Cardiometabolic Health

Cardiometabolic health is a relatively new term that encompasses cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Collectively, such conditions are the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. They all share similar risk factors (e.g., overweight/obesity, elevated blood pressure) which can be modified by diet and lifestyle choices. The available evidence indicates that eggs, when consumed as part of an overall healthy diet pattern, do not affect risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. Recent recommendations from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and American Diabetes Association do not limit egg or cholesterol intake, a change from earlier guidance from these organizations. In fact, several global health organizations, including Health Canada, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Australian Heart Foundation and the Irish Heart Foundation, promote eggs as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Given the public health significance of understanding cardiometabolic diseases, research on risk reduction remains an active area of pursuit. For example:

  • A randomized controlled study in people with metabolic syndrome showed that those consuming three whole eggs per day as part of a reduced carbohydrate diet experienced favorable changes in HDL-cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and other aspects of the lipoprotein lipid profile
  • A randomized controlled weight loss trial in people with diagnosed type 2 diabetes showed improved lipid and glucose markers following consumption of 2 eggs per day for 12 weeks.
  • An egg-based breakfast, rich in protein (35% energy; 26.1 g egg protein), promoted glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes relative to a high-carbohydrate breakfast.

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Holiday Tips for your Heart

Holiday Stress

Sticking to a heart-healthy lifestyle can be challenging during the holidays. However, balancing treats with sensible eating and lifestyle choices can help you get through the season’s festivities. Here are some holiday tips for your heart:

  1. To decrease stress during the holidays, keep yourself on the calendar by continuing to do the good things you’re doing for yourself. Write in that daily walk/exercise, your quiet/meditation time, and be sure to sleep 7-8 hours/night.
  2. Keep it Simple: the KIS principle is a GREAT thing to employ during the holidays. When having people over, ask folks to bring some of the food and suggest simple, healthy options. Yes, mixed nuts are options and organic veggie trays are a bright, colorful addition to your table.
  3. Did you know that eating chestnuts (and other tree nuts such as almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts) not just during the holidays, but on a regular basis is associated with a 15-23% lower risk of coronary heart disease?1 So, if you’re going to go nuts during the holidays, do it by eating a variety of nuts!
  4. Add music to the mix. Choose music that calms and lifts your spirit while you’re at home decorating and wrapping gifts, etc.
  5. The holidays are NOT the time to try to lose weight. Not gaining is the holiday goal. Here’s how to maintain your current weight:
    1. Watch it…seriously. Weigh yourself every day before you dress. Your weight will fluctuate a few pounds but it should not go up and trend upwards. Many of the most successful people avoid weight gain by stepping on the scales very frequently (daily is ideal). It’s a small habit with a big health benefit.
    2. Drink non-caloric drinks (decaffeinated teas and/or coffee or water without added sugar) as much as possible during the holidays.
    3. If the situation calls for you to show the host/hostess that you like what’s being prepared, just take a small portion initially and then RAVE to the cook about how good it is as you go back for another (small) portion. YUM!
    4. Don’t skip meals. Trying to save up now before heading to that holiday event/party usually doesn’t work. If you’re overly hungry, you’re likely to over eat. A small meal or snack, such as a hard-boiled egg, before the holiday gathering will help you feel full and less hungry so that you’re less likely to over indulge.

And last but not least, remember to listen to your body.  One of the reasons that cardiac death rates skyrocket during the holidays may be because people ignore heart attack warning signs. Be alert to the signs of heart attack and CALL 911 if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these classic signs:

Chest pain or pressure, pain or discomfort in one of both arms, the back, jaw, neck, shoulders, or upper part of the stomach (you may think it’s indigestion), sweating, nausea and/or vomiting and shortness of breath.  Women sometimes feel unusually fatigued, and many don’t have chest pain.

It’s very common for people to deny signs of a heart attack and think that it could be a false alarm. Despite these potentially “killer” thoughts, remember that YOU are more important than any holiday festivities and that your friends and family would much rather spend some time with you this year in the emergency room rather than another holiday without you around.

 

Lynn Cofer-Chase, MSN, CLS, FAHA, FPCNA, FNLA is a Clinical Lipid Specialist/National Educator for Cleveland HeartLab and part of the Egg Nutrition Center Health Professional Advisory Board.

 

 

References:

  1. Guash-Feere’ M, Liu X, Malik VS, et al. Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2017;70 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.09.035

Replacing Refined Carbohydrates with Egg Protein and Unsaturated Fatty Acids Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiometabolic Profile

Replacing Refined Carbohydrates Article

Featured article in the July, 2017 Issue of Nutrition Research Update; written by Kevin C Maki, PhD and Orsolya M. Palacios, PhD, RDN from MB Clinical Research and Consulting. 

Consuming a healthful diet and participating in an adequate amount of physical activity are key tools for managing metabolic abnormalities that can increase risk for both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus.  A growing body of evidence supports the view that a diet high in refined starches and added sugars exacerbates disturbances in carbohydrate (CHO) metabolism.  Replacement of these macronutrients with protein and/or unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) may help to improve the cardiometabolic risk factor profile.  The research team from the Midwest Biomedical Research: Center for Metabolic & Cardiovascular Health, Glen Ellyn, IL and Great Lakes Clinical Trials, Chicago, IL conducted a trial to evaluate the effects of a combination of egg protein (Epro) and UFA, substituted for refined starches and added sugars, on insulin sensitivity and other cardiometabolic health markers in adults with elevated (≥150 mg/dL) triglycerides (TG).1 Continue reading “Replacing Refined Carbohydrates with Egg Protein and Unsaturated Fatty Acids Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiometabolic Profile”

Eggs Fit into a Diabetes Diet

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References:
1. USDA ARS, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
2. Campbell B et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sport Nutr. 2007;4:8
3. Vishwanathan R, Goodrow-Kotyla EF, Wooten BR, Wilson TA, Nicolosi RJ. Consumption of 2 and 4 egg yolks/d for 5 wk increases macular pigment concentrations in older adults with low macular pigment taking cholesterol-lowering statins. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:1272-9.
4. Egg Nutrition Center. 2016 Health Professional Tracking Survey: http://www.eggnutritioncenter.org/content/uploads/2017/03/2016-HP-Tracking-Survey-Recap_web.pdf