By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
March 28, 2014
- Are eggs really the health risk they’ve been made out to be?
- The major flaw in recent studies on eggs and meat
- Enjoy your high-protein breakfast – and other meals, too – without fear!
For years and years everyone thought eggs were our worst artery-clogging enemy.
But recently we’ve discovered eggs aren’t the bad guy after all. It turns out it’s what we eat with them that destroys our health. Processed meats like bacon, ham and sausage are the real enemies. They’ve been linked to all sorts of chronic health conditions that can lead to an early demise.
And just when all of this confusion about eggs has finally been cleared up, another faulty news story has hit the media. It’s making eggs look like the bad guys all over again.
You may have seen the recent headlines. They’re claiming that eating certain proteins – like eggs and meat – is as bad for you as smoking cigarettes. The articles are based on a study that suggests eating things like eggs during middle-age could put you at a higher risk for cancer, diabetes and early death.
Is this true? Do you really have to give up your eggs again?
Certainly not. Let me explain what’s really going on here…
News reports often go for the sensational. And that’s definitely the case here.
The study in question wasn’t strictly focused on eggs and meat. In fact, the research included all forms of protein – both animal and plant-based.
But here’s the real kicker: It didn’t differentiate the proteins based on food sources!
Since the research used data collected from over 6,000 average people living in the U.S., I’m pretty sure the majority of the proteins didn’t come from fresh eggs, wild-caught fish or grass-fed meats.
Chances are much more likely a few foot-long submarine sandwiches – loaded with processed meats, cheeses and fatty dressings – were one source of protein. It’s just as likely bacon, sausage, hot dogs, ham and other processed meats accounted for much of the protein reported in these diets.
These American “mainstays” are loaded with nitrates, sodium, colorings, corn syrup and a lot of other things you shouldn’t be ingesting. And it’s showing up in our health.
Eating processed meats can:
- Increase your risk of certain types of cancer
- Considerably boost your chances of developing diabetes
- Raise your risk of heart disease by more than 40%
- Greatly reduce your prospects for a long and healthy life
Now I always recommend to my patients that they stay away from these adulterated meats. And it irks me when studies clump these unhealthy foods in with things like freshly pastured eggs and other clean protein sources that are safe, healthy and necessary for a strong and healthy body.
It skews the study results and makes everyone worry for no reason at all.
Here’s what I suggest for enjoying healthy proteins without fear…
It’s vitally important to get plenty of protein throughout the day – especially at breakfast.
This might include enjoying a fresh, pastured egg or two with your morning meal. I like to prepare them over easy, over well, poached or hard boiled. Keeping them intact (i.e., not scrambled or in an omelet) keeps the cholesterol in the eggs from oxidizing. Add a small, lean steak from grass-fed beef and you’ll get your day started off right.
This extra boost of protein will fuel your body for the day without shooting your blood sugar sky-high the way breakfast cereals, waffles and bagels do. It keeps you feeling fuller longer and helps keep your waistline trim.
But don’t stop with fresh eggs and clean beef. There are several other healthy proteins you can include in your diet without worry.
Some of my favorites include…
Protein shake. You might not have ever thought about drinking a protein shake. But there are some great ones out on the market today. And plant proteins make great alternatives to milk, beef or egg-based. I recommend a brand called Sunwarrior, which you can find online or at your local health-food store. It’s gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free and dairy-free. Plus, it’s delicious.
Wild-caught fish is another preferred source of protein. And it has all sorts of bonuses. It protects your heart, keeps your mind clear and helps improve muscle protein synthesis to keep you strong and healthy as you age.
To reduce mercury exposure, I recommend avoiding deepwater fish and sticking with ones that are lower on the food chain. This includes salmon, herring, sardines, trout and flounder. I especially like wild king salmon. They eat primarily algae, seaweed and smaller fish, so there’s less mercury in their flesh.
Organic, pasture-raised poultry. Lean meats like chicken and turkey are an excellent source of high-quality protein. I prefer them to red meat, because the fat content is much lower. Just make sure to pass on the skin.
Organic Greek yogurt. For non-meat eaters, this is a must. Greek yogurt is high in protein but lower in sugar than most commercial yogurts.
Limit meat sources of protein to about 13% of your diet. Then, get the rest from other healthy sources like beans, nuts, seeds and almond milk. If necessary, you can even supplement with a high-quality whey or egg white protein.
Rong Y, et al. “Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” BMJ. 2013 Jan 7;346:e8539.
Morgan E. Levine, et al. “Low Protein Intake Is Associated with a Major Reduction in IGF-1, Cancer, and Overall Mortality in the 65 and Younger but Not Older Population.” Cell Metabolism, 2014; 19 (3).
Vang A, et al. “Meats, processed meats, obesity, weight gain and occurrence of diabetes among adults: findings from Adventist Health Studies.” Ann Nutr Metab. 2008;52(2):96-104. Epub 2008 Mar 18.
Micha R, et al. “Red and processed meat consumption and risk of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Circulation. 2010 Jun 1;121(21):2271-83. Epub 2010 May 17.
Rohrmann S, et al. “Meat consumption and mortality – results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.” BMC Med. 2013 Mar 7;11:63