How Gut Bacteria Impacts the Brain, the Link Between Health and Happiness

Rain

I have offered Health and Happiness Seminars for decades. It is a 4 part class and I help the students make slow steady changes during those four weeks. Most of them look at me like I am full of it when I tell them that they will be far happier at the end of the month. That they will sleep better by the end of the first week and begin losing weight and feeling ,more energetic with 3 or 4 days. It is such a joy to see their faces at the 2cd class and listen to them share! As I teach them how to improve the way they eat, and why, and help them make changes each week they are amazed. I had a teacher from Georgia drive down to my classes one summer and she told me they swore she had had lipo and cosmetic work when she went back to teach in September. It make that big of a difference, and it is all about great nutrition and gut health.

A growing body of research has shown that the teeming populations of gut bacteria within us have evolved complex connections that can affect our body’s basic functions — from metabolism to sleep to mood.

Changes in the makeup of the gut bacteria in the human digestive system have been associated with a growing number of diseases.

Healthy Heart

Some of the many beneficial compounds that certain gut bacteria produce for us are carotenoids—antioxidants that are believed to protect against stroke and angina.

In a 2012 study in Nature Communications, researchers in Sweden compared the gut microbiome of stroke patients to that of healthy subjects and found that there were more carotenoid-­producing gut bacteria in healthy participants.

Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., and his team at the Cleveland Clinic have been looking at a variety of ways microbes play a role in heart disease.

For example, when certain gut bacteria metabolize lecithin (abundant in egg yolks) and ­carnitine (a compound in red meat), it boosts compounds in the blood that are linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Remove the bacteria and the risk-causing compounds vanish even ­after eating those foods.

Allergies Denied

Researchers in Copenhagen reviewed the medical records and stool samples of 411 children for 6 years and found that those who had the least diverse colonies of gut bacteria as infants were more likely to develop some types of allergies.

Trim Weight

A growing body of studies indicates that obese people tend to have a much lower diversity of gut bacteria — up to 40 percent less — than people with a healthy weight. And gut microbes may be responsible for those lean or plump traits: several studies with mice have found that transferring gut microbes from obese mice (or from obese humans) into non-­obese mice, leads the non-obese mice to gain weight.

In turn, adding gut bacteria from lean mice into heavy ones causes the chubby mice to lose weight on a high-fiber, low-fat diet. Researchers believe different bacteria metabolize food differently, which could affect how much your body absorbs.

A 2013 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests certain gut microbes may help lower blood pressure.

Researchers found that by-products produced by certain gut bacteria activated a specific kind of cell receptor in blood vessels that lowers blood pressure. More bacteria equals more by-products, which equals healthier blood pressure.

Fight Cancer

A robust and diverse gut microbiome may help certain chemotherapies work better. French researcher Laurence Zitvogel, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues observed that gut bacteria in mice encouraged immature immune cells in the lymph nodes to develop into tumor-targeting T-cells.

In contrast, when mice were treated with antibiotics (which wipes out bacteria) before begin­ning chemotherapy, the chemotherapy was less effec­tive. The researchers ­believe the gut bacteria help prime the immune system to respond to chemotherapy.

Some microbes may be associated with colon cancer. University of Michigan researchers exposed two groups of germ-free mice — essentially mice with sterile colons — to a known carcinogen.

One group then received gut bacteria from mice with colon cancer and went on to develop twice the number of tumors than the other group who got gut bacteria from cancer-free mice. The researchers narrowed down the microbial families associated with colon cancer and one included Prevotella.

People with inflammatory bowel disease are at higher risk of developing ­colon cancer than the general population. Researchers have thought that the main culprit is overactive immune cells, which release DNA-damaging molecules.

Now new findings in Science suggest that overactive immune cells also may be causing an imbalance in your gut bacteria — encouraging E. coli strains that produce cancer-causing toxins.

Relaxed & Happy

There’s something to be said for “gut feelings.”

Gut bacteria produce hundreds of different neurotransmitters, including up to 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin, a mood and sleep regulator. Serotonin also controls movement within the intestines.

Our gut is said to be our “second brain” in part because the vagus nerve is a major communications highway that stretches from the brain to various points along the intestinal lining; communication travels in both directions.

One Lactobacillus species, for example, sends messages from the small intestine to the brain along this nerve: in a study led by John Cryan, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at University College Cork in Ireland, anxious mice were dosed with a proprietary strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Those rodents then had lower stress hormone levels and an increase in brain receptors for a neurotransmitter that’s vital in curbing worry, anxiety and fear. The effects were similar to those of Valium.

