There is a common vision out there that academics live in “ivory towers”. The paper studies and publish them often seem far from the reality of life outside the halls of academia. But some researchers do not clearly fit into this mold. An example is found in the latest edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Within the pages of the magazine is a paper written by an employee of the University of Washington. The theme revolves around a guide called The Nutrient Rich Foods Index, a “formal scoring system that ranks foods based on nutritional value.” The author of this paper to find the most affordable, nutrient rich foods to identify.
In the examination of candidates for the most economical sources of protein, eggs emerged at the top of the list. But this observation will ultimately fall on many deaf ears, because “eggaphobia” (ovaphobia) is still alive and well in 21st century diet. I personally try to make the myth that eggs are a junk food to take away. My hope is that a recently published study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry will contribute to this goal. (1)
Researchers from the University of Connecticut in search of the effects of a carbohydrate-restricted (CR) diet or a CR diet + eggs on antioxidant and lipid levels to explore. The subjects involved in the study ate a diet that does not exceed 15% of calories provided by carbohydrates. Moreover, the experimental group, a total of 640 mg / day added cholesterol through consumption of eggs. In essence we have two diets rich in cholesterol and fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates. Many health experts believe that this is a recipe for cardiovascular disaster – especially the diet with added eggs. But that is far from what the evidence shows:
- Reducing carb intake generally resulted in some positive changes in cardiovascular risk markers.
- A decrease in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase HDL (“good” cholesterol) was recorded.
- There was a dramatic increase in apo C-II (a component of HDL-cholesterol) and a significant decrease in the apo C-III (found in LDL-cholesterol).
- They eat eggs, in addition to a carbohydrate diet, showed a tendency for the larger / safer different LDL subclasses.
- The egg eating group, a greater part of the favorable HDL-cholesterol levels than the low-carbohydrate diet alone.
- Participants eating the eggs were also found to have higher levels of antioxidant carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) in their plasma have.
The changes induced by both diets are considered from the viewpoint of protecting the cardiovascular system. But it is clear from this study that the addition of eggs carb diet even healthier. The larger “fluffier” LDL cholesterol molecules are considered protective, while the smaller variation is thought to be more threatening. Even higher levels of HDL cholesterol is something that many cardiologists believe to be beneficial. Just the other day, I cited a study that a relationship between increased plasma concentrations of carotenoids and a reduced risk of heart attack incidence pulled. Overall it seems that limiting carbohydrates and the fear of the eggs would be very good heart health improved significantly. (2)
Eggs are an excellent source of heart healthy Nutrient Choline
|Selected Food Sources of Choline (milligrams per serving)|
|Chicken, liver, cooked (3 oz)||247|
|Soy flour, defatted (1 cup)||201|
|Salmon, sockeye, smoked (3 oz)||187|
|Egg, whole, raw, fresh (1 large)||125|
|Quinoa, uncooked (1/2 cup)||60|
|Chicken, broilers or fryers, meat and skin, roasted (3 oz)||56|
|Turkey sausage, cooked (3 oz)||55|
|Wheat germ, toasted, plain (2 tbsp)||50|
|Milk, skim, fluid, with added vitamin A (8 ounces)||38|
|Cauliflower, cooked, cooked (1/2 cup)||24|
|Peas, green, frozen, cooked, drained (1/2 cup)||22|
|Bacon, pork, smoked, cooked (2 pieces)||20|
|Almonds (1 oz)||15|
|Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained (1/2 cup)||15|
|Frankfurter, beef (1)||15|
|Oat bran, raw (1/2 cup)||15|
|Pecans (1 oz)||15|
|Tomato paste, canned (2 tbsp)||12|
|Flaxseed (2 tablespoons)||11|
|Source: USDA Database for the choline content of common foods, version two, January 2008 – USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20. (A)|
What is one of the best ways to keep your risk of heart disease to reduce and save a lot of money in the process? This may come as a shock, but – you may need to eat less. But curbing the appetite and push your plate is only part of the picture. It’s how you implement your reduction in food intake that matters most.
A recent study conducted at the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the effects of another day fasting (ADF) was investigated in a group of 16 obese men and women. The study design was quite complex and diet consisted of three phases: the first part was a 2-week baseline period during which the typical diet of the participants, the second part of the study involved the use of a carefully controlled diet that delivered 75% less set up calories to the day for 4 weeks, the last phase, the volunteers could produce their own food in order to choose while maintaining a 75% calorie deficit every other day. Various blood tests and physical measurements were carried out in the course of the experiment 10 weeks.
- After 8 weeks of treatment, participants had an average 12.5 pounds decrease in body weight and a 4 cm decrease in waist circumference. Total fat mass decreased by about 12 pounds, while lean mass remained relatively constant.
- Plasma adiponectin, a protein hormone that is elevated in obesity and related cardiovascular disease, decreased by 30%. Similarly, LDL (25%) and triglycerides (32%).
Those researchers believe that the reduction of body fat and waist circumference may be responsible for the protective changes in the heart blood markers were measured. The final conclusions of the study state that “these findings indicate that reducing energy intake by implementing ADF (alternate day fasting), the risk of heart disease (CHD) levels in obese individuals.” Two recent animal studies from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Turin, Italy have come to similar conclusions. In fact, the Italian study even went so far as to say that ADF can handle even the aging process through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways to slow down. This is in line with previous findings that more severe forms of dietary restriction studied. (3,4,5)
The other day fasting seems a legitimate way to support healthy weight loss while improving overall health. But I wonder how much better the results of the ADF would be if the diets in the cited study emphasizes healthier, Whole Foods. So I would love the see the results of a study that ADF carb menu plan utilized. In fact, maybe they could have some eggs to the mix. The University of Illinois test, I highlighted the use of a fairly conventional menu that about 55% carbohydrates, 25% fat and 20% protein provided. Mirroring these figures around * can * possibly yield som
e very interesting results. Hopefully this kind of research will one day also be performed.