Friday is finally here, friends—TGIF! Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? I have a Women on Wheels ride tomorrow morning, and hopefully, I can convince my sisters to see The Campaign with me. Have you seen it yet?
Workout – Reverse-Brick Fail
OK, I didn’t have the best workout today. Swimming and running were on my calendar, and since I knew high school football players would be infiltrating the field/track area, I wanted to complete my speedwork sooner rather than later. After running to high school as a quick warmup, I alternated between jogging the straight-aways/sprinting the curves, 400m repeats, and 200m repeats. I completed the cycle twice before I saw one of my old basketball coaches who showed up to get ready for football practice. He’s a great coach who loves to talk, and by the time we were done catching up, I had to run home to make my scheduled 7:30 a.m. OWS time—can’t keep mom waiting! (I planned to do the progression four or five times, so I finished maybe half of my planned track workout.)
I also experienced firsthand why swimming needs to be the first event in a triathlon. First, it’s way too difficult trying to wiggle into a wetsuit when you’re (one) sweaty and (two) tired. Second, since I’m not a strong swimmer, I need to be fresh and have full strength when I tackle the open water. On the bright side, swimming fatigued simulated the end of an 800m course, but I needed to swim longer than I was able to this morning. Lesson learned.
It took me a while to decide what I wanted for breakfast this morning, and I eventually decided on scrambled eggs with spinach and red peppers.
I also wanted to spite the new study that Atherosclerosis published this month—the researchers at Western University in Canada found that the more egg yolks people ate, the thicker their artery walls became (an indicator of heart disease risk). Basically, the study suggested that eating three whole eggs a week can thicken your arteries as much as smoking. Hmmm …
In the past, whole eggs had a reputation of being cholesterol bombs, but this has changed in recent years. How many times have eggs appeared on lists like “TK Surprisingly Healthy Foods” and “TK Bad Foods That are Actually Good for You”? However, Dr. David Spence, the study’s lead researcher, and his team have scrambled the issue again.
Basically, Spence’s team collected data on more than 1,200 men and women who were taking part in an initiative aimed at curbing heart disease. First, the researchers used ultrasound to determine the amount of plaque in each patient’s arteries. Next, they asked patients about smoking and their frequency of egg consumption, among other lifestyle factors. Overall, the researchers found that artery plaque levels rose with age, and that both smoking and eating egg yolks sped up this plaque formation. Moreover, Spence said regular consumption of egg yolks sped up plaque deposits at a rate that was about two-thirds the rate seen with smoking, and people who ate three or more yolks a week had significantly increased plaque (compared with people who ate two or fewer yolks a week). He said these findings make sense because “one egg yolk contains more than the recommended daily intake of cholesterol.”
Yes, eggs contain cholesterol, but cardiologists say the study’s research is flawed.
“This is very poor quality research that should not influence patient’s dietary choices,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, who chairs the department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in an email. “It is extremely important to understand the differences between ‘association’ and ‘causation.’”
Nissen said the researchers relied on patients to recall how many eggs they consumed, but asked them once and assumed it remained constant, which isn’t reliable. He said the way researchers measured patients’ plaque has come under “considerable criticism,” and that researchers failed to adjust for other dietary factors.
Plus, there’s a ton we don’t know about the people who ate more eggs: how did they prepare the eggs; what else were they eating; and other information that could be the culprit of the artery impact.
There’s no way I’m cutting eggs out of my diet; they’re too yummy and versatile!
Question of the morning: Do you eat eggs regularly? After hearing about this study, will your egg consumption change?