According to another study, when mice had this bacteria in their gut, they showed less depressive behavior. Whatever bacteria may be responsible for “feeling good,” it appears they can be acquired: a recent experiment moved gut bacteria from fearless mice into anxious mice. The new bacteria sparked a personality change, making timid mice more gregarious

Dan Littman, M.D., Ph.D., a microbiologist at the NYU School of Medicine, led a study that found an association between the gut bacteria Prevotella copri and the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease of the joints. While the connection was significant, it’s not clear which comes first: the bacteria or RA.

However, other animal studies, Littman says, have clearly shown that gut microbes play a role in causing autoimmune diseases. One of these, published in 2013 in the journal Science, showed 75 percent of female mice at risk of autoimmune type 1 diabetes were protected against the disease when they were given gut bacteria from healthy mice.

Manage Crohn’s

A large study out of Massachusetts General Hospital involving more than 1,500 patients recently reported a connection between gut microbes and Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the GI tract, but typically the intestines).

In addition to having less diversity, Crohn’s patients had fewer bacteria known to quell inflammation and more bacteria that cause inflammation.

Interestingly, those who received the standard antibiotic treatment for Crohn’s had a microbe mix that was even more out of balance. Another study found that when Crohn’s patients were given a prebiotic fiber supplement each day, disease symptoms decreased significantly.


My Path Back to a Pescatarian Diet

Pescatarian Diet

When I transitioned away from strict vegetarian 15 years ago it was because I kept developing more allergies after becoming highly sensitized to latex which cross-reacts with a soy or gluten allergy. For about 7 years I ate Pescatarian and loved it. When organic meats got easier to find I tried widening my diet out but did not feel as well. So my Meal Delivery service has included meats for the last 10 years I have mostly eaten Pescatarian. With the climate issues we are experiencing many of my clients have asked me to lean more toward plant-based and I have decided to move in that direction by transitioning to Pescatarian.

While I am well versed and considered an expert on Vegetarian Nutrition I do not feel it gives us the saturated fats we desperately need nor do we get enough Omega-3 fats.

For a look at why we need Saturated Fats please read my article The Importance of Saturated Fats in the Human Diet.

To make my diet perfect I eat a plant based diet that includes seafood, mostly cold water fish. I also cook 75% of the my food with Ghee. There are many benefits to cooking with and eating ghee. It gives us a very stable fat to cook with that can be used for sautéing and baking, it gives use badly needed Vitamins A, C,D, and K as well as those saturated fats, monounsaturated Omega-3’s, as well as a small amount of polyunsaturated fats. It also has more conjugated linoleic acid. It is also lactose free.

So I cook with ghee, eat seafood about 3 times a week, rely on eggs, beans, nuts and seeds for protein also. I eat about half of my daily intake raw including salads and fruit and ALWAYS have raw food with any cooked food as that gives me the enzymes I need for proper digestion and gut health. I put a healthy emphasis on green leafy vegetables as they are crucial for meeting out needs for calcium and iron.

I eat no sugar, relying on Monk Fruit Sweetener in my coffee and to make desserts, It has no glycemic load and no calories and gives the correct texture that you need for baked goods.

I do use some grains but only gluten free, I use rice pasta occasionally but never for a full meal such as spaghetti. It’s mostly devoid of nutrition so even when I make a Pasta Salad it will have WAY more veggies than pasta.

Most of us get enough protein and fat, but almost no one gets enough vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytochemicals. These nutrients are the key to health and longevity. This is an anti-inflammatory diet, one that will help you heal and slow down the aging process, help you sleep, lower blood pressure and have more energy.


What Is a Pescatarian and What Do They Eat?

In this article I will be discussing the benefits of Pescatarian Diet and a few pitfalls people run into in following it.

Pescatarian

A pescatarian is someone who adds fish and seafood to a vegetarian diet. There are many reasons people choose to forgo meat and poultry, but still eat fish.  Some people choose to add fish to a vegetarian diet so they can get the health benefits of a plant-based diet plus heart-healthy fish. Others might be trying to curb the environmental impact of their diet. For some, it might be simply a matter of taste.

Most simply, a pescatarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat, but does eat fish

Of course, just as vegetarian diets can vary widely, so can pescatarian ones. It’s possible to eat a meat-free diet that’s full of processed starches, junk food and fish sticks, rather than a healthier one based on whole foods.

Why Do People Choose a Pescatarian Diet?

Health Benefits

There are many proven benefits to plant-based diets, including a lower risk of obesity and chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes .  According to research, you can get many of those protective benefits from a pescatarian diet too. One study found that women who were pescatarians gained 2.5 fewer pounds each year than women who ate meat.

And people who shifted their diet in a more plant-based direction gained the least amount of weight, showing that reducing your animal consumption may be good for you no matter your current eating patterns.

Additionally, one large study looked at people who ate meat rarely or were pescatarians. They had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to regular meat-eaters.

