09 October 2011

Egg yolks for eye health

Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in egg yolks.
This morning I spoke with a lady in a coffeeshop who told me she "heard on Dr. Oz" that she should be eating an egg a week for her eyes. I told her differently: she may need to eat them more often than once a week, turn to spinach, or supplement with lutein and zeaxanthin for her aging eyes. Now, because she said she'd get online and read this blog, I want to back my statements up.

In 2009, University of Massachusetts researchers (1) evaluated lutein and zeaxanthin from egg yolks on older adults with low macular pigment optical density, most whom were taking statins to lower cholesterol.* They found that eating four egg yolks per day, and possibly two egg yolks per day, improve macular health after five weeks. Notably, the treatments also increased HDL cholesterol, but not LDL cholesterol.

05 October 2011

Omega-3 Overview and Book Review of "Queen of Fats" by Susan Allport

You can’t swing a dead fish these days without hearing about its good fats. The term “omega-3” is now well known throughout the world of nutrition, but this wasn’t always so. Science writer Susan Allport accomplishes the task of chronicling the discovery and rise to stardom of omega-3 oils in The Queen of Fats: Why Omega-3s Were Removed from the Western Diet and What We can Do About Them.

Omega-3s, specifically long-chain omega-3s DHA and EPA found naturally in fish, have overtaken the world of nutrition as one of the most exciting areas of research in the last few decades. They are now recognized as essential for cardiovascular health and guarding against heart disease; DHA for being the most abundant fat in our brains and a key nutrient for infant and brain development as well as long-term brain health in adults; and EPA because it acts to replace other fatty acids in eicosanoid pathways to reduce inflammation in joints and the body overall.

No one would have predicted these facts half a century ago. Back in the 1960s, fats were all considered evil. There was no distinction between what fat was “good” or “bad”, writes Allport. Out of this type of thinking was born the American Heart Association’s low-fat recommendation, which was a recipe for disaster in eating.