You can’t believe everything you hear. That truth is particularly true when it comes to nutrition lies. Each week, it seems as if a new fad or health solution is reported. These reports typically include information on a food now considered “unhealthy” or a better, faster way to lose weight. Many of the claims are often discredited, upon further research, yet their impacts on dietary choices remain.
Studies from the 1950s and 1960s transformed the way we ate, the foods we ate and the amount we ate. The result? Detrimental effects on our health because the nutrition lies proved faulty.
Nutrition lies in the media are common; studies subsidized by pharmaceutical companies, food manufacturers and food associations are often tilted to make the public believe that one food is healthier than another to spur sales and increase visibility.
For decades, it has been widely believed that eggs, and specifically their saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. This is simply untrue. While there are studies dating back to the 1980s that refute this claim, it is still widely held and believed.
In fact, there is no relationship between egg consumption and coronary heart disease, and egg consumption is unrelated to blood cholesterol levels.
Unfortunately, the study correction to right the misinformation published in the 1970s only came out in 2016.
Truth: You need cholesterol to survive. Plus, eggs are not the enemy.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that egg consumption does not influence the risk of cardiovascular disease in men, while another study shows that dietary cholesterol is not related to coronary heart disease incidences or mortality.
Egg yolks, which have often been the source of repeated nutrition lies because of their saturated fat. However, eggs have been proven to help to increase lutein and zeaxanthin levels, without elevating cholesterol levels. Lutein and zeaxanthin are associated a reduction in incidence of age-related macular degeneration and good eye health.
And cholesterol, unlike you may have been told, is actually an extremely important substance that aids your body in a number of vital processes. Instead of worrying about your total cholesterol numbers, you should be more aware of your ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol (and your overall triglycerides).
Solution: Enjoy free-range or local farm eggs and monitor cholesterol ratios.
Of course, what you need to know is there are good eggs and bad eggs; The way they are raised and what they eat are contributing factors. So, get free range, farm eggs, or locally farmed eggs whenever possible. Eggs are a versatile food, which is packed with high-quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins A, B5, and B12, folate, phosphorus, and selenium. It is low in calories, and can be enjoyed in a wide array of egg recipes.
As far as your cholesterol goes, don’t worry too much about eating nutritious high cholesterol foods (no, I don’t mean you should start eating processed foods). These healthier options, such as grass-fed beef, dark chocolate and eggs, provide nutrients that your body will enjoy.
I think a good ratio of HDL to LDL particles is 1:2.5 or less. Multiply your HDL number by 2.5; If the rest is higher or equal to your LDL cholesterol number, you’re in a healthy range.