Environmental Concerns

Raising livestock comes with a high environmental cost.  According to the United Nations, raising livestock contributes to 15% of all human-made carbon emissions.  In contrast, producing fish and seafood has a lower carbon footprint than producing any type of animal meat or cheese.

A 2014 study calculated that diets of fish eaters caused 46% less greenhouse gas emissions than the diets of people who ate at least a serving of meat a day.

What Do Pescatarians Eat?

A typical pescatarian diet is primarily vegetarian with the addition of seafood.

Pescatarians Do Eat
  • Whole grains and grain products
    (My Meal Delivery Service uses on gluten free grains
  • Legumes and their products, including beans, lentils, soy and hummus. I personally do not use soy as I have a severe allergic reaction to it and use 0only Tempeh in the service. I use Coconut Aminos as a substitute for soy sauce) I do use miso and tempeh and miso are both fermented foods that aid in developing good gut flora and are easier to digest than other forms of soy)
  • Nuts and nut butters, peanuts and seeds
  • Seeds, including hemp, chia and flaxseeds
  • Dairy, including yogurt, milk and cheese
    (my service a lactose and gluten free. I use coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, etc. I make these myself as they are much richer in taste as well as having to chemicals added as boxed milks do)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Eggs

Benefits of Adding Fish to a Vegetarian Diet

There are many health benefits of adding fish to a vegetarian diet.

Many people are concerned that completely excluding animal products or avoiding animal flesh could lead to a low intake of certain key nutrients (.In particular, vitamins B12, zinc, calcium and protein can be somewhat harder to get on a vegan diet (11Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).

Adding seafood, including fish, crustaceans and mollusks, to a vegetarian diet can provide beneficial nutrients and variety. Fish is the best way to get omega-3 fatty acids (14Trusted Source).

Some plant foods, including walnuts and flaxseeds, contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fat. However, this type of ALA is not easily converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the body.

DHA and EPA have additional health benefits, helping not just the heart, but also brain function and mood. In contrast, oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, contains EPA and DHA.

Boost Your Protein Intake

Humans only need about 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of body weight daily to stay healthy. That’s about 54 grams for a 150-pound (68-kg) person. However, many people prefer to eat more protein than that.

A high-protein diet can be hard to achieve with just plant proteins, especially if you don’t want extra carbs or fat with your protein.

Fish and other seafood offer an excellent source of lean protein.

Seafood Is Packed With Other Nutrients

Beyond omega-3s and protein, seafood is rich in several other nutrients.

For instance, oysters are extremely high in vitamin B12, zinc and selenium. Just one oyster delivers 133% of the RDI for vitamin B12 and 55% of the RDI for zinc and selenium (18).

Mussels are also super rich in vitamin B12 and selenium, as well as manganese and the rest of the B vitamins (19).

White fish varieties such as cod and flounder don’t deliver much omega-3 fats, but they are a source of extremely lean protein.

For example, just 3 ounces of cod provide 19 grams of protein and less than a gram of fat. Cod is also an excellent source of selenium and a good source of phosphorus, niacin and vitamins B6 and B12 (20).

You’ll Have Extra Options

Being a vegetarian can be limiting at times.

Eating out at restaurants often leaves you with a not-so-healthy choice, with dishes like cheesy pasta as the main “veggie” option.

If health at least partially motivates your food choices, then becoming pescatarian will give you more options.

And fish is generally a good one, especially if you get it baked, grilled or sautéed, as opposed to deep-fried.

Drawbacks of the Diet

There are not many health drawbacks of this diet.

That said, some people may be more vulnerable to high intakes of fish.

Fish, especially larger species, can contain mercury and other toxins.  For this reason, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that young children and women of childbearing age, especially pregnant and nursing women, should avoid tilefish, swordfish, shark and king mackerel.

These populations should also limit albacore and yellowfin tuna to one palm-sized serving or less per week. Light tuna is lower in mercury and it’s fine to eat 2–3 servings a week.

Since this diet is primarily vegetarian, it’s subject to some of the other traps that frequently accompany vegetarian diets. For instance, it can be easy to overeat carbs, especially if you rely on lots of processed grains.


Beyond-Paleo is Now Pescatarian!

Vegetable Ramen with Zucchini NoodlesGreens and  Roasted VeggiesSalmon with Sweet  Curry Dry Rub

Thirty-Six years ago I started my Meal Delivery Service offering a Macrobiotic diet. I was newly divorced with a toddler and a nursing baby and a friend offered to let me take over her cooking service. I was involved with a group who met at the Granary Health Food Store in Orange Park once a week for meals. I accepted her offer and my clientele grew to thirty clients within a few months. At that point the owner of the Granary loaned me money to expand and I bought equipment and added a prep person and never looked back!

