While most people like to take advantage of sleeping in on a weekend morning, I roll out of bed and start cooking. Similar to most other families, mine is a crazy kind of busy all week. But on Saturdays we get one another’s undivided attention over a hearty breakfast that fuels our equally busy weekends. Since I have a preschooler who rises at dawn, sometimes my version of sleeping in is letting someone else cook, and that’s where I found this sandwich.
One morning at a favorite local breakfast dive, I poured over the menu and couldn’t find anything I wanted. However, the BLT on the lunch menu called to me, especially with the mention of avocado and tomato slices. I asked them to breakfast-ize it with an over-medium egg. They did, and it was glorious. It seemed so obvious, yet, I’d never thought about it before!
Any guilt you’ve harbored for the last few decades over eating a fried egg, well go ahead and shake it loose. Cholesterol is no longer the nutritional enemy we’ve been told to avoid. Our Mary Hartley, RD explainswhy we are no longer relegated to egg white omelets. That’s why we’re celebrating over runny egg yolk sandwiches! (more…)
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the panel of experts who review the Dietary Guidelines for revision every five years (published most recently in 2023), will change their recommendation about dietary cholesterol in the report they will send to the federal government in the next few weeks.
The current guidelines, and those of the past 40 years, restricted dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams a day. For reference, an egg yolk has around 200 milligrams and a 6-ounce T-bone steak has 90 milligrams. In 2023, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology dropped their advice about cholesterol as well.
True, cholesterol is a major part of the plaque that narrows the arteries in atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart disease and strokes, but only 20 percent of our blood cholesterol comes from diet. Our liver makes the rest. The issue is confounded because many high cholesterol foods are high in saturated fat and saturated fat and trans fat do add to blood lipid levels. Dietary cholesterol, which is found in animal-derived foods, is usually accompanied by saturated fats as in full-fat dairy products and the meat of domesticated animals. Egg yolks and crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish) are high in dietary cholesterol but low in saturated fat. (more…)
Inspired by Morgan Spurlock’s documentary, Super Size Me, science teacher John Cisna from Iowa decided to help take his students’ education out of the classroom. He engaged in a three month experiment much like Spurlock’s, eating McDonald’s every day, but instead of indulging and not exercising, he followed a more structured program which he discussed on TODAY.
Cisna’s students put the menus together which included nearly everything on the McDonald’s menu from salads to Big Macs to sundaes.
His students tracked his caloric intake and 15 different nutrients (more…)
Eggs for breakfast – healthy right? Perhaps not for everyone, as a new study suggests that eating eggs may accelerate heart disease just as much as smoking.
The study, published in the journal Atheroscolerosis, found that people who ate more eggs per week had significantly greater plaque buildup – almost two-thirds as much as smokers. One reason why this could be is that one large egg yolk can contain as much as 237 milligrams of cholesterol, according to lead author Dr. David Spence who contends that diets low in cholesterol are key for heart health in people of all ages. “Just because you’re 20,” he warns, “doesn’t mean egg yolks aren’t going to cause any trouble down the line.”
This may be true, but it seems studies come out suggesting one thing and then two weeks later suggest another, which makes it hard to know where to stand on health topics such as this.
Martica Heaner, PhD, a nutritionist, adjunct associate professor in nutrition at Hunter College, and research associate at Columbia University Medical Center, points out that observational studies like this suggest links and associations and don’t state hard-line facts, which is why this news shouldn’t send everyone into a panic about their diet. (more…)
3. Six months later return to the doctor to receive yet another medication to help relieve the symptoms/side effects of the first medication.
The sequence repeats itself until the medicine cabinet is filled with a confusing myriad of prescription cocktails that oftentimes only provide short-term relief, yet somehow manages to deplete the body of vital nutrition.
