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Are Eggs Healthy?

In some ways, eggs are very good for you.

First of all, they are a nutrient-dense food. They contain high-quality protein, meaning eggs offer all nine essential amino acids that can’t be made by humans and therefore must come from our diets. Protein in eggs can help build and preserve muscle as well as boost satiety, both of which are important for weight control.

Eggs are also one of the few food sources of vitamin D and a source of the nutrient choline, which may help protect against birth defects in infants. They contain vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin (B2) and the antioxidant selenium, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help keep our eyes healthy.

Most of an egg’s calories, vitamins and minerals are found in the yolk.

But what about the cholesterol in eggs? It’s true that eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, which is also found in the yolk, but they’re low in saturated fat, which is the bigger culprit when it comes to raising blood cholesterol levels. Because of this, eggs get the green light according to the government’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

In fact, one recent meta-analysis found that higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke. And a 2016 Finnish study involving more than 1,000 men concluded that egg or cholesterol intakes are not associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease, even in those who are genetically predisposed to experience a stronger effect of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol.

What is more likely to affect your health is how eggs are prepared, as well as which other foods you combine with them. One large poached egg has 71 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat, and an omelet made with spinach and one yolk is also a lean choice. But a serving of eggs Benedict with bacon and Hollandaise sauce has about 800 calories and 26 grams of saturated fat.

So feel free to enjoy eggs, but watch how you eat them. And balance eggs with other healthy fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

By Lisa Drayer, CNN     Fri April 14, 2017
 
Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, author and health journalist.
 
source: www.cnn.com


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Some Organic, Free-Range Eggs More Nutritious, Marketplace Investigation Finds

Some farming methods can affect vitamin, fat content

By Virginia Smart / Marketplace, CBC News    Posted: Mar 11, 2016 

Many of us start the day with eggs. But how do you decide which ones to buy?

Eggs laid by free-range chickens from small flocks may be significantly higher in nutrients than eggs from caged hens, an investigation by CBC Marketplace reveals.

Canadians spend more than $2 billion on eggs a year. While more than 90 per cent of eggs produced in Canada are from conventional battery cage farms, “ethical” egg labels, including free-run, free-range, “enriched furnished,” organic, even “hens on pasture” have become increasingly common on supermarket shelves.

Many consumers who buy free-range, small-flock or organic eggs may be motivated by concerns over animal welfare, but these farming methods can also have an impact on vitamin and fat content, the Marketplace test found.

“You are what you eat. and that applies to the hen as well,” says Harry Pelissero, general manager of Egg Farmers of Ontario.

Marketplace also investigated how different eggs taste and what different farming methods mean for the animals.

Vitamin, fat differences

Marketplace tested six brands of eggs from a variety of farming methods, with samples sent for nutritional testing to an ISO 17025-certified lab in Mississauga, Ont., that specializes in nutritional analysis.

The samples included conventionally farmed eggs from two of Canada’s leading companies, Burnbrae and Gray Ridge, whose hens are raised in battery cages, small cages that house six to eight birds. Marketplace also tested four cage-free brands, including Gray Ridge free-run, Burnbrae organic, Organic Meadow, and Small Flock’s Delight, from an operation managed by Ontario Mennonite farmers.

Marketplace bought a small sample of eggs off store shelves in October 2015 at the end of pasture season, and experts say the nutrition could be different at different times of year.

Each of the samples tested met or surpassed the nutrients listed on the carton’s nutrition facts panel for calories, protein, fat and iron.

But the vitamin A, E and D and omega-3 fatty acid content varied considerably between conventional and pastured eggs.

Egg
Canadians spend more than $2 billion on eggs a year.
More than 90 per cent of eggs produced in Canada
are from conventional battery cage farms,
where six to eight hens live in each small cage.

Organic Meadow eggs scored the highest, with noticeably higher nutritional content than other brands. The eggs contained twice the amount of vitamin D compared with some of the other samples tested. They also were the highest in vitamin E.

Christy Brissette, a dietitian at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, analyzed the test results for Marketplace.

She found that the Organic Meadow eggs also had a healthier balance of fats, including the ratio of omega-3 fats to omega-6 fats, important for an anti-inflammatory diet. North American diets, she says, have too high a ratio of omega 6s, “which has been named as a potential factor in chronic disease risk.”

Small Flock’s Delight, eggs from flocks of up to 500 hens, also had higher levels of vitamin A and vitamin D  than the conventional brands.

Catherine Heard, from Toronto, who preferred the taste of the Organic Meadow eggs over the other brands, says she’ll keep spending a few extra dollars. ‘It’s reassuring to know that, along with the flavour goes better nutrition as well.’ (CBC)

Brissette says that a number of living conditions could affect the eggs’ nutrition, including sunshine, and the inclusion of grass and insects in the hens’ diet, instead of the corn-based diet that many conventionally raised hens eat.