I was still on a search to figure out my health problems. I had had arthritis for years, I had been on medication for spastic colitis for 17 years and no one could give me any answers as to what was going on. Everybody told me I was eating healthy and just needed to keep doing that but that they had no answers for me. One doctor told me to eat lots of cheese and jello. I quickly learned that macrobiotics was not a great thing as it was primarily grain based and that definitely fed into the systemic yeast problem I had.

I transitioned off macrobiotic and went to offering a vegetarian diet that was lactose and gluten free. I did this for years. During this time, as I had since I was 15, I have studied nutrition. As there was no internet at the time I meant doctors who helped me study and gave me feedback as well as getting borrowing privileges from the universities in the town I live in. I also met someone during this time he started urging me to go off of Wheat and dairy. I didn’t see how that was possible and need a vegetarian diet and unfortunately my allergies kept getting worse. I finally added Seafood to my diet and started backing off on grains and went completely lactose in dairy-free. I finally got well. I have continued to research is slowly widened out to a more traditional diet the found that I felt better staying more grain based. I finally went back to a Pescatarian diet. Although my meal delivery service had been a traditional foods diet including meat I’m finding that my clientele has been moving more toward plant-based. So I am going back to a Pescatarian diet. It promotes long-term wellness; it includes seafood and fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds. You get all the benefits of vegetarian lifestyle but it includes lots of mega 3 fats which makes it far healthier than a plain vegetarian diet.

While I am aware that we need to be careful about not overfishing our oceans, we also need to take care of our own health if we are going to survive as a species and flourish. We humans absolutely have to have saturated fats, it is a building block of health and helps our immune system, our brains and our ability to absorb nutrients. I cook with ghee primarily because it gives us a depth of vitamin A D and E along with the mega fats from fish can meet our needs for the fats we need.

The price for food is getting scary, the impact a food production on our climate means that we should lean Almost 100% to work real food and not products. Having a moderate amount of non-gluten grains, Seafood, with a lot of fruits and vegetables including a good bit of raw food can meet our needs and balance taking care of our Earth.

My 40 Years of nutrition research, coupled with my extensive experience in cooking vegetarian food means the meals that I cook are flavorful and offer a great deal of variety. I have made a living cooking for Indian families, I’ve worked publicly as a chef offering Caribbean and Southwestern food. I cook several different styles a South American food as well as having extensive experience in cooking Japanese and Chinese food. It is hard to eat on a day-to-day basis depending or just standard American fare. While I offer a good bit of American food I also include a lot of different Cuisines giving you plenty of variety and taste.

I am very excited to be going back to offering a Pescatarian diet. I urge you to try the service and see if it’s something that fits for you.

Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have.


Are Eggs and Egg Yolks Bad For You?

Eggs

On one hand, they’re considered an excellent and inexpensive source of protein and various nutrients. On the other hand, some people believe the yolks can increase your risk of heart disease.

Whole eggs have two main components:

Egg white: the white part, which is mostly protein

Egg yolk: the yellow or orange part, which is rich in nutrients

The main reason eggs were considered unhealthy in the past is that the yolks are high in cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in food. It’s also made by your body. A few decades ago, large studies linked high blood cholesterol to heart disease.

In 1961, the American Heart Association recommended limiting dietary cholesterol. Many other international health organizations did the same.

Over the next several decades, worldwide egg consumption decreased significantly. Many people replaced eggs with cholesterol-free egg substitutes that were promoted as a healthier option.

For several decades, eggs were believed to increase heart disease risk because of their high cholesterol content.

It’s true that whole eggs are high in cholesterol

Whole eggs (with the yolks) are indeed high in cholesterol. In fact, they’re a significant source of cholesterol in the standard American diet.

Two large whole eggs (100 grams) contain about 411 mg of cholesterol (1Trusted Source). By contrast, 100 grams of 30% fat ground beef has about 78 mg of cholesterol (2Trusted Source).

Until recently, the recommended maximum daily intake of cholesterol was 300 mg per day. It was even lower for people with heart disease.

However, based on the latest research, health organizations in many countries no longer recommend restricting cholesterol intake.

For the first time in decades, the Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source released in December 2015 did not specify an upper daily limit for dietary cholesterol.

Despite this change, many people remain concerned about consuming eggs. This is because they’ve been conditioned to associate high dietary cholesterol intake with high blood cholesterol and heart disease.

However, just because a food is high in cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean it raises cholesterol levels in your blood.

Two whole eggs contain 411 mg of cholesterol, which exceeds the maximum daily limit that was in place for many decades. However, this restriction on dietary cholesterol has now been lifted.

How eating eggs affects blood cholesterol

Although it may seem logical that dietary cholesterol would raise blood cholesterol levels, it usually doesn’t work that way.

Your liver actually produces cholesterol in large amounts because cholesterol is a necessary nutrient for your cells.

When you eat larger amounts of high cholesterol foods, such as eggs, your liver produces less cholesterol because more of it is coming from your diet (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).

