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Is Eating Eggs Just As Bad For Your Health As Smoking Cigarettes? The Science Behind The Claim

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Science, and in particular health science, has entered a new era. Since the emergence of powerful corporations who put profit before all else, science has, as the editor-in-chief of the Lancet stated a few years ago, “taken a turn towards darkness.” This has been the topic of discussion among many health professionals and scientists throughout the years, and numerous publications have also emerged showing the need for immediate attention, but it’s still something that has yet to be discussed or even publicized as it should within the mainstream. You can read more about that in an article we published regarding “peer-reviewed” science, and what that really means today, here.

As a result, debates regarding various aspects that surround our human experience have emerged in abundance, and one of the most sensitive areas deals with our food — what we eat, how we eat it, and if what we’ve been taught for the past few decades is actually accurate. Given historical trends, it’s probably not, as the only constant of human knowledge and learning is that it changes and adapts all the time. Could the health benefits of eggs fit into the same category?

Recent studies over the past few years have been giving vegetarianism as well as veganism more credibility in the eyes of mainstream science. As Harvard Medical School recognizes“Studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.” 

The plethora of data that’s emerged has also justified the use of these findings in a clinical setting, and many doctors are now urging their patients to adopt a plant-based diet to treat and avoid several diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.

Take for example Michelle McMacken, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine and the Director of the Bellevue Hospital Weight Management Clinic. She reveals the grim reality of trying to treat disease without addressing diet:

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Day in and day out, I treated symptoms and blood test results related to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver, osteoarthritis, and peripheral vascular disease — but I rarely got to the common root of these conditions. My approach was usually reactive rather than proactive. My patients didn’t get much better – the best I felt I could hope for was that their disease state was ‘managed’ and didn’t get worse.

“Like most physicians,” she continues, she “had little to no nutrition instruction during [her] training, and [she] felt ill equipped to counsel” her patients with regard to their food.

But she did her research, attended conferences with like-minded practitioners, and has since seen an enormous change:

The results have been nothing short of tremendous, both for my patients and for me personally. No longer do I automatically reach for the prescription pad when I see a patient with diabetes and high cholesterol. . . . In just a short time, I’ve seen many patients avoid or decrease medications, prevent diabetes, lose weight, and reduce their cardiovascular risk by moving towards or fully adopting a plant-based diet.

Another example is Kim A. Williams, M.D., the former President of the American College of Cardiology who also adopted a vegan diet. He often sees patients who are overweight and struggling with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. One of the things he advises them to do specifically is to go vegan. He is also the Chairman of Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. His enthusiasm for a planet-based diet comes from his interpretation of medical literature, having investigated several studies proving that people who pursue vegetarian diets live longer than meat eaters and have lower rates of death from heart disease, diabetes, and kidney problems.

The list of studies and practitioners is long, so if you’re of the belief that a vegan or vegetarian diet is or can be harmful, the truth of the matter is, there is no scientific basis to support it. As far as what humans are “meant” to eat, that’s also a major debate within the scientific community, yet we are presented with one perspective from a young age, and proponents of the evolution theory also seem to use that argument quite a bit. An article by Rob Dunn written for Scientific American titled “Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians” explores this issue from an evolutionary perspective, revealing how our guts might be evolved to perform best on a vegetarian diet. This perspective also complements all of the science that is emerging today.

The fact is, people go plant based for a number of reasons. These include losing weight, reducing their risk of heart disease, decreasing the number of pills they have to take, increasing their energy levels, and more. There are several reasons, and if you’re curious, here are nine things that happen when you stop eating meat.

What About Eggs? Can They Really Be Compared to Cigarettes? 

According to the perspectives presented above, eggs would fit into the same category. They have been promoted as both healthy and unhealthy at various stages, so perhaps moderation is the best answer? It’s difficult to say, particularly when you have multiple studies condemning the consumption of eggs, linking them to cancer and heart disease, and others praising the consumption of eggs, showing complete opposite results.

For example, a study published in 2011 found that daily consumption of cholesterol appeared to cut a woman’s life short as much as smoking 25 thousand cigarettes, or 5 cigarettes a day for 15 years.

Following up on their research a year later, a study published in the Journal of Atherosclerosis Research found that regular egg consumption could put your health at grave risk. Canadian researchers examined 1,231 patients with an average age of 62. They used ultrasound measurements of the carotid arteries to establish the presence and quantity of atherosclerotic plaque. Smoking was measured in “pack-years” and egg yolk consumption in “egg yolk-years.” The researchers discovered that eating one egg per day was just as bad for your heart as smoking five cigarettes per day.

