Every week, we’re bringing you a roundup of the latest health and wellness news to hit the wire. This week, we examine the evidence against eggs, how a Mediterranean diet can boost your run speed in a matter of days, and new advice against taking aspirin daily.
Are eggs bad? It’s complicated …
Nutritionists have long debated whether or not eggs are healthy.
The most recent federal Dietary Guidelines consider them a part of a healthy diet despite the cholesterol in their yolk and have dropped the previously recommended cap of 300 milligrams per day on dietary cholesterol, citing a lack of evidence for a specific limit. One study last year even showed a lower risk of heart disease and stroke from eating an egg (which contains 185 milligrams of cholesterol) a day.
However, a sweeping new review of research covered in Time and published in JAMA tells a different story. After examining data collected on 30,000 U.S. adults over 31 years, they found a direct correlation between cholesterol from eggs, meat and dairy and a higher risk of heart problems and premature death.
In fact, for each extra half egg eaten per day—totaling three to four more eggs a week—a person’s cardiovascular risk went up by 6 percent and his or her risk of early death increased by 8 percent.
That’s not a huge jump, but it’s meaningful for those who like to eat eggs every morning, researchers say. Egg whites don’t contain cholesterol, but if you’re not eating the yolk, you miss out on nutrients from amino acids, iron and choline—not to mention they’re a good source of vitamin D, which many Americans need.
What all this egg news boils down to is that those already at risk for cardiovascular issues should talk to their doctor to decide how many eggs is too many.
Power up your run with the Mediterranean diet
Want to run faster? Consider changing your diet. Researchers at Saint Louis University found that eating a Mediterranean diet improved athletes’ performance after just four days, according to ScienceDaily.
Their small study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that participants ran a 5K 6 percent faster after eating a Mediterranean diet versus the standard Western diet.
The Mediterranean diet includes a much higher intake of whole fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oil and whole grains than a Western diet and shuns the red and processed meats, dairy, trans and saturated fats, and refined sugars that the Western diet includes.
Senior researcher Edward Weiss, Ph.D., professor of nutrition and dietetics at SLU, speculates the Mediterranean diet’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and more alkaline pH, among other things, improved performance.
The 5K run time on a treadmill was 6 percent faster with the healthier diet, despite similar heart rates and ratings of perceived exertion in the 11 people studied.
But sticking to the diet is key. The benefits were lost in a matter of days when participants switched to the Western diet—more proof that the fuel does matter.
Docs say no to daily aspirin for healthy folks
Low-dose daily aspirin has been prescribed for years to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and other types of cardiovascular disease.
New guidelines released this week by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association advise against aspirin for most adults in good cardiovascular health because the risk of internal bleeding outweighs the benefit.
The new guidelines follow studies released last year in the New England Journal of Medicine that said daily low-dose aspirin (100 milligrams or less) did not help older adults who did not have cardiovascular disease.
That advice does not apply to people who have had heart attacks or have stents. They should continue taking aspirin, the study’s authors told The New York Times.
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