Conversely, when you get little cholesterol from food, your liver produces more to compensate.

Because of this, blood cholesterol levels don’t change significantly in most people when they eat more cholesterol from foods (Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

In one long-term, well-designed study, consuming egg yolks daily for 1 year did not significantly change total cholesterol, LDL (bad) or HDL cholesterol, or the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (an important marker of heart disease) in adults with early signs of age-related macular degeneration (5Trusted Source).

However, one review of well-designed studies in healthy individuals found that eating cholesterol-containing foods raised both LDL (bad) and HDL cholesterol, but the ratio of LDL to HDL (an important marker of heart disease risk) remained constant compared with the control group (6Trusted Source).

Likewise, in another study, 30 people who ate 3 eggs per day for 13 weeks had higher total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL (bad) cholesterol compared with those who took only a choline supplement.

However, their HDL to LDL ratio remained the same (7Trusted Source). The study’s authors concluded that eating foods high in cholesterol regulates the amount of cholesterol your body makes in order to maintain the HDL to LDL ratio.

Also, keep in mind that cholesterol isn’t a “bad” substance. It is actually involved in various processes in your body, such as:

· production of vitamin D

· production of steroid hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone

· production of bile acids, which help digest fat

Last but not least, cholesterol is an essential component of every cell membrane in your body, making it necessary for survival.

When you eat eggs or other cholesterol-rich foods, your liver produces less cholesterol. As a result, your blood cholesterol levels will likely stay about the same or increase slightly while your HDL to LDL ratio remains the same.

Do eggs increase heart disease risk?

Several controlled studies have examined how eggs affect heart disease risk factors. The findings are mostly positive or neutral.

Studies show that eating one to two whole eggs per day doesn’t seem to change cholesterol levels or heart disease risk factors (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

In one well-designed study, eating two eggs per day did not adversely affect biomarkers of heart disease compared with eating oatmeal (9Trusted Source). Additionally, those who ate eggs for breakfast reported greater satiety than those who ate oatmeal.

Another well-designed study found that eating two eggs per day did not significantly affect total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, or glycemic control in people with overweight or obesity who also have prediabetes or diabetes (10Trusted Source).

Another well-designed study looked at the effects of eating eggs on endothelial function in people with heart disease. The endothelium is a membrane that lines your heart and blood vessels.

Eating 2 eggs for breakfast for 6 weeks did not result in differences in cholesterol, flow-mediated dilation (an assessment of vascular function), blood pressure, or body weight compared with eating Egg Beaters or a high carbohydrate breakfast (11Trusted Source).

Eating eggs may also help lower risk of metabolic syndrome.

One large study of adults reported that women who consumed seven eggs per week had lower risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate one egg per week. (12Trusted Source)

Similarly, another study associated eating four to six eggs per week with decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, compared with eating one egg per month. (13Trusted Source)

What’s more, consuming eggs as part of a low carb diet improves markers of heart disease in people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. This includes the size and shape of LDL particles (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

One study followed prediabetics who were on a carb-restricted diet. Those who consumed whole eggs experienced better insulin sensitivity and greater improvements in heart health markers than those who ate egg whites (14Trusted Source).

In another study, prediabetic people on low-carb diets ate 3 eggs per day for 12 weeks. They had fewer inflammatory markers than those who consumed an egg substitute on an otherwise identical diet (15Trusted Source).

Although LDL (bad) cholesterol tends to stay the same or increase only slightly when you eat eggs, (good) cholesterol typically increases (14Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

In addition, eating omega-3 enriched eggs may help lower triglyceride levels (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

Research also suggests that eating eggs on a regular basis may be safe for people who already have heart disease. In fact, eating eggs may be associated with fewer cardiac events.

One large study of healthy adults examined peoples’ egg consumption over almost 9 years. Daily egg consumption (less than 1 egg) was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, and stroke among middle-aged adults. (19Trusted Source)

Another large study found no link between eating eggs and death from coronary heart disease. In men, eating eggs was associated with a lower incidence of death from stroke (20Trusted Source).

To top things off, a review of 17 observational studies with a total of 263,938 people found no association between egg consumption and heart disease or stroke (21Trusted Source).

Studies have shown that egg consumption generally has beneficial or neutral effects on heart disease risk.

Do eggs increase diabetes risk?

Controlled studies show that eggs may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce heart disease risk factors in people with prediabetes.

However, there is conflicting research on egg consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

One recent review of studies determined that eating up to seven eggs per week does not significantly increase markers for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in both people with and without diabetes(22Trusted Source).

However, a review of two studies involving more than 50,000 adults found that those consuming at least one egg daily were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who ate less than one egg per week (23Trusted Source).

A second study in women found an association between high dietary cholesterol intake and increased diabetes risk, but not specifically for eggs (24Trusted Source).

