Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Eggs and butter don’t cause heart disease, sugar does!

I have always preached the benefits of having 1-2 eggs a day, it is a nutritious food, rich in protein, Vitamin A, choline, folate, B12 and some minerals.  It is one of the most affordable wholefoods that has been demonised by many. 

For half a century, we have been hearing doctors preaching that fats cause heart disease, and patients have been advised to reduce intake of eggs and swap butter out for margarine.  Most patients would be swapping eggs out for cereal for breakfast, which apparently was thought to be good for you.  Half a century on, cardiovascular disease is still the leading and growing cause of death, causing 30% of all deaths in New Zealand.

The problem is we have got it wrong!  Eggs and butter don’t cause heart disease, the cause of heart disease is in the consumption of sugar!  Swapping eggs out for breakfast for cereal that is a highly processed carbohydrate is a green card to causing increase in insulin and blood sugar which increases the risk factor for heart disease.

Sugar is the culprit to increasing inflammation and narrowing of the arteries from inflammation increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack.  Sugar is addictive, whether it comes in the form of refined cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Butter is a saturated fat, but it is a naturally occurring fat.  Our bodies need saturated fats, adequate amounts of them are required to reduce the levels of lipoproteins in our blood, which is protective of the cardiovascular system. Margarine, on the other hand, is often made out of a vegetable oil.  Vegetable oils are often liquid at room temperature.  In order to solidify it, the structure of the oil needs to be manufactured and firmed up.  What firms up the oil also firms up your arteries.  It is therefore not a substitute for butter.  If you need to have butter, have it but without the sugar, because it is the sugar that causes heart disease more than the butter!

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