Eat nuts, toss out egg yolks, reduce stroke

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After controlling for smoking, hypertension, and family history of heart disease this huge meta-study of 210,000 people over 33 years gives our best evidence yet that fats from nuts are very good for us.

How to read below chart: Vertical black line means average risk of stroke. Anything to the left of the vertical black lines is good – less than average chance of stroke. Anything to the right of the black line is bad – higher than average chance of stroke.

A number of really interesting things in the above chart. First, walnuts seem to lower the risk of stroke the most. The next thing that really stands out is how different “peanuts” are from “peanut butter”. Peanuts lowered the risk of stroke in every single study where as peanut butter was about 50/50 whether it hurt or helped. Not a surprise since most people who consume peanut butter buy Jiff or Skippy which has HFCS and trans-fat blended in to reduce cost.

Get more fat from plant sources!

Its nice when research backs up what I have been saying for years. I fought with people over “egg yolks” for ages. I have always maintained that although there is nothing wrong with egg yolks, if one is a pseudo-vegetarian like I am, eating whole eggs when one consumes 8-20 eggs a day is very unhealthy. Consuming that much of anything is bad, but its more than that. I have maintained that its very important that a significant portion of the fat we eat come from plant sources, more than 50%. That is why I toss egg yolks out, so that I have room in my daily macros for nuts, olive oil, flaxseed, and maybe an avocado now and then. These plant based fats are very important for health. Its more than that too, animals are concentrators of pollutants in the air, water, and soil. Increasingly fertilizers, pesticides, PCBs, and industrial solvents find their way into the environment to get concentrated by the animals that eat them. Nuts, olives, flax, and avocado have far less pollutants in them than bacon fat, egg yolks, or cheese for this reason.

From its start, CustomMealPlanner worked hard to make sure that people got at least half their fat from plant sources. When I designed version 2.0 of CustomMealPlanner I took this a step further and actually track the percent of calories from animal and plant sources and use that information in the health rating of the meal plan. Because most of the fat that people eat comes from their protein sources (meat or dairy), whenever there needs to be fat added to a meal, CustomMealPlanner will add plant based fats like nuts, avocado, or flax. The below meal is a great example of what I am talking about. This is a high protein egg white scramble that uses nuts insted of egg yolks for fat.

Take for example the free vegetarian meal plan produced when the users selects “3 meals/day”. Scroll to the bottom and you will see a “cautions” section where sodium, animal calories, and processing are rated with blue slider bars. The number on the right is the maximum suggested value for this item and the number on the left is how much this meal plan has. In this case, 1231 are the maximum calories suggested from animal sources and we have 1076.

Eat nuts, toss out egg yolks, reduce stroke

Its funny, back when I was the only fitness trainer on YouTube, I made people FURIOUS by suggesting that they throw out the egg yolks when they rely on eggs for protein as many vegetarians do.

I could not get them to realize that a nutritional plan needs to be considered in its entirety, you simply cannot make nutritional decisions in isolation.  A nutritional plan is a top-down design.  You start by calculating your caloric budget for the day.  You then choose your protein sources to get your 1g/lb of protein.  You then make sure you get your vitamins and fiber from vegetables and fruit.  Last step is to add fat, yes fats are healthy and very important for bodybuilding – especially fats with omega-3 fatty acids.  If you have used whole eggs for your protein, you simply have no calories left to add these healthy fats!  In any given meal plan there are only so many calories that can be alloted for fat and you must live within that.  If you want healthy fat calories from flax, nuts, olives, chia, and avocados then you have to reduce the fat from animal based sources like eggs, meat and cheese. At that time I did not have the tools to explain to people in a way that they can understand, now CustomMealPlanner interactively helps people see this relationship.

For those who yell at me and tell me that I should not waste food, please read the linked post.