Viv and I are sitting in a café in Redondo Beach (LA) called “Good Stuff”. They profess healthy food and to be really healthy you can have omelette made with egg whites only! What? I mean that folly is now YEARS out of date, yet they are still peddling fat-free as “healthy”. It’s been a disastrous ignorant and foolish episode that has RUINED hundreds of millions of lives, almost certainly led to the current wave of Alzheimer’s (our brains need fats for proper function).
Moreover you need fats to absorb many vitamins (A, D, K and E are all fat-soluble). Fat-free is, quite simply, deadly. Yet it’s still being peddled for health.
Look: the whole thing of swallowing cholesterol is complete nonsense. 98% of cholesterol is made on-board, by your liver. If you eat garbage, your liver produces an unhealthy pattern of fats, it’s true. But that is a million miles from saying what you swallow is the origin of those fats!
Here’s the real teaching, note it well: egg yolk is what contains ALL the nutrition. There is nothing of any biological value or interest in egg-whites. It’s just a jelly cushioning the embryo. But the yolk contains enough nutrients to grow a tiny pin-point speck into a yellow fluffy cheeping chick! And that’s without it being topped up or adding any supplements!
Yolk is FOOD! And it has plentiful fats!!
But don’t expect logically challenged “medical scientists” to spot that any time soon! I mean, a child could spot the value of egg yolks, just on this one observation. But scientists have decided that egg yolks are unhealthy… Maybe the placenta is a bad idea too? Or breast milk? Maybe Nature is just stupid!
Good For Your Eyes
Among the many consequences of trying to abolish fats has been the demonizing of egg yolks. That has had a knock-on effect on eye health.
One thing is for sure: egg yolks are essential for eye health. They are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, both powerful anti-oxidants called xanthophylls, that protect against age-related macular degeneration. That’s an eye condition that may result in blindness. Within the central macula, zeaxanthin is the dominant component, whereas in the peripheral retina, lutein predominates. So we need both. That’s fortunate because foods that contain almost always contain the other!
As for cataracts, two meta-analyses (compilation studies) confirm that having relatively high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin significantly decreases the risk of certain types of cataract, but not all types.
Zeaxanthin is the yellow pigment that gives paprika (made from bell peppers), corn, saffron, wolfberries, and many other plants their characteristic color. Spirulina is also a rich source and can serve as a dietary supplement.
Other foods containing valuable amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin are dark green leaf vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, watercress, Swiss chard and mustard greens.
When hens are fed a diet which includes yellow corn, alfalfa meal, corn-gluten meal, dried-algae meal or marigold-petal meal, lutein and zeaxanthin are deposited in the yolks.
Moreover, research has shown that these xanthophylls need fat present to be absorbed well. So whereas kale may contain more, the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs may be more easily absorbed by the body than the lutein and zeaxanthin from other sources. Go on a low fat, egg-free diet and your eyes are going to suffer.
One randomized cross-over study looked at the effect of consuming 1 egg daily for a 5 week period on the serum concentrations of lutein, zeaxanthin, lipids, and cholesterol in individuals over 60 years of age.
Serum lutein went up 26% and zeaxanthin went up 38%. Note that this was without any measurable increase in the serum concentration of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, or triglycerides. These findings indicate that in older adults eggs are NOT a problem and just one egg per day significantly increases valuable lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations without elevating serum lipids and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations.
Note that zeaxanthin is an allowed yellow food additive: E number E161h.
The Value Of Fats
I’ve been on several fat rants before, so I don’t propose to repeat myself here.
Just remember the GOOD points about fats:
Your brain is 40% fat.
You need fat to absorb a number of vitamins
Fat kills your appetite, so you don’t need to eat, so you lose weight! Research suggests that coconut and red palm oil are the most satiating fats/oils.
Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease.
Research also shows that fatty acids may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes.
Fat coats the outside of your cells (phospho-lipids, actually) and is vital to cell health and functioning
Omega-3 fats support thyroid health, which is a hormone gland closely involved with fat metabolism (low-functioning thyroid leads to high cholesterol, obesity and an inability to lose weight).
Note also that eating good fats, especially omega-3s, will turn on good genes involved with what’s called lipolysis (burning of fat) and will turn OFF bad genes that tend to make you store fat.
Finally, if all that’s not enough, FATS TASTE GREAT! Almost all food “richness” and flavor comes from fats, not carbs or protein. Having forced the gullible public into eating cheapo fat-free foods, the manufacturers have to compensate for the missing flavor and the answer they came up with is very bad: monosodium glutamate (MSG). Ugh.
But honestly, fat-free food without the MSG is just plastic-quality food. You wouldn’t eat it anyway.
Food that tastes good. Go ahead! I approve!
Psychiatry and Fats!
You all know my masterwork on Holistic Psychiatry is due out any time (it’s written and now with layout and design!) Here’s a couple of short snippets from the chapter on depression and mention of fats.
- In 2006, researchers analyzed results from six published studies on depression and omega-3 fatty acids. They found that omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce symptoms of depression among adults.
- According to a recent study, depressed people have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids in relation to pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, and the severity of symptoms correlated with the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover inflammatory markers — interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor ? (TNF-?) — showed a direct correlation with the omega-6:omega-3 ratio.
- Here’s a gem: studies among prison inmates by Bernard Gesch in the UK report that aggression and violence is reduced, as well as mood improved, by supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids. Apparently the chance of being murdered is 30 times greater in countries with a low fish consumption, according to Joseph Hibbeln MD, working at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).5
Not what you were expecting perhaps, but I know my clever readers will get the point right away!
The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 136, Issue 10, 1 October 2006, Pages 2519–2524
Ten Amazing Benefits of Eating Fat | Poliquin Article. (2018). Main.poliquingroup.com.
Do essential fatty acids have a role in the treatment of depression? Journal of Affective Disorders 93 (2006) 117–123
Psychosom Med. 2007;69:217-224
Feed Your Brain, Ode Magazine, Jurriaan Kamp, vol 5 issue 7, pp 40- 45