Tag Archives: heart disease

Eggs, my favorite dense nutritious food!

4 Mar

Three or four times a week we eat eggs at home, I love them for breakfast in a bagel with tomatoes, spinach and cheese, or in flat bread with vegetables. Sometimes we eat eggs for lunch or dinner in a frittata with kale and red potatoes like in the recipe at the end of this article.

What we eat, how much we eat and how the food is prepared determines our health and the development of many diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. One major contributing factor to heart disease is high blood cholesterol. Doctors agree that a diet low in saturated fats, trans-fats, and cholesterol help prevent high blood cholesterol.

Cholesterol is found only in foods from animals, such as meat, fish, poultry, egg yolks, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole milk. Saturated fats are also found in foods from animals, especially meat, lard, poultry fat, butter, cheeses and other whole-milk products. Trans-fats are used in commercial baking goods and stick margarines made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.


GardenFrittata[1]Over the years, there has been a lot of confusion about eggs and our health. Eggs are high in protein, B vitamins, iron and other nutrients. Egg yolks are very high in cholesterol. But, even foods with no cholesterol can increase our blood cholesterol. This is because some types of fats increase blood cholesterol – these fats are called “saturated fats” and “trans-fats” or “trans-fatty acids.” In fact, saturated and trans-fats in foods may increase blood cholesterol as much or more than just eating cholesterol.

The American Heart Association still recommends that people limit their dietary cholesterol to 300 mg. One large egg has about 213 mg of cholesterol, which is about 71% of the daily-recommended limit. For example, if you ate one scrambled egg for breakfast, drank 2 cups of coffee with a tablespoon each of half-and-half, then for lunch ate a turkey sandwich, made of 4 oz of lean turkey meat and one tablespoon of regular mayonnaise, and for dinner, had a 6 oz serving of broiled pork chops, you would have consumed over 400 mg of cholesterol that day. This is over the recommended 300 mg limit. This doesn’t include any pie or snacks!

Balance eating an egg by replacing meat at the next meal with a vegetarian dish. It’s okay to eat an egg occasionally, make your food choices considering their milligrams of cholesterol to keep your daily cholesterol intake below 300 mg. Limiting yourself to 3 to 4 eggs per week makes it easier to keep dietary cholesterol below 300 mg each day. Egg whites and cholesterol-free egg substitutes do not contain any cholesterol. Try using two egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute in place of one whole egg in cooking and baking.

One exception: If your blood cholesterol is already high (over 240 mg/dL), or if you have high blood pressure or diabetes, your daily limit should be 200 mg. One large egg would exceed this limit; instead, consider eating small eggs, which contain less cholesterol (157 mg).

Eggs in the Garden

Cook time: 25 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 medium unpeeled red potatoes

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups fresh kale

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)


  1. Beat eggs, pepper, and salt in large bowl, set aside.
  2. Microwave potatoes until slightly soft, but not completely cooked, then cube. (Alternate method without microwave: cube potatoes and boil 5 minutes until slightly soft, drain)
  3. Mix chopped onion, red bell pepper, kale, and potatoes together.
  4. Heat oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet. Cook vegetables for 5-8 minutes; add to eggs and mix well.
  5. Pour egg-vegetable mixture back into the same skillet. Cook over low to medium heat until eggs are almost set, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Cover and let sit until eggs are completely set, about 5 minutes. Egg dishes should be cooked to 160ºF.





Sodium Reduction

11 Jan

I know that thereimages[2] are several good reasons to reduce the amount of sodium I consume, including protection from high blood pressure, reducing headaches and occasional dizziness, and avoiding the bloated feeling that comes from fluid retention. Still, when I learned that the recommended maximum consumption per day per person is 2,300 milligrams, and then found out that the average daily intake per person of sodium in the U.S. is nearly 5,000 milligrams per day, I was amazed!

Where does all this sodium come from? It turns out it’s not all from the salt shaker at the dinner table.  About a quarter of the sodium we consume comes from sprinkling salt on food, from condiments such as ketchup, and from natural sources. The majority of our sodium consumption, however, comes from processed foods. The list of significant sodium sources includes fast foods, canned and frozen vegetables, canned and dried soups, frozen convenience foods, canned tuna, cured meats such as bacon and ham, and chips and other salty snacks. Sodium is even found in ready-to-eat breakfast cereals—it turns out that we may be consuming sodium without even tasting its presence!

Many of the foods on that list are a part of my every day diet—and probably part of yours, too. In 2014, I’m going to reimagesCAL4QSDGduce the amount of sodium I consume. I will eat more fresh and unprocessed food, start making my own soups, and commit to eating more veggies.

Yes, I know this means I’ll be spending a little more time in the kitchen, but considering the health benefits for myself and my family, I think it’s worth it. I’m also going to break the habit of adding salt to my food at the dinner table. To make sure that food still tastes delicious, I plan to use more herb seasoning and other salt substitutes–that way I won’t miss the salt shaker so much. At the grocery store, I’m going to take the time to read the nutrition labels, looking out for foods that contain less than 500mg per serving and trying out low sodium alternatives to the products I usually buy.

By the end of this year, I expect that I will have very much reduced my daily consumption of sodium, and helped my family to do so, too. It might be a little difficult at first, but I know that we’ll all feel a little better for it!