And a large observational study that found no link between eating eggs and heart attacks or strokes did find a 54% increased risk of heart disease when they only looked at people with diabetes (21Trusted Source).

Based on these studies, eggs could be problematic for people living with prediabetes or diabetes.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that these are observational studies based on self-reported food intake.

In fact, controlled studies have found that eating eggs along with a nutritious diet may benefit people with diabetes.

In one study, people with diabetes who consumed a high protein, high cholesterol diet containing two eggs per day experienced reductions in fasting blood sugar, insulin, and blood pressure, along with an increase in HDL cholesterol (25Trusted Source).

Other studies link egg consumption with improvements in insulin sensitivity and reduced inflammation in people with prediabetes and diabetes (14Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).

Studies on eggs and diabetes provide mixed results. Several observational studies show an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, while controlled trials show an improvement in various health markers.

Your genes may affect how you respond to egg consumption

Although eggs pose no risk to health for most people, it’s been suggested that it may differ for those with certain genetic traits.

However, more research is needed in this area.

SUMMARY

Eggs are loaded with nutrients

Eggs are a particularly nutrient-rich food. They are a great source of high quality protein, as well as several important vitamins and minerals.

One large whole egg contains:

Calories: 72

Protein: 6 grams

Vitamin A: 10% of the daily value (DV)

Riboflavin: 16% of the DV

Vitamin B12: 21% of the DV

Folate: 9% of the DV

Iron: 5% of the DV

Selenium: 28% of the DV

Eggs also contain many other nutrients in smaller amounts.

SUMMARY

Eggs are high in a number of important vitamins and minerals, along with high quality protein.

Eggs have many health benefits

Studies show that eating eggs can have various health benefits. These include:

Help keep you full. Several studies show that eggs promote fullness and help control hunger so you eat less at your next meal (9Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).

Promote weight loss. The high quality protein in eggs increases metabolic rate and can help you lose weight (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source, 43Trusted Source).

Protect brain health. Eggs are an excellent source of choline, which is important for your brain (44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source).

Reduce eye disease risk. The lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs help protect against eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration (16Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source, 48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source).

Decrease inflammation. Eggs may reduce inflammation, which is linked to various health conditions (15Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).


Eating a Traditional Human Diet

I am puzzled as to why about 90% of the posts I see on all of the Paleo sites here on FB give recipes for dishes dealing with grain substitutes. This one gives the the following ingredients; flax meal, bananas, berries, honey or maple syrup, almond meal. Many are for dessert recipes with sugar, coconut meal, honey.. Keeping the focus on desserts and substitutes is not what following a Paleo Diet is about. Paleo is about optimizing our diet to meet our nutrient needs and if we are still craving these foods then we need to look at why and to move toward healthy fats, proteins and low glycemic vegetables with very small amounts of fruit.


Poor Health Is Now The Norm

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Note- That stat for autism is now at 1 in 50 has autism.

Let’s face it; Americans are severly malnourished.


What Should You Eat Each Day? (Hint- more Fruits and Veggies!)

It’s been a confusing few decades; low fat or not, are eggs healthy, what about fats, why NOT cook with olive oil?

Americans are confused. What IS great nutrition?  What about calories?  Why can’t I lose weight, I exercise a lot?


The Climate-Friendly Vegetable You Ought to Eat

Kelp

Kelp is delicious and versatile, and farming it is actively good for the ocean. Melissa Clark wants you to just try a bite.

By Melissa Clark

PORTLAND, Me. — It was a sharp, windy March day, but the gray water of Casco Bay glimmered green in the sun. On his lobster boat, the Pull N’ Pray, Justin Papkee scanned the surface of the ocean, searching for his buoys. But he wasn’t looking for lobster traps.

Mr. Papkee was farming, not fishing: His crop, clinging to ropes beneath the cold waves, was seaweed, thousands of pounds of brownish kelp undulating under the surface. Growing at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day for the past six months, it was nearly ready to be harvested and sent to restaurants like Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Estela, Houseman, Saint Julivert Fisherie and Luke’s Lobster in New York, and Honey Paw, Chaval and the Purple House here in Maine.

He pulled a blade of kelp from his line and handed me a long, translucent strip. I took a bite, and then another, seawater running down my chin.

Justin Papkee, kept company by his dog, Seguin, pulling up a line of kelp. Harvesting wild kelp is ancient, but farming it is a relatively new practice in the United States.CreditMatt Cosby for The New York Times

Justin Papkee, kept company by his dog, Seguin, pulling up a line of kelp. Harvesting wild kelp is ancient, but farming it is a relatively new practice in the United States.CreditMatt Cosby for The New York Times

I’d eaten plenty of seaweed salads at Japanese and vegan restaurants, but this was not that. A variety called skinny kelp, it was lightly salty and profoundly savory, with a flavor like ice-cold oyster liquor, and a crisp, snappy texture somewhere between stewed collard greens and al dente fettuccine. The chef Brooks Headley, who adds it in slippery slivers to the barbecued carrots he serves at Superiority Burger in New York, described it in an email as “insanely delicious and texturally incredible.”

