Eggs and Butter

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By Carlos M Viana, Clinical Nutritionist

A favorite dish of mine in a Japanese restaurant is a raw quail egg yolk on sea urchin eggs. A variable “cholesterol bomb”, one of my colleagues called. Notice that the Japanese sushi chef throws away the white of the egg. A good thing, since raw egg whites should never be consumed. Egg whites contain substances that remove vitamins from your body and could possibly inhibit digestion of protein, and affect growth. Cooking the egg for just a few minutes destroys these and other harmful compounds.

The reason a myth has survived for years about the dangers of eating egg yolks is because one egg yolk contains about 213 milligrams of cholesterol. This is about the same amount as my other favorite food, olive oil that is also loaded with cholesterol. However, any clinical nutritionist will tell you that the different types of cholesterol are not the same. Olive oil, like egg yolks, both have a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidative substances. In lay terms, both of these great foods are rich in HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

If you enjoy the convenience of taking a multivitamin to be sure you’re getting enough nutrients, you should consider including soft boiled or poached eggs in your diet. They come close to having everything a natural multivitamin provides. Eggs are low in sodium and are a good source of protein, riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic acid, phosphorus, and selenium. Additionally, there are amino acids, the building blocks for muscle and a great source of lecithin. In fact, the word “lecithin,” comes from the Greek word “lekithos” meaning “egg yolk”. Other foods that contain lecithin include: butter, peanuts, cauliflower, tomatoes, banana, oranges, lentils, oats, barley, corn, sesame seeds, flax seeds, whole wheat and human breast milk.

Notice I said, butter, not margarine. Actually, if you are worried about cholesterol, according to a Harvard Medical study, margarine may increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter. Margarine contains up to 45 percent of artificially created unhealthy trans-fats. No more fattening than margarine, butter has been in the diet for thousands of years so our bodies are used to digesting it. Besides lecithin, butter is a rich source of easily absorbed vitamin A, E, K, D and selenium, a powerful antioxidant. We use salt free to eliminate the harmful processed salt which is used as a preservative to help the butter last longer on the shelf. If you like the taste of salt, try adding your own natural sea salt, which still has some of the minerals left and is not chemically processed.

Even better is Clarified Butter or “Gee” a form of butter found in the Indian section of your supermarket. Gee can be made easily at home and is butter which has the milk solids or fat removed. It has a high smoke point and is a safer, healthier choice for cooking than other fats or oils. With people afraid to eat egg yolks, the richest source of choline found in modern diets comes from an additive called lecithin. Lecithin is most often added to foods as an emulsifier which helps keeps food blended. As a dietary supplement, I consider lecithin to be essential for everyone. In our clinic I see patient’s daily suffering from fatigue, insomnia, kidney and bladder problems, high cholesterol levels, nerve-muscle problems, including cardiovascular disease, infertility, liver and gallbladder problems, anemia, and high blood pressure. Lecithin in your body keeps your cells functioning properly, allows your nerves to communicate with your muscles; and prevent the build-up of homocysteine in your blood. Homocysteine is a harmful compound that is associated with cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Since lecithin has fat-modifying effects, lecithin helps prevent fatty build-up in the liver.

An important part of lecithin is choline. Since the 1930s, research has shown that choline is a component of every human cell. Lecithin can help control cholesterol levels. Because of its role in nerve-muscle function, lecithin has been used to help improve neuromuscular function in Alzheimer’s disease and plays a critical role in memory functions and learning difficulties. Lecithin supplementation is very important to babies, even while still in the womb. Dietary deficiency of lecithin can provoke respiratory distress in newborns, and failure to thrive. In very young babies a continuing deficiency can produce impaired growth, and abnormalities in bone formation. Medical data on lecithin suggests that simply supplementing the diets of pregnant and nursing women with lecithin could affect their children’s lifelong learning and memory. In adults, lecithin can boost cognitive function, diminish age-related memory decline, and reduce the brain’s vulnerability to toxic substances.

Eggs are nutritious. They’re nutrient dense that means that eggs provide a good proportion of needed nutrients for the calories they provide. Eating nutrient-dense foods is particularly important for children as well as older adults because their energy needs are less but their nutrient needs are high. Nutrient density is also important for anyone of any age who is trying to lose weight. One of the reasons for eating eggs is lecithin and supplementing your diet with a quality lecithin supplement give us a healthy boost. By the way, I recommend most of my patients take individual, natural supplements, like Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zane and always Lecithin. However, if you prefer taking a multivitamin, make sure you are using a natural one. There is a difference between quality food based nutrients and cheaper, synthetic or artificial vitamins, which may also include fillers, dyes and preservatives.

Get The Point! Eggs and butter do not increase heart disease risk in most people. A Harvard School of Public Health study found that healthy adults were able to eat an egg a day without increasing their risk of heart disease or stroke. Want help with a cholesterol problem or a healthier gall bladder, liver, brain or to improve the learning ability of your child? Come in so we can tailor a health program to your specific needs.

CARLOS VIANA, Ph. D. is an Oriental Medical Doctor (O.M.D.) having studied in Shanghai, China; a Board Cert. Clinical Nutritionist (C.C.N.), a fellow member of the Board Certified Association of Addiction Professionals (C.Ad.), the Chairperson of the Latin American Committee of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), a Rejuvenating Cell Therapist and specializes in Anti-Aging Medicine, has a weekly radio program, writes and lectures extensively. For information: VIANA NATURAL HEALING CENTER NV, Kibaima 7, Aruba, TEL: 585-1270, Web Site:

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