Eggs and Butter get a Pardon

February 23, 2015

Reference: Washington Post Feb 2015, 2015 Executive Summary, New York Times 

 The new Guidelines for 2015 are out!   And a subtle shift is happening of monumental proportions. Eggs are back! The long-standing hostility to eggs and butter has been lifted with simply silence.   No one is saying, “We were dead wrong” but instead have come out with a much, much stronger recommendation that we eat less sugar. The core diet they are recommending is less sugar, more vegetables, less red and processed meat (sausage, baloney, hotdogs), and more healthy fats from nuts and seeds and “vegetable oils.”   (Here is where I take difference with them.) 

 But eggs are back! You can eat eggs again. They admit that the very tiny percent of people whose dangerous blood fats go up with eggs are too small a minority to justify guidelines for the whole population. They do recommend that a broadly shaped “Mediterranean Diet” be followed that has more vegetables, less sugar, more white meat. But I remain skeptical as to just what part of the Mediterranean they are talking about. There are some 14 – 16 countries that are around or in the Mediterranean, and each has a different cuisine.   I suspect there is an amalgam of ideas with more olive oil (really good for you) and fish (even better) and vegetables (best) but the recipes are different everywhere. 

Fresh, locally grown food with fish and vegetables are common in Thailand, the Philipines, Japan, Peru, Ecuador, South Africa….on and on. Aren’t they Mediterrean too? What they don’t strictly address is how to lose weight. Maintaining is one thing, losing is another. I would maintain that this is the revolution that ultimately needs to happen. Teach us how to lose weight, effectively and forever!   

The Guidelines Committee made the horrific blunder in the late 70s of telling us to eat more carbs and less fat, and we all got horribly obese. They were dead wrong.   Just plain wrong. They have yet to admit guilt and say sorry. I would like a sorry. But the science is now there about how to lose weight.   And hints of it are in the guidelines. 

The best hint is the recognition front and center how dangerous sugar is. Sugar, even the flavor sweet, turns on insulin. Insulin is also turned on by the flavor sweet.   And even more devious, too much protein (More than 1-1.5 grms per ideal kg body weight per day) and your body turns the extra protein into glucose, and that turns on insulin. 

To lose weight, you must simply turn off insulin. With insulin gone, your fat cells open up and share their calories seamlessly and effortlessly with your body. That’s it. Simple. You have to turn off insulin. (Note, you also lose weight if you eat low enough glycemic carbs: alkali diet or vegan). The “teleological explanation” is helpful. The time of year we naturally want insulin is August and September, when carbohydrate foods are plentiful, delicious and winter is just around the corner. To survive winter, we should gorge and fatten up. Insulin is the tool to do that. 

But come winter, to survive, we need access to that which we stored.   If you eat carbs, your body thinks it’s September. Plain and simple. If you eat fat, your metabolism thinks it’s winter, and your insulin is turned off. Anytime you eat any carbs, you put out insulin and for the next 12 hours, you won’t lose an ounce of fat weight. Insulin is intimately tied up with your appetite. (There are many more but I’m simplifying it).   If insulin is turned off, your fat cells open up and your appetite stays in control. Your brain learns to run on ketones (pieces of fat being chopped up).   

You can get along on 1400 calories a day and feel fine. And that’s called weight loss. Long term, what do you want?   Here, the Guidelines committee is finally getting it right (mostly). Much less sugar, less refined flour. More vegetables.   More omega fat-containing meats. Less fake meats. Less feedlot meats. It’s clear that in the long term, more red meat makes for turning on cancer genes and acidifying you. In the short term, it’s far more important to lose weight than worry about the risk of red meat. Lose the weight, then lose the red meat. (Be like the Eskimos, eat the fat of the caribou and save the meat for dogs.) But central to all of this is the admonition to avoid fat is lifted. Eggs are two-thirds fat, one-third protein. They are ideal weight-loss foods. You can eat eggs. All the eggs you want. And your weight will go down and your waist will go down. 

 WWW. What will work for me? I embarked on a weight loss program on Dec 29th. I’m eating 4 eggs every day. Two for breakfast and two for lunch. No bread. I’m not hungry. I’m averaging about 1200 calories a day and feel fine. I do need an extra blanket and a sweater to stay warm. That could be the 5-degree temperature outside. (I’m down 16 pounds in 8 weeks.)   My body believes it’s winter.   It’s sharing its fat with me.   

 Pop Quiz  

  1. Eating eggs will help you lose weight?   T or F                    Answer:  True
  1. Why?                          Answer:  Because they are high fat, modest protein and make you feel full with only 90 calories each.
  1. Why do you feel full?                   Answer:  Because your insulin is turned off and your appetite doesn’t kick in
  1. What season does your body think it is if you are eating just fat?                     Answer:  Winter
  1. Our bodies were designed to eat what in winter?                  Answer:   Fat
  1. To lose weight, you have to eat fat. T or F                     Answer:   True
  1. That makes eggs?                            Answer:   “The perfect food for weight loss”. Back in style.   Eat up. (Buy the good ones naturally raised with more omega fats in them)