“I would expect some variation based on what the hens are fed,” says Brissette.

While the Marketplace test only looked at a small number of samples, the findings are consistent with other studies that have looked at how farming methods affect nutrition.

One 2010 study from Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences found eggs from hens allowed to forage in pastures are higher than conventional eggs in some beneficial nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

Cost also a factor

While conventional eggs can be found at $3.69 a dozen in many places, other options come at a price. Eggs from hens raised on pasture can be more than twice that, as much as $7.99 a dozen.

Pelissero says price is the driving factor for many consumers.

“By and large, what consumers tell you for a survey versus what they actually do and buy, they’re still buying 90 per cent of the eggs from a conventional housing unit,” he says.

“There’s a choice there.”

Cindy Fair, a mother of two from Mississauga, Ont., says she’ll stick to buying conventional eggs. “There’s other sources of food that you can get vitamin D and that type of thing, so as long as we’re getting a healthy, balanced diet,” she says.

Others, though, are willing to pay a few extra dollars for what they consider a more ethical egg.

Catherine Heard, from Toronto, who preferred the taste of the Organic Meadow eggs over the other brands, says she’ll keep spending a few extra dollars. “It’s reassuring to know that, along with the flavour goes better nutrition as well.”

Based on a Marketplace investigation by Virginia Smart, Lynne Chichakian, and Asha Tomlinson.
source: www.cbc.ca


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Eggs Regain Reputation

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR    JANUARY 28, 2013

Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, but a new analysis adds to the evidence that they are not the dietary sin we once thought they were. The review suggests that for most people, eating one egg a day is not bad for the heart.

Researchers reviewed eight prospective studies including 263,938 subjects and pooled the data for analysis. They found no evidence that eating up to an egg a day increased the risk of heart disease or stroke. The results were the same for men and women and in all age ranges.

Diabetic patients were the only exception. For them, high egg consumption was associated with an increased risk of heart disease and a reduced risk for hemorrhagic stroke. But there were too few diabetics in the studies to draw reliable conclusions.

The authors, writing online this month in the journal BMJ, acknowledge that self-reports regarding food consumption are not always reliable and that most of the studies had no information about the cooking methods, which could have affected the results.

A co-author of the study, Dr. Frank B. Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard, said that eating two or three or more eggs a day might be harmful, in theory, although there are no data on that.

“But within the modest range of one a day, which applies to most people, there is no dose-response relationship with higher consumption,” Dr. Hu said.

A version of this article appeared in print on 01/29/2013, on page D4 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Nutrition: Eggs Regain Reputation.

source: NYTimes


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7 foods to fortify your body for winter

Boost your immune system: Most everyone knows that vitamin C is key to a healthy immune system. But did you know that drinking green tea can also boost your ability to fight off viruses? 

Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins, which are known to have flu-fighting properties, according to Health.com. The tea also contains theophylline, which opens your airways to help you breathe easier if mucus has taken hold. 

In a 2007 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, participants who took two green tea capsules a day experienced fewer symptoms and instances of the cold and flu compared with a placebo group. 

The bonus? Green tea has also been shown to raise your metabolism, reduce your risk of heart disease and reactivate dying skin cells to help your face retrieve its spring glow. Experts recommend drinking two or three cups a day for optimum benefits.


Prevent dry skin: Niacin, riboflavin, vitamin A … oh my! The list of nutrients needed to keep your skin healthy is longer than Santa’s. The good news is that that means everything from cereal to carrots can play a role in keeping dry skin away. 

Let’s start with niacin. The B vitamin is helpful in preventing the skin rashes and inflammation that can occur in dry weather, according to the National Institute of Health. Niacin can be found in eggs, lean meats and legumes. 

Riboflavin is another B vitamin required for healthy skin. Breads and cereals are often fortified with riboflavin, the institute says, but you can also get it from eggs, milk and green leafy vegetables. 

Vitamin A helps cells reproduce, which will aid in turning old, dry skin into new, supple skin. Eating vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables, such as cantaloupe, passion fruit, tomatoes, sweet potato, carrots and spinach, can help your skin retain moisture.


Tame dry hair: Your mother probably told you to eat your broccoli, but she may not have told you that it would be good for your looks. 

“The unique combination of emollient oils and fatty acids in broccoli can make hair stronger and more lustrous,” said Dr. Charles Crutchfield, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. 

Because of the lack of moisture in the air, hair can be brittle and easily damaged during winter. Any food with a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids will help soothe stressed strands. Look for fish, olive oil and nuts in your local grocery store.




Protect your nails: Has a walnut brownie caught your eye? There’s a healthy component to that tempting treat. Walnuts contain biotin, a B vitamin that helps strengthen nails, according to Crutchfield. Strawberries are another good source of the important nutrient.

Fingernails also contain the protein keratin, which helps protect your nails from environmental damage. Eat foods that are also high in protein like lean meats and low-fat dairy products to prevent weakness.