It was as different from the usual sushi bar seaweed salad as cottony, out-of-season peaches are from juicy, ripe ones from the farmers’ market: a wan substitute for what should be delectable.

Harvesting wild kelp is ancient, but farming it is relatively new in the United States; it’s the main variety of seaweed being cultivated here. The technology was imported from Asia and adopted here by a group of ecologically minded entrepreneurs who view seaweed as the food crop of the future. Kelp is nutritionally dense (it’s loaded with potassium, iron, calcium, fiber, iodine and a bevy of vitamins); it actively benefits ocean health by mitigating excess carbon dioxide and nitrogen; and can provide needed income to small fisheries threatened by climate change and overfishing.

“Kelp is a superhero of seaweed,” said Susie Arnold, a marine scientist at the Island Institute in Rockland, Me. “It de-acidifies the ocean by removing nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon dioxide, which we have too much of.”

A feel-good superfood, kelp is more than the new kale. It’s a rare bright spot on an increasingly dim horizon, an umami-rich glint of hope.

Justin’s father, Chris Papkee, at left, and Jimmy Ranaghan removing the kelp from the long ropes on which it grows.CreditMatt Cosby for The New York Times

Justin’s father, Chris Papkee, at left, and Jimmy Ranaghan removing the kelp from the long ropes on which it grows.CreditMatt Cosby for The New York Times

“Kelp is sustainable on so many levels,” said Briana Warner, the chief executive officer of Atlantic Sea Farms, a Maine kelp company that’s helping local fishermen start kelp farms. “It’s environmentally sustainable, it’s physically sustaining because it’s so good for you, and farming it helps sustain family livelihoods that are in danger of disappearing.”

Ocean scientists call kelp farming a zero-input food source. It doesn’t require arable land, fresh water and fertilizers (or pesticides). And kelp farming has been shown to improve water quality to such a degree that shellfish farmed amid the kelp develop noticeably thicker shells and sweeter, larger meat.

Before the first kelp farms started in Maine about a decade ago, if you wanted to cook with edible seaweed (not to be confused with the decidedly undelicious rockweed that washes up on beaches), you’d have go to the shore and forage it yourself.

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Justin Papkee sorting the just-harvested kelp into bins on his lobster boat, the Pull N’ Pray.CreditMatt Cosby for The New York Times

Justin Papkee sorting the just-harvested kelp into bins on his lobster boat, the Pull N’ Pray.CreditMatt Cosby for The New York Times

Sweet red dulse, inky alaria and ruffled sea lettuces have fed coastal communities for thousands of years. Traditional Welsh recipes call for frying fresh seaweed in bacon fat, while in Ireland it’s been cooked with potatoes, and in Scotland it’s made into biscuits and bread. Native Americans historically used all manner of seaweed — red, brown and green — both dried and fresh. And of course in Japan, cooking with seaweed has evolved into a highly refined art.

In the United States, though, dried seaweed has not yet left the health-food fringes, relegated to the same category as nutritional yeast and chia seeds.

One reason may be our lack of exposure to the good stuff. The majority of seaweed salads I get with my sushi are cloying and damp, lacking the mineral zing of fresh kelp.

John Magazino, a product development specialist at the Chefs’ Warehouse, a specialty food supplier for restaurants, explained why fresh kelp is so different from the seaweed you find in most seaweed salads: “Most of the seaweed salads we get in the States are imported from Asia, where they add corn syrup and dyes. Seaweed salad shouldn’t be sweet and neon green.”

Skinny kelp, a variety with narrow but thick, ruffled blades, grows over the winter months on ropes submerged in the Gulf of Maine.CreditMatt Cosby for The New York Times

Skinny kelp, a variety with narrow but thick, ruffled blades, grows over the winter months on ropes submerged in the Gulf of Maine.CreditMatt Cosby for The New York Times

Mr. Magazino, who finds truffles and caviar for Daniel Boulud and David Chang, has been selling frozen fresh Maine-grown kelp to chefs for the past three years. He was on Mr. Papkee’s boat to make sure he’d have the quality and quantity of kelp he’d need for distribution to his high-end clients.

“Once the chefs taste it, and understand how good it is for the ocean, they all want in,” he said.

I suspect home cooks will, too. I returned from Maine with a suitcase full of frozen local kelp, and spent a happy, well-fed week cooking with the stuff until I ran out.

