Red Meat and Eggs

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Are red meat and eggs diet essentials?

No, red meat and eggs are not essential in our diet. One can live a healthy life without red meat and eggs. As a matter of fact, abstinence from red meat and eggs , and other high fat/cholesterol food items, will confer a healthier life for us, as long as we eat other proteins, like beans, nuts, tofu/other soya products, fish, yes, especially fish.

Why do red meat and eggs taste good?

The taste of food is in the fat molecules. That's why red meat, especially the fatty portion, and egg yolk, taste so good. That tells you how much fat is in them. If one totally removes all the fats in, say, a piece of pork or beef, doing this scientifically in the laboratory under the microscope, the end result would be a practically tasteless piece of meat, one that would taste like rope fibers. Cutting out the fats from red meat at the dining table does not really remove all the fats. At best, we could perhaps shave off 20% of the total fats in the meat we eat. To think that we can "cut out the fat" of red meat this way, and therefore eat safely, is a big misconception, a dangerous notion. Red meat and eggs are not necessary for nourishing our body. It is best to avoid them.

Why are they bad for our health?

In the United States alone, one person dies every minute (yes, every minute!) from heart attack, not to mention stroke. These two diseases are brought on by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), caused by the high cholesterol food we eat daily. This deadly fat substance thickens our blood and this thick coat of high cholestrol blood is painted on the inner wall of our tiny arteries in the heart and brain, and other arteries, as this fat-laden blood is circulated throughout our body. The cholesterol coat on the inner wall gets thicker and thicker, as months and years go by, much like the junk that collects and blocks our sewer pipes in the kitchen or bathroom. Eventually, the cholesterol plaques (thick fat coats on the inner wall of the arteries) become so thick and blocks the coronary arteries, depriving the heart muscles of blood and oxygen supply, leading to a heart attack. In the brain, a similar situation causes a stroke, and in the legs, gangrene.

How common is this problem?

Very common. It is an epidemic, nay, a pandemic, because it affects the entire civilized world. It is estimated that 45% of the population of the world will succumbed to the adverse health effects of cholesterol (hardening of the arteries) and perish due to cardiovascular illnesses. More than half a million people in the United States alone die from heart attack each year. Since the Filipinos are westernized in every which way we can, the incidence of cardiovascular illnesses (heart attack, stroke, etc.) among us is fast approaching that of the Americans.

How safe are egg white and egg substitutes?

The cholesterol in eggs is in the yolk (yellow portion). Egg white has some but not much cholesterol. Frying egg white will add on the cholesterol from the frying oil. Canola (Sunflower, Safflower) oil is the best oil to use. Corn oil, vegetable oil, and other oil claimed to have low cholesterol are not as good as canola oil. Egg substitutes using egg white are obviously superior. Substitute that uses part of the yolk naturally have higher cholesterol content. It is prudent to read the labels on the canned or packaged food before buying them. But again, eggs are not essential to our diet, so it is healthier to avoid them.

Is the diet for children different?

Basically, no. A good healthy diet for adults low in fats and cholesterol is a good diet for children. It is a misconception that hurts our children to think that our infants and youngsters need red meat, eggs and other high fat food items. Autopsies on children, as early as age 5, who died of an accident or illness, reveal that their young arteries are already lined (coated) with some hardening of the arteries. Yes, at that early age. This only suggests that what we are feeding our children, from infancy, is not the healthiest, and that this needs to be re-visited, re-evaluated and revised by our scientists, pediatricians and nutritionists, to minimize this pandemic of hardening of the arteries that victimizes our children and shorten their lives as adults.

Are we loving our children to death?

I would say yes, we do, not only in our Philippine culture, but practically in the culture around the world as a whole. We, parents, love our children so much we want to give them everything that will make them happy, including the high-fat, high-cholesterol red meat, eggs, hamburgers, etc that they ask (more like demand) for. We do not stop them from smoking, or push them to eat fish, vegetables and fruits, and to do daily exercise "because we love them" and do not want to "hurt their feelings." But what we are actually doing, in effect, is loving them to an early death, by allowing them, teaching them, to live an unhealthy lifestyle and die younger. Its time for us to stop killing our children with this kind of love.

Is pork white meat?

Most definitely, no. Marketing claims that pork is white meat is false and a scam to deceive the unsuspecting public by the pork industry, even in the United States. Pork is red meat, as red as beef, etc. Red meat has a lot higher fat/cholesterol contents in them compared to white meat. This is the main reason for this deceptive commercials about pork. Chicken and turkey are white meat, with lower fat contents, but the dark meat portion (wings, thigh, etc) in them are higher in cholesterol than the lighter parts (breasts).

What about meat substitutes?

Gluten, tofu, soya products, are meat substitutes that are minimally low in fat and cholesterol in their processed state. These substitutes cater to vegetarians. They are health foods, especially tofu, that we strongly recommend as substitutes for red meat, even for those with normal cholesterol level and healthy non-vegetarian people, since prevention is the name of the strategy for maintenance of good health.

Why are fish, vegetables and fruits good for us?

Ask your mother and she would know, whether she lives in the rural province or in the sprawling metropolis. If we only listened to our mothers, we would have been healthier. Fish, in general, but especially salmon and tuna, has Omega-3 essential fatty acids that protect us from coronary heart disease and cancer. This is the type of fat that is good for our health. Vegetables and fruits provide us with high fiber and phytochemical anti-oxidants that neutralize free radicals (which cause harm to our body tissues, causing coronary heart disease and malignant tumors), thus protecting us from heart attack and cancers. Amazingly, Oregano spice is one of the best, and the highest, sources of natural antioxidants, 40 times better than apples, 30 times better than potatoes and 12 times better than oranges.

What then is a healthy lifestyle?

Most of the illnesses, including heart attack, stroke, and many cancers, are preventable. Most of these diseases are brought on by our lifestyle, leading to what is actually slow suicide. To live a healthier, happier, more productive life, we suggest the following formula or strategy: (1) Eat a lot of fish, vegetables, and fruits, (seafood in moderation), avoiding red meat, eggs and skimping on dairy products (skim milk is fine); (2) Take daily multivitamins and minerals, and drink at least 8 ounces of filtered water a day; (3) For beverage, drink green tea and not coffee or pop; (4) Do daily exercises like walking (at your comfortable speed), ballroom dancing, yoga, tai-chi, tai-bo, swimming, biking or treadmill, etc; (5) Abstain from tobacco/cigarettes; (6) Drink a glass of red wine (Pinot Noir, if possible, or Cabernet Sauvignon) with dinner, if you like it; (7) Take the medications (including 81 mg of aspirin daily to thin your blood), ONLY IF prescribed by your physician, and have a regular medical check up; (8) Manage your stress daily by relaxing, unwinding, listening to soothing music, taking breaks and mini- or full vacation regularly, and savoring life with your family. And, finally, (9) do not underestimate the power of prayers for the attainment of inner peace and contentment, both of which are good not only for the soul but for the brain, the heart, and the rest of our being.

©2003Raoul R. Diez, M.A.O.D.