Fu*k Your Egg Whites!
Before you read this article, I’d like to say a couple things:
1) There are hundreds of articles written about the health effects of saturated fat. My objective here is to give you some baseline information that will hopefully interest you into learning more about the subject.
2) While I am a Precision Nutrition Exercise Coach, I am not telling you what you should eat. Every human responds and absorbs foods differently. However, I will give some recommendations that will apply to 90% of people.
In 1956, physiologist Ancel Keys presented his diet-heart hypothesis. He concluded that saturated fats found in milk and meat have negative effects, while unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils had beneficial effects. As a result, representatives of the American Heart Association appeared on television to inform people that a diet which included large amounts of butter, lard, eggs, and beef would lead to coronary heart disease. This resulted in the American government recommending that people adopt a low-fat diet in order to prevent heart disease.
This message really started to go into effect in 1985, when all dietary fats were considered unhealthy. This was driven largely by the faulty hypothesis that fats (and high cholesterol) cause obesity and cancer.
1985 is an important date to keep in mind. This is about the time when the food industry started replacing fats with…fake shit! Labels like “brown rice syrup”, “aspartame”, “fruit juice concentrates”, or my personal favorite…”natural flavors ” are just some of the common verbage used. At this same time (1985), 15% of Americans were obese. Fast forward to 2017, and the number has skyrocketed to 36%. In addition, over 100 million people in the U.S. alone are suffering from Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes (they will have Diabetes in the next 5 years if they continue their current path).
How the Heck is that Possible?
While I could write pages on pages to answer this question, I’ll keep my response to one word…SUGAR. Dr. Stephan Guyenet says that the average American consumed a Coke’s worth of sugar every five days. Now, that number is every 7 hours! The average young male consumes over 100 pounds of sugar per year! Combine that with poor sleep and too much sitting, and it’s no surprise that we are unhealthier than ever before.
We are addicted to sugar. It’s everywhere. Even in the things that we are told are healthy, like Gatorade, chocolate milk, and non-fat yogurt, we find an abundance of sugar. As we started to substitute our eggs and bacon for Pop-Tarts and Captain Crunch, it’s no coincidence that the cases of Diabesity (Diabetes + Obesity) have more than doubled in the last 30 years. Our reliance on these starchy, low-nutrient foods leaves us with crazy blood-glucose swings throughout the day, in addition to not satiating us at all. That’s why you’re probably reaching for the Pringles as we speak.
3 Step Solution
1) Add Healthy Fats
- Avocado: In addition to being tasting, creamy, and delicious, avocados are packed with 20 vitamins and minerals that give the body energy and fuel. The fiber will help your digestion and keep you satiated. I recently started throwing some into my protein shakes and love the taste and consistency that it adds.
- Butter: Throw out your Margarine and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter garbage! Replace it with grass-fed butter, like Kerrygold, that contains CLA that is linked to weight loss, among other benefits. I use Kerrygold to cook essentially everything in the kitchen--from eggs to vegetables. And by adding it to your cup of coffee, you will slow down the absorption of the caffeine, which will give you a more steady and controlled caffeine uptake. Or you can be a complete savage (like me), and just eat it by itself! You can find this at almost all grocery stores for $3.
- Eggs: Make sure you get Free-Range and/or Pasture-Raised eggs to avoid unwanted hormones and chemicals. Most importantly, EAT THE YOLK! The yolk has Vitamins A,D,E,K in addition to B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids! Long story short, NO MORE EGG WHITE OMELETTES! My 2 favorite brands are Vital Farms and Organic Valley.
- Oils: Throw out the canola, vegetable, and soybean oils. These are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation to our gut and produce free radicals that negatively affect our immune system. Instead, replace them with natural plant-based oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avacado oil. These not only taste delicious, but they will help out with your nutrient absorption and improve your fatty acid profile. If you’re cooking something at a high temperature, you probably want to lean towards using butter or coconut oil, as they are most stable in that environment. I recommend saving some money by going to Costco and stocking your shelves for months with healthy oils.
2) Much Less Sugar (and fake sugar)
- Don’t Drink Your Calories: If you can abide by this, then you’re already winning. We know about the obscene amounts of sugar in soda, but don’t forget about all of the sugar we like to add to alcoholic cocktails and coffee. And Gatorade still isn’t healthy people...
- Complex Starches Are Still Sugar: Whole grains like whole wheat bread, quinoa, and brown rice and oatmeal are not health foods like you may have thought. While they take longer to digest and absorb, they all contain Disaccharides, or double sugars, that get stored in the body as glucose. I’m not suggesting that we should always avoid eating these type of foods. However, if you aren’t an extremely active individual, then you should probably scale down your consumption of carbs.
- Replace Them With…natural sweeteners like raw honey, stevia, dates, and coconut sugar. This does NOT mean using artificial sweeteners like Sweet N’ Low or Splenda!
3) Eat Only When You are Hungry: Here's the great news: managing the amount you eat will be exponentially less challenging once you follow steps 1 and 2. Simple carbohydrates, like cereal, pastries, and bread not only inflame the sh*t out of our gut, but they don't keep us satiated. Before we even finish our second donut, we're thinking about where our next sugar rush will come from. Once you add these healthy fats to your life, you'll find yourself craving less and living more. Say goodbye to crazy blood glucose swings, fatigue, and brain fog. Instead, smile and say hello to consistent energy and efficiency throughout your day! For further explanation on this, please reference my last article here.
Guys, by no means do I know everything. I’m constantly learning, researching, and experimenting with new protocols. However, there is something to be said about the recent boom in low-carb and high-fat diets, like the Ketogenic Diet. Since implementing intermittent fasting and a keto approach about a month ago, I've lost 5 pounds and dropped to my lifetime low, 8% body fat. Most importantly, I have great energy throughout the day and better cognitive function. I highly suggest that you learn more about these topics as this was just an introduction to get you interested. Some people that I recommend you research are Robb Wolf, Ben Greenfield, Shawn Stevenson, Mark Sisson, and Chris Kresser.
Book: Own the Day by Aubrey Marcus
Dr. Francine Kaufman on chriskresser.com