Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chicken or the Egg

I've followed a plant-based diet for a couple of years and that one decision is the primary reason my blood lipids are well below the national average.  I attempted to "watch" what I eat and modify but that just didn't work for me.  You know, choose filet if you're eating steak, low-fat milk, low fat cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, etc, etc.  My motivation for changing my diet was I didn't want to die of heart disease.  Pretty simple, right?

My wife is trying to get on board too.  So we've cleaned our house of the majority of animal based products.  My family has been fantastic about supporting me and trying new and exotic foods.  Some are good, some are excellent and some, well we won't try again.  Having said that, now that they are living the Eat to Live concept there are questions.

Today's question: "Why don't we have eggs in the house?  I want an egg for breakfast."

Fair enough.  Granted, my children are teenagers.  They couldn't care less about the China Study, the Framingham study or any peer reviewed studies that make a clear correlation between animal products and heart disease and other fatal diseases.  They want food that tastes good and they want it NOW.

For those of you that might care, here goes.  The majority of cardiologists and other respectable doctors have a firm conviction that excess cholesterol contributes to clogged arteries.  Clogged arteries eventually result in the patient requiring angioplasty or stents.

A single egg yolk contains about 1/3 of the daily recommended amount of cholesterol.   Our bodies create cholesterol as it is a necessary element to human existence and our bodies make all we need.  We do not need to eat cholesterol and plants do not contain cholesterol.  Go to any restaurant and order the breakfast special and you will get 2 eggs (fried), 2 slices of bacon or sausage, 2 slices of toast lathered in butter and fried potatoes.  This study indicates smoking and egg yolks are about equally unhealthy.

Well what about the egg white?  Fair question.  The egg white is pretty much pure protein - animal protein.  Animal protein in many peer reviewed studies has been found to have an adverse impact on our health and well-being.  We eat more protein than we need.

Think about what an egg white is designed to do.  It is designed to nourish a an embryo to full functioning chick in a short period of time.  Why should we as humans eat something that was designed as such?  Just food for thought, so to speak.

Also, opportunity cost.  If you're eating an egg you probably will not be eating something that is better for you such as an orange, blueberries, strawberries, oats, banana.  Our bodies need the nutrients that are contained only in plant-based foods.  There are better choices than eggs and egg whites.

Will an occasional egg white or even egg put you in the ER?  Absolutely not! Unfortunately, most of us simply don't eat the "occasional" anything.  Six-egg omelette anyone?

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