduces cholesterol and inflammation.1-3

Nuts and seeds aid weight loss. Someone who is trying to lose weight should not be trying to avoid nuts; in fact, in obese individuals, adding nuts to the diet aided in weight loss and also improved insulin sensitivity, which could help to prevent or reverse diabetes.4 Nonetheless, nuts should not be eaten to excess. Nuts and seeds are high in nutrients but also high in calories, so they should be eaten with consideration for one’s caloric needs. One ounce daily is usually appropriate for women trying to lose weight and 1.5 – 2 ounces for overweight men. Nuts and seeds of course should be eaten in larger amounts for the slim, highly physically active people who could use the extra calories.

Nut consumption may enhance lifespan. In the Adventist Health Study, a number of lifestyle factors were found to be associated with longevity. Those who had a high level of physical activity, followed a vegetarian diet, and ate nuts frequently lived on average 8 years longer than those who did not share those habits.5 Similarly in the Nurses’ Health Study, nut consumption was identified as a dietary factor associated with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancers.6 New research continues to confirm these observations.7

Each nut and seed has a unique nutritional profile that lends unique health benefits:

  • Almonds are rich in antioxidants. In one study, people ate either almonds or a snack with a similar fat profile each day for 4 weeks, and the subjects who ate almonds showed reduced oxidative stress markers.8
  • Walnuts. Diabetics who ate walnuts daily for 8 weeks experienced an enhanced ability of the blood vessels to dilate, indicating better blood pressure regulation.9 There is also evidence that walnuts may protect against breast cancer.10
  • Pistachios and Mediterranean pine nuts have the highest plant sterol content of all the nuts; plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol, and help to lower cholesterol levels.11 Pistachios reduce inflammation and oxidative stress as well as cholesterol.12-14
  • Mediterranean pine nuts contain a specific type of fatty acid that has been shown to curb appetite by increasing hormones that produce satiety signals.15
  • Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are extremely rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and hemp seeds are especially high in protein, making them a helpful food for athletes.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, calcium, and phytochemicals, and may help to prevent prostate cancer.16
  • Sesame seeds have the greatest amount of calcium of any food in the world, and provide abundant amounts of vitamin E and contain a lignan called sesamin; lignan-rich foods may protect against breast cancer.17-19

Nuts and seeds are best eaten raw. Nuts and seeds should be eaten raw or only lightly toasted. Roasting nuts and seeds forms a potentially harmful compound called acrylamide, and reduces the amounts of minerals and amino acids.

Also remember that eating nuts and seeds with leafy greens can enhance the body’s absorption of fat-soluble nutrients from the greens, so a nut-based salad dressing is an excellent way to absorb more nutrients from your salads.20


  1. Kris-Etherton PM, Hu FB, Ros E, et al: The role of tree nuts and peanuts in the prevention of coronary heart disease: multiple potential mechanisms. J Nutr 2008;138:1746S-1751S. 2. Salas-Salvado J, Casas-Agustench P, Murphy MM, et al: The effect of nuts on inflammation. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008;17 Suppl 1:333-336. 3. Ros E: Nuts and novel biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:1649S-1656S. 4. Rajaram S, Sabate J: Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. Br J Nutr 2006;96 Suppl 2:S79-86. 5. Fraser GE, Shavlik DJ: Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice? Arch Intern Med 2001;161:1645-1652. 6. Baer HJ, Glynn RJ, Hu FB, et al: Risk factors for mortality in the nurses’ health study: a competing risks analysis. Am J Epidemiol 2011;173:319-329. 7. Guasch-Ferre M, Bullo M, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, et al: Frequency of nut consumption and mortality risk in the PREDIMED nutrition intervention trial. BMC Med 2013;11:164. 8. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, et al: Almonds reduce biomarkers of lipid peroxidation in older hyperlipidemic subjects. J Nutr 2008;138:908-913. 9. Ma Y, Njike VY, Millet J, et al: Effects of walnut consumption on endothelial function in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized controlled crossover trial. Diabetes Care 2010;33:227-232. 10.  Eurekalert! Walnuts slow prostate tumors in mice: UC Davis research shows walnuts affect genes related to tumor growth March 22, 2010 edition; 2010. 11. Ellegard LH, Andersson SW, Normen AL, et al: Dietary plant sterols and cholesterol metabolism. Nutr Rev 2007;65:39-45. 12. Kay CD, Gebauer SK, West SG, et al: Pistachios increase serum antioxidants and lower serum oxidized-LDL in hypercholesterolemic adults. J Nutr 2010;140:1093-1098. 13. Kocyigit A, Koylu AA, Keles H: Effects of pistachio nuts consumption on plasma lipid profile and oxidative status in healthy volunteers. Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD 2006;16:202-209. 14. Sari I, Baltaci Y, Bagci C, et al: Effect of pistachio diet on lipid parameters, endothelial function, inflammation, and oxidative status: a prospective study. Nutrition 2010;26:399-404. 15. Pasman WJ, Heimerikx J, Rubingh CM, et al: The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids in Health and Disease 2008;7:10. 16. Hong H, Kim CS, Maeng S: Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Nutr Res Pract 2009;3:323-327. 17. Thompson LU, Chen JM, Li T, et al: Dietary flaxseed alters tumor biological markers in postmenopausal breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2005;11:3828-3835. 18. Buck K, Vrieling A, Zaineddin AK, et al: Serum enterolactone and prognosis of postmenopausal breast cancer. J Clin Oncol 2011;29:3730-3738. 19. Higdon J: Lignans. In An Evidence-Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals. New York: Thieme; 2006: 155-161 20. Brown MJ, Ferruzzi MG, Nguyen ML, et al: Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:396-403.