Bone up: Winter weather is extra dangerous for bones, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Protect yourself from the inside by building strong bones with Vitamin D. 

Unfortunately, the Office of Dietary Supplements says very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Beef liver, mushrooms, cheese and egg yolks top the list. 

If you’re not ready to dish yourself a heaping plate of liver, look for products that have been fortified with vitamin D such as milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals. Spending some time in the sunshine will also help your body absorb the nutrient; just make sure to slather on some SPF!


Avoid the vampire look: You may blame pasty skin on the lack of sunshine this time of year, but your diet can have a lot to do with your face’s rosy glow. 

People who aren’t getting enough iron have lower red blood cell counts, which may make them appear pale, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and mollusks like oysters, clams and scallops are iron-rich foods that will help bring back your pinch-able cheeks. 

Other vegetables can also help brighten a dull exterior. Carotenoids are natural pigments that produce the color in vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and tomatoes, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center; they’ll do the same for your skin. 


Prepare for the future: There’s nothing like a hot cup of cocoa after a day frolicking in (or shoveling) snow. And since researchers at Cornell University say the delicious drink contains a healthy dose of antioxidants, you shouldn’t feel guilty about indulging. The antioxidants protect your body from free radicals that can damage cells, according to the National Institute of Health

Need more convincing? A study published in the August edition of the journal Hypertension showed that flavanols – the main type of flavonoids, or antioxidants, found in cocoa and chocolate – may even improve mild cognitive impairment in the elderly.


source: cnn


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Egg yolks almost as heart-harmful as smoking: Study

Both create artery-clogging plaque


You’ve finally quit smoking; now get crackin’at losing the eggs.
That’s if you put any credence in the conclusions of a Western University study that states yolks “accelerate” atherosclerosis — coronary artery disease — in a manner similar to cigarettes.
Surveying more than 1,200 patients, Dr. David Spence, who led the study, found regular consumption of egg yolks is about two-thirds as bad as smoking in building up carotid plaque — a risk for stroke and heart attack.
“The mantra ‘eggs can be part of a healthy diet for healthy people’ has confused the issue,” says Spence, a professor of neurology at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, Ont. “What we have shown is that with aging, plaque builds up gradually in the arteries, and egg yolks make it build up faster — about two-thirds as much as smoking. In the long haul, egg yolks are not OK for most people.”
He added that the effect of yolk consumption was independent of sex, cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking, body mass index and diabetes.
And while he says more research should be performed to account for variables such as exercise and waist circumference, he stressed regular consumption of egg yolks should be avoided by people at risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to Dr. Spence, it’s a no-brainer: the recommended daily intake of cholesterol for people at risk of heart attack and strokes is less than 200 milligrams a day and that one jumbo egg contains about 237 mg of cholesterol.
But Karen Harvey of Egg Farmers of Canada is crying foul and says based on scientific research, the industry doesn’t believe the comparison between egg yolks and smoking is a valid one.
“Independent research confirms that dietary cholesterol in eggs has little effect on blood cholesterol levels in adults,” says Harvey. “These studies have also looked at people with existing heart disease and eating an egg a day did not increase their risk for cardiovascular or stroke either.”
She added that Canadian health care professionals are far more concerned with overall diet — and curbing the consumption of foods high in saturated and trans fats — in order to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke, two areas of concern that Harvey says the recent Western study failed to include in its review.
Spence says the “back and fourth” battle between his studies and the egg producers has been ongoing and he blames the media for giving “the egg people” an opportunity to spread what he calls propaganda and misinformation.
“Who are you going to believe, top researchers and doctors who have been telling Canadians that egg yolks are harmful to one’s health, or people who want to sell eggs,” he says. “Some of the research they claim to have only tells half the story.”
He says some studies (of various egg boards) didn’t wait until the subjects got well into their later years (when the effects of cholesterol are easier seen) and were released prematurely.
He compares North American egg boards to tobacco industry equivalents that for decades denied any health risks from smoking.
In 2010 his London house was “egged” after he released one of his scathing reports but says he never found out who the perpetrators were.
Atherosclerosis is a disorder of the arteries where plaque — aggravated by cholesterol — forms on the inner arterial wall.
When a portion of the buildup detaches and begins to travel through the blood stream it could block a smaller artery ultimately leading to a heart attack or stroke.
The study, published online in the journal Atherosclerosis, looked at the data from the 1,231 men and women, with a mean age of 61.5, who were patients attending vascular prevention clinics at London Health Sciences Centre’s University Hospital.
The research found carotid plaque area increased linearly with age after 40, but increased exponentially with pack-years of smoking and egg yolk-years.
In other words, compared to age, both tobacco smoking and egg yolk consumption accelerated atherosclerosis.
The study also found that those eating three or more yolks a week had significantly more plaque area than those who ate two or fewer yolks per week.
source: thespec.com  Torstar News