Because kelp develops in constantly changing ocean tides and temperatures, its cell structure won’t break down if you freeze, thaw and refreeze it, which makes it convenient to keep stashed between the frozen edamame and the sorbet. (Dried seaweed, like kombu, dulse and nori, are separate products from frozen fresh kelp, and require different preparations.)

Roasted chicken is seasoned with seaweed butter, and served with crisp kelp, red onions and potatoes.CreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

Roasted chicken is seasoned with seaweed butter, and served with crisp kelp, red onions and potatoes.CreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

Once the kelp thawed, I used it like any other green vegetable, throwing it into smoothies, salads and my soup pot, and sautéing it with garlic and chile. One night, I roasted it with potatoes and chicken fat until the top got as crisp as the seaweed snacks my 10-year-old daughter can’t get enough of, while the bottom turned silky soft, like creamed spinach with a saline kick.

But my favorite dish was anchovy pasta with a lemony, garlicky, pesto-like kelp sauce that flecked everything emerald and deepened the oceanic flavors in the pan. Even my daughter lapped it up.

Those are just a few of the possibilities. When the harvest comes in and I can restock my freezer, I’ll steam the kelp with fresh corn, stuff it into whole fish and scatter it over pizza.

Spicy, lemony pasta with anchovy gets an umami boost from a sauce made from puréed kelp.CreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

Spicy, lemony pasta with anchovy gets an umami boost from a sauce made from puréed kelp. CreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

The only hard part for both chefs and home cooks may be finding a consistent source for kelp, which is available online and through a very small number of seafood shops, and in limited quantities. But the industry is young, and more fresh seaweed is becoming available on the market every year.

In 2015, about 14,000 pounds of kelp were harvested from farms in Maine, according to Jaclyn Robidoux, a seaweed specialist at Maine Sea Grant at the University of Maine. In 2018, that number was just over 53,000 pounds, and it is expected to reach more than 300,000 pounds this year.

Across the United States, she said, the opportunities for growth are huge. With its vast expanses of untrammeled coastline, Alaska is primed to overtake Maine as the state that produces the most farmed kelp.

There are also small kelp farms in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, and experimental endeavors in New York, California, Oregon and Washington.

In Maine, the majority of kelp farmers are from fishing families who have relied on lobsters for the bulk of their income. For them, kelp farming is a natural fit. The seasons are compatible; kelp farming takes place in the winter, lobster fishing in the summer. They already have all the necessary gear — a boat, ropes and buoys — and they understand the currents and tides of the gulf.

“Growing the seaweed itself is really straightforward,” Ms. Robidoux said. “I’ve run a kelp nursery in a seventh-grade classroom.”

It can also be a smart way for fisheries to diversify as wild species become less predictable. Maine’s cod, shrimp and sea urchin fisheries are either shut down or vastly depleted. And although warming water has contributed to a lobster boom in Maine in recent years, there’s been a huge decline in the herring used to bait the traps. So even if the lobsters are plentiful, catching them becomes much more complicated and expensive.

Keith Miller, whose family has been fishing in Maine for three generations, isn’t sure he’ll break even this summer.

Dried kombu adds savory depth to a white bean and vegetable stew, while fresh kelp lends it texture and a salty tang.CreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

Dried kombu adds savory depth to a white bean and vegetable stew, while fresh kelp lends it texture and a salty tang.CreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

“You’ve got to have a backup plan, especially now with climate change,” he said. “During the off-season, a lot of the guys work for other people, they do odd jobs, but I really want to stay on the water. Throughout the years, I’ve been urchining, I’ve been shrimping. But now that’s all done. So I figure I’ll try kelping.”

In Stonington, Conn., Suzie Flores is farming three acres of kelp near the bait-and-tackle shop she owns with her husband. She sells it directly to chefs, and also at the local farmers’ market for $8 per half-pound bag. At home, she cooks with it regularly, chopping it into vegetarian tartare and adding it to pizza for her children.

“I even mix it into my dog’s food,” she said. “Everyone in the house is eating kelp.”

So far, the profits have been on the low side. But as she beats the learning curve, Ms. Flores feels confident that they will rise. And even if they didn’t, the feel-good aspects of kelp farming make up for the lack.

“Every time we go to harvest, I think about all of the carbon we sequestered, and how much cleaner the water is,” she said. “For me, the farm doesn’t need to make money. Knowing that I’m helping the environment is enough.”

Fresh-frozen kelp is available through Atlantic Sea Farms, atlanticseafarms.com; Mermaid’s Garden, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Harbor Fish Market, Portland, Me.; Lois’ Natural Marketplace, Portland and Scarborough, Me.; Cambridge Naturals, Cambridge, Mass.; Common Crow, Gloucester, Mass.; and Buffalo Mountain Food Coop and Cafe, Hardwick, Vt. It is also available unfrozen at the Stonington, Conn., farmers’ market.


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