Sunday, May 10, 2020

Nutrition in the News: Eggs, Gluten Free, Plastic in Foods

Eggs – who hasn’t heard that eggs are high in cholesterol and we should limit how many eggs we eat?  Because of this, many of us have cut back on how many eggs we consume.  But what does the latest research show?  Gluten free – one of the latest fads in eating.  One can hardly buy a packaged good without seeing “gluten-free” on the label.  But are gluten-free foods good for your health?  Do you really need to be concerned about gluten?   Did you read my blog last week about how much plastic we are consuming each week in our foods and beverages?  This week I took a look around the kitchen and was surprised to see how many foods that used to be in glass or cardboard, are now in plastic.  Are there ways to cut back on plastic?  Let’s look at each of these topics.

Enjoy those eggs

Eggs are much maligned – we have been scared for years about eating too many eggs. But for those of us who love eggs, there is good news.  Yes, we can eat some eggs and not raise our risk of heart disease.  In fact, the latest research shows we can eat an egg a day and not increase our risk of heart disease or high cholesterol levels.  Why the change?  Rather than focusing on dietary cholesterol, researchers have found that it is the saturated fat in our diets that increase blood cholesterol and increase our risk of heart disease and strokes.  Other researchers have found that we can eat up to 2 eggs a day and not raise our blood cholesterol levels or our triglyceride levels.  In fact, the American Heart Association changed its recommendation on eggs in 2000 and noted we can eat an egg a day.  Eggs are actually loaded with good nutrition and low in calories.  Each egg has only 75 calories but provides 7 grams of a very high-quality protein.  The egg yolk provides many nutrients including vitamin D which many Americans are low in and choline which is good for our metabolism.  Our eyes can benefit from eggs as eggs provide lutein and zeaxanthin which have been shown to reduce the risks of cataracts and macular degeneration.  I don’t eat eggs every day but over the course of a week I have a couple of hard-boiled eggs and maybe some scrambled eggs.  So, enjoy an egg salad sandwich, an omelet, or some hard-boiled eggs again.  

Enjoy some eggs again.


What is all the fuss about gluten and going on gluten-free diets?  What is gluten?  Gluten is a protein found in some grains including wheat, barley, rye and a grain called triticale.  Grains like corn, rice and quinoa do have some gluten but don’t seem to cause problems.  For someone with celiac disease, it is important to remove gluten from their diet.  But what about everyone else?  The University of California Wellness Letter notes “There’s no evidence that gluten, a protein found in wheat and some other cereal grains, causes digestive problems in people who don’t have a gluten-related disorder (celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity)…” So many Americans are trying to avoid “gluten” thinking this is a healthy thing to do.  For most of the population, there seems to be no reason to avoid gluten.  In fact, people who avoid gluten may also be avoiding whole grains, which are important for health.  “Whole grains have been found to protect against coronary heart disease and the risk of dying from cardiovascular problems.” Last fall I went to an organic bakery in California looking for some whole grain bread.  The bakery had lots of gluten-free breads but few whole grain options.  I asked which breads were whole grain and had gluten as I wanted to be sure to get some gluten.  The clerks were shocked that someone actually wanted bread that contained gluten. But I have no reason to avoid gluten in my diet and every reason to include whole grains for good health.

Gluten-free: may not be a healthy choice for most Adults.


Last week in my blog, “How much plastic are you eating?” I reported on an article noting we may be eating a credit card worth of plastic every week in our diets.  I started to look around my kitchen pantry and refrigerator and was quite surprised at how many every day foods are now in plastic containers.  First was the milk – real milk but in a plastic container.  We switched to real milk in a carton.  Hopefully, the carton isn’t lined with plastic.  Then the peanut butter was in a plastic jar.  So, we switched to peanut butter in a glass jar.  The 100% orange juice we bought was in a plastic bottle so we switched to 100% orange juice in a carton.  Then I looked at the salad dressings and all are in plastic bottles. So, we bought a package of salad spices and will make our salad dressing with olive oil and store it in a glass container.  This past week we started storing more leftovers in glass containers and not the plastic containers.    Perrier water comes in plastic bottles but also in metal cans.  So, this week we chose the metal cans.  But there is a long way to go. The ketchup is in a plastic container, the cinnamon we sprinkle on our oatmeal is in a plastic container.  It will be very challenging to lessen the amount of food in plastic bottles and containers. 

Choose cans, glass bottles, not plastic

This week, enjoy an egg salad sandwich or some scrambled eggs.  Unless you have a medical condition in which you need to be gluten-free like celiac disease, add some whole grains back to your diet.  And what can you do to get some of the plastic containers out of your kitchen?  It isn’t easy getting rid of the plastic but focusing on buying more things in glass containers and in cartons may be of benefit to your health.

Sources:    research , egg, eyes, Gluten, Wellness , health , blog , Perrier    Illustrations:  cans   , Eggs   , Gluten


No comments:

Post a Comment