A single large egg contains more than 180 mg of cholesterol, and the average American consumes almost five eggs per week, which suggests they are serious contributing factors to the number one killer in the U.S., heart disease.
A meta-analysis of 17 different studies showed that dietary cholesterol increases the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol, which implies that the favourable rise in HDL eggs create fails to compensate for the adverse rise in total and LDL cholesterol. Therefore, increased intake of dietary cholesterol from eggs may indeed raise the risk of coronary heart disease.
On the other side of the coin, there are studies showing that additional nutrients found within eggs could could actually help lower the risk of heart disease. Just as Harvard Medical School puts out information regarding the benefits of vegan/vegetarian diets, they also point to the fact that, when it comes to eggs, “Research on moderate egg consumption in two large prospective cohort studies (nearly 40,000 men and over 80,000 women) found that up to one egg per day is not associated with increased heart disease risk in healthy individuals.”
They also note that eggs were “previously associated with heart disease risk as a result of their high cholesterol content. However, a solid body of research shows that for most people, cholesterol in food has a smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol than does the mix of fats in the diet.”
However, despite pointing to these facts, they are also quick to mention a 2008 report which argues that eating one egg per day is generally safe for the heart, meaning it might not be, and that going beyond that could actually increase the risk of heart failure later in life. They also note the increased dangers for certain members of the population:
People who have difficulty controlling their total and LDL cholesterol may also want to be cautious about eating egg yolks and instead choose foods made with egg whites. The same is true for people with diabetes. In studies including the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, heart disease risk was increased among men and women with diabetes who ate one or more eggs a day. For people who have diabetes and heart disease, it may be best to limit egg consumption to no more than three yolks per week.
We could go into an entirely separate debate here regarding cholesterol, the different types, and the controversy that surrounds it as well, but the issue is complex enough that it requires its own article.
Harvard also mentions that eggs are probably “not the optimal breakfast choice” but that they are “certainly not the worst, falling somewhere in the middle on the spectrum food choice and heart disease risk.” They still conclude with, “for those looking to eat a healthy diet, keeping intake of eggs moderate to low will be best for most, emphasizing plant-based protein options when possible.”
So, as you can see, even on the “pro-egg” side, if you want to call it that, of the scientific debate, precaution is still emphasized. This is something hard to ignore.
Vegan proponents also point to the many studies now emerging examining protein from animal sources compared to protein from plant-based sources.
According to Jim Morris, one of many competitive vegan bodybuilders, who has been vegan for most of his life, “The protein in animal products is filled with fats and chemicals and all sorts of stuff that’s harmful to you.”

A more recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital followed more than 130,000 people for 36 years, monitoring illnesses, lifestyles, diets, and mortality rates.

They found that substituting between 15g and 19g of animal protein, the equivalent of a single sausage, for legumes, pulses, nuts, and other planet protein, significantly decreased the risk of early death. Replacing eggs with plant-based protein also led to a 19% reduction in death risk.

Researchers found that a 10% higher intake of meat was associated with a 2% higher mortality rate and an 8% higher chance of cardiovascular death.

According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, known for his work on the “China Study“:

What I did during the early part of my career was nothing more than what traditional science would suggest. I made the observation that diets presumably higher in animal protein were associated with liver cancer in the Philippines. When coupled with the extraordinary report from India showing that casein fed to experimental rats at the usual levels of intake dramatically promoted liver cancer, it prompted my 27-year-long study The China Project, of how this effect worked. We did dozens of experiments to see if this was true and, further, how it worked.

In the study, Campbell emphasizes his use of traditional criteria to decide what is a carcinogen (in regards to animal-based proteins) from the government’s chemical carcinogenesis testing program. Campbell also stated that, “this is not a debatable subject and the implications of this conclusion are staggering in so many ways.”

The study also showed that animal protein is very acidic, forcing the body to leach calcium and phosphorus from the bones to neutralize the acidity.

Other Factors to Consider, Beyond Science

Scientific fraud is another important issue to consider. While there is some science showing that certain nutrients found within eggs are healthy, that doesn’t take away from the fact that consumption of eggs is doing other things in the body, too. It reminds me of blood pressure pills, for example. Yes, they reduce blood pressure, but they also create a cascade of other negative health effects, much like statins for heart problems do.

Scientific fraud is seen at all levels, from dangerous prescription drugs being pushed onto the market to the FDA manipulating media and science press and approving foods as safe for consumption without adequate study. There are countless examples here to choose from. What we have today is an inundation of corporately influenced science.

Today, if studies are funded by big food corporations, and many of them are, we’re most likely looking at advertising rather than actual science. This is why it’s so important to consider the unbiased studies that are emerging every day that entirely contradict government nutritional guidelines.

When it comes to uncovering fraud, as linked just above, there are multiple examples. When it comes to the egg industry specifically, Dr. Michael Greger is the one to consult. He’s an American physician, author, and professional speaker on health issues. He used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to uncover how public perception can be manipulated so that food corporations profit.  Take a look.

For more short videos on eggs, the industry, and the science, made by Greger, you can visit this page of his website.

How Eggs Are Mass Produced

Another thing to consider is animal cruelty. While there are some humane egg farmers, when it comes to the eggs we most commonly find in fast food restaurants and grocery stores, this is the harsh reality.

The following video by activist Erin Janus perfectly depicts what’s wrong with the way eggs are mass produced.

 

Related CE Articles:

These are a select few of many. Please sift through our website to read more if interested.

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

The Heart Disease Rates of Meat-Eaters Versus Vegetarians & Vegans. The #1 Killer In The US

Internal Medicine Physician Shares What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

A Very Informative TEDX Talk Sharing Pure Facts About Eating Meat That Some People Still Don’t Believe

What Would Native American Wisdom Say About Going Vegan/Vegetarian? Would It Agree or Disagree

Plant-Based Protein VS. Protein From Meat: Which One Is Better For Your Body

 

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues

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Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

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Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

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Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?

The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.

Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.

The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.

The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.

Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

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It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.

Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?

According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.

In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.

The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”

Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”

Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”

According to the WHO,

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much?

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
  • break up long periods of sitting with light activity

What is moderate aerobic activity?

  • Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball

What counts as vigorous activity?

  • Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts

What activities strengthen muscles?

  • lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?

  • circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.

Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.

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Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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