are eggs good food?

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: Do you think eggs are okay to eat?

Answer: I get this question a lot.

The answer is, not really. Especially not conventional eggs.

If you’re going to buy ONE thing organic, let eggs be that one thing. The natural omega fatty acid balance is so disrupted in conventional eggs that it’s the reverse of what is healthy. It should be 6:1 Omega 3’s to Omega’s 6’s. But it’s the opposite in grocery-store eggs, and we’re already far out of balance because of refined oils heavy in Omega 6’s, in most people’s diet.

The only thing I use eggs in is baking, very occasionally. And you don’t have to use eggs. You can use 1 Tbsp. chia seed soaked in 3 Tbsp. water instead.

fish oil vs flax oil

Fish oil vs flax oil: which is better?   Fish oils are rich in Essential Fatty Acids, and most people  have thought for the past 10+ years that they are the best source.   This is because  research on EFAs focused on the fish oils for many years.   A very recent study said those taking isolated fish-oil supplements did not have better cardiovascular markers, contrary to popular belief.   Harvard-educated M.D. Donald Rudin says that his own research yielded better results with flaxseed oil.

Fish oil is problematic for a few reasons.   First, contaminants  in water sources mean a lot of fish  contain mercury or other heavy metals, or toxins called lipid peroxides.   Second, some experts say fish oil is  indigestible in the gut (that’s why you burp it up for hours after taking it).   Third,  heat destroys  the EFA alpha linolenic acid in cooking, which is something to consider if you’re getting your EFAs from eating fish.   Fourth, fish oil is  about five times more  expensive, ounce for ounce, than  flax oil.    (And probably about 20 times more expensive than whole flaxseed!)

Fish oil advocates claim that you get EPA and DHA (two fatty acids) from animal sources, whereas flax is low in DHA.   True, but on the other hand, the human body needs very little DHA, as it is stored in the cells and does not need to be replaced often.

Further,  flax is a whole plant food with lots of fiber and many other virtues, including anti-inflammatory, tumor-inhibiting, and mood- and hormone-regulating compounds.   In fact, I believe flaxseed to be potentially the most nutritious food on the planet.   The fish oil vs flax oil debate isn’t over, but  the more I read  on newer research, the more firmly convinced I become that flax will win in the end.

health benefits of flax

Today I start blogging, in several parts, on good fats.   Hopefully Myth #3 of my Nutrition Manifesto has convinced you to get plenty of good fats in your diet every day?   This week, I’ll post a new YouTube vid showing how to make Flax-Veggie crackers to address ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS, today’s and tomorrow’s topic.   So if you haven’t subscribed to my vids (it’s free!), go to YouTube, find me by searching for “green smoothie” (I’m either #1 or #2), and subscribe!   You’ll be notified every time I post a new demo.   12 Steppers, on April 1, you’ll get a chapter on good fats, with recipes and ideas on how to get them in your diet daily.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are the unsaturated omega-3 (alpha-lenolenic acid) and omega-6 (alpha-lenoleic acid) fats.   They’re called “essential” because the body cannot manufacture them and therefore must be supplied by diet.   (Your body can produce adequate omega-9s if enough essential fats are available.)   These fats support many of the body’s systems, including the nervous, immune, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems.   EFAs are used by the body to make and repair cell membranes and eliminate waste from cells.   They also produce prostoglandins, which regulate blood pressure, clotting, heart rate, and fertility.   EFAs are particularly critical for babies, pregnant women, and children for neural development.

Americans are omega-3 deficient.   We need a ratio of between 1:1 and 4:1 omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, but most Americans get between 10:1 and 25:1.   Deficiencies in omega 3, as well as inappropriate omega 6 to omega 3 ratios, have been linked to many of the diseases the U.S. leads the world in: depression, cancer, heart disease, stroke, asthma, lupus, diabetes, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s.   Americans get too much omega 6 partly because of our reliance on processed vegetable oils, which are high in damaged, low-grade versions of that nutrient.

If anyone experiences symptoms of depression, the first thing I recommend trying is flaxseed or flax oil in the diet every day, which can create dramatic improvement.   Yet another reason to enjoy foods rich in EFAs is that they have the effect of combating damage done by the “bad fats.”   The phytoestrogens in flax  are known to  balance hormones for women: too-high estrogen counts tend to come down, and too-low estrogen counts tend to come up, eating flaxseed.   And compounds in this power food are well established tumor inhibitors, so anyone with a history or risk for cancer should take note.

 

The American Cancer Institute acknowledges 27 different compounds in flaxseed that are anti-carcinogenic!   In recent years, a hot topic of research is the lignan compounds, a special carbohydrate known to prevent both cancer and heart disease, as well as inflammatory conditions.   Flax has the highest known concentration of these lignans, 75 times higher than the next-highest food.

Sold on flax yet?   Read tomorrow for more about eating it.