Yep, it’s “business as usual” in the world of Western medicine because the truth is, poly-pharmacy makes money. Unfortunately, the dangerous effects of these aggressively-prescribed drugs are creeping up on us. (more…)
According to the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study, including lean beef in your daily diet is as effective in reducing your total and bad cholesterol levels as the more commonly accepted DASH diet. The diet was conducted by researchers at the Pennsylvania State University and studied adults who have moderately elevated cholesterol levels. The adults’ cholesterol levels were then measured and evaluated, depending on how much lean beef they ate.
“This research sheds new light on evidence supporting lean beef’s role in a heart-healthy diet,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, the principal investigator of the study and a nutrition professor at Pennsylvania State University. “Study participants ate lean beef every day and still met targets for saturated fat intake.”
The prayers of many who have high cholesterol have been answered: Lipitor has finally gone generic. Atorvastatin may be here but Lipitor’s maker Pfizer is not going quietly into the night- they would like to keep their 100 million dollar weekly sales in tact. So here’s what you should know if you want to jump on the number one’s statin band wagon.
Lipitor is a cholesterol lowering drug called a statin that mainly works on the LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol. As far as potency, Lipitor is more potent than simvastatin (Zocor) but not as potent as Crestor for reducing LDL after the first dose is taken. Here’s some downsides to statin, including an increase in liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes could affect liver function and cause myopathy or muscle pain. If this occurs stop taking the statin and call your doctor. The most dangerous and rare side effect is called rhabodomyolysis. This causes the breakdown of muscle and can eventually lead to kidney failure, but overall, statins are a great drug to lower LDL and help prevent heart disease and heart attacks.
If you are a smoker, overweight, or have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you may end up paying more for health care as many employers are following a new trend: penalizing those employees who have unhealthy lifestyles instead of rewarding those who have healthy lifestyles.
In the past two years, the percent of American employers who impose some sort of financial penalty on their employees has doubled, making it now 19 percent. This number should double again in 2023, according to Towers Watson, a benefits consultant company.
So why are these people being penalized for their lifestyle choices? It is common knowledge that those who smoke or are obese usually have higher health risks, which in turn leads to increased health care costs. As a result, some companies are now requiring these employees to pay more for their health coverage because it makes sense that these people will end up costing the company more in health care coverage. (more…)
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and with it comes the announcement of a new combination drug to help battle the growing disease. It’s called Juvisync, and it’s the first cholesterol and diabetes combination drug of its kind. Being that high cholesterol and diabetes tend to go hand in hand for those with Type 2 diabetes, this drug promises to eliminate two birds with one stone.
Type 2 diabetics often have many other conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is important that these areas are as closely managed as their blood sugar to prevent complications like stroke and heart attack.
Healthy goals for diabetic patients for blood pressure should be less than 130/80 and LDL cholesterol levels, a.k.a. “bad cholesterol,” is less than 100 mg/dL and sometimes even less than 70 mg/dL. Juvisync’s aim is to help patients reach their goal and cut down on their daily pill count.
It’s finally happened: a fat tax is being implemented. Before you get hot under the collar, it’s not happening stateside. Yet. Denmark is the country bringing about the first tax to directly attack obesity.
“It’s the first ever fat tax,” said Mike Rayner, Director of Oxford University’s Health Promotion Research Group, who has advocated for quite some time the idea of taxes on unhealthy foods.
“It’s very interesting. We haven’t had any practical examples before. Now we will be able to see the effects for real.” (more…)
High nutrient and whole foods: FOR THE WIN! A recent study was conducted to evaluate the effects of diet on cholesterol. It was observed that people who ate food such as nuts, soy, avocado, olive oil, and oats saw a greater drop in cholesterol than those who maintained a low-fat diet.
A 6-month study was conducted in four different locations in Canada. Two groups of participants were selected and all had elevated cholesterol levels. One group was put on a diet that included foods believed to improve heart health, yet were high in healthy fats. The other group was placed on a diet that emphasized low-fat foods, including whole grains and high-fiber options.
The first group obtained their food list from a US Food and Drug Administration list. This list contained approved suggestions for better heart health. Foods on that list included olive oil, avocado, oatmeal, soy, tofu, beans, lentils, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Many of these foods contain high fat levels. However, they are natural and healthy fats.
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