Category Archives: Eating

The Truth About Eggs

Mass March is less than a week away and I plan on eating half a dozen eggs a day, yes yolks included. Am I putting myself on the fast-track for high cholesterol? Is a heart attack imminent? I’ve decided to shed light on the ever-controversial issue of egg yolks and cholesterol.

4 yolk omelette

Since my days of undergrad (2007), I have eaten, almost without fail, 3 hard-boiled eggs a day, yolks included. That adds up to a total of 6,570 egg yolks and a whopping 1,314,000mg of dietary cholesterol in 6 years. Upon departing to Europe for my masters program, I took the liberty of getting a thorough check-up including full blood work, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and yes, the ‘cough’ test. Everything checked out nicely, in fact the doctor complimented me on my overall health (apparently milk thistle and greens multi+ does well to combat the after-effects of alcohol, but more on that in a separate post).

So, what gives?

We’ll start with a brief background of eggs.

Since the dawn of mankind, eggs have been a powerhouse of nutrition. They have long been characterized as one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, along with quality protein they also provide an array of vitamins and lutein, choline, and iodine–to name a few of their nutrients, all found in the yolk.

From the Journal of the American College of Nutrition

Table 2.

RDA of Major Nutrients from Two Large Eggs


% Daily Value


% Daily Value

Food Energy








Vitamin B12


Vitamin K


Vitamin D




Vitamin A




Vitamin E




Vitamin B6





Suddenly, their image took a nosedive as studies in the 1970s revealed high levels of cholesterol in eggs, spurring trends like egg whites and egg substitutes. More recent studies in this decade, however, have shown to bring clarity to the situation. From  my research, their was one recurring theme disproving the unhealthy reputation of eggs and high cholesterol:


Dietary cholesterol DOES NOT have a significant impact on blood cholesterol levels or heart health.*


*trans fats, some saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, are proven culprits


So, what exactly is significant? The impact of dietary cholesterol in eggs on plasma lipid levels (including blood cholesterol) is so minimal that, especially for healthy individuals, I would go as far to call it negligent.

From a 2000 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition:

“Research has not established a significant independent relationship between dietary cholesterol and LDL or total serum cholesterol levels, incidence of heart disease or heart disease deaths. Furthermore, data fail to show a relationship between egg consumption and either serum cholesterol levels or heart disease incidence. Recent research using an endpoint of heart disease and stroke rather than serum cholesterol levels calls into question the need to limit a high cholesterol food like eggs. In their analysis of data from prospective epidemiological studies, Hu et al. [5] found that consumption of up to one egg a day was not related to heart disease or stroke risk.”

A more recent study in 2006 in the Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care by Maria Fernandez brings further clarity to the situation. The study was conducted on a ‘healthy population,’ measuring the effects of dietary cholesterol and found 30% to be affected (hyperresponders) and 70% to be unaffected (hyporesponders). For the hyperresponder, dietary cholesterol increased the concentration of both LDL and HDL cholesterol, therefore nullifying any harmful effects*. The hyporesponders experienced little to no alterations in plasma cholesterol concentrations, even when challenged with high amounts of dietary cholesterol.

A word from Deep Dan (BSc in Human Biology):

Another key point in the Fernandez article:  “Egg intake has been shown to promote the formation of large LDL, in addition to shifting individuals from the LDL pattern B to pattern A, which is less atherogenic.” In other words, Pattern B is small LDL which can easily pass through the endolethium and cause much more problems. Pattern A means LDL particles aren’t passing through easily and therefore posing almost no problems to an individuals cholesterol.


* HDL (High density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the good guy and acts to get rid of the bad guy, LDL (Low density lipoprotein)  cholesterol  by binding to it and returning it from the bloodstream to the liver.  Therefore, high HDL and low LDL is ideal. In the case of hyperresponders, both levels are increased, but LDL is prevented from inflicting harm because it is equally matched with HDL.  

The study concludes:

 “For these reasons, dietary recommendations aimed at restricting egg consumption should not be generalized to include all individuals. We need to acknowledge that diverse healthy populations experience no risk in developing coronary heart disease by increasing their intake of cholesterol but, in contrast, they may have multiple beneficial effects by the inclusion of eggs in their regular diet.”


And now to a bit of an extreme case…

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine depicts an 88 year old man who has consumed a staggering 25 eggs a day for at least 15 years–soft boiled, yolks and all. The kicker? The patients plasma lipid levels* were COMPLETELY normal.

In no way am I endorsing a 25 egg-a-day diet, but it definitely provides an emphatic counter-perspective to the old 3 eggs a week guideline of the 80s.

*total cholesterol, 5.18 mmol per liter (200 mg per deciliter); LDL, 3.68 mmol per liter (142 mg per deciliter); and HDL, 1.17 mmol per liter (45 mg per deciliter). The ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol was 3.15


Well yolks, there you have it. The tastiest and most nutrient dense part of the egg isn’t going to kill you after all.

If you’re leading a healthy, active lifestyle, like almost all readers are, then quit buying those egg white substitutes and get cracking with the real thing. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle-building, or just plain healthy eating, best to put yolks back on the menu.




Summer Foods

Bruce Lee never had a problem with the ladies.
We’ve talked a lot about training and lifestyle over the past few months, so it’s only fitting we do a piece on eating, to keep things balanced. With summer upon us, everyone’s looking for that quick fix diet to get a flat stomach. Let’s be honest, unless you want be like Steve Jobs and do some crazy one week fast; extreme fat loss diets are a little impractical and often dangerous. Instead, what I’ve often practiced, is the addition of certain food items to your normal eating regiment. Once you introduce these items, you’ll have to remove others, so make sure they are the least healthy ones (processed foods, fried foods, and desserts should be the first to get the summer ax).


I’ve been on the quest to search for FIVE foods which will benefit the summer lifestyle through promoting fat loss, increasing energy, and keeping you healthy and awesome. I had some trouble finding what I was looking for on the net, so I consulted with my friend Marcus Sidhu, who specializes in rapid-fat loss and is much more well versed in the field of nutrition.


Here’s Marcus with the FIVE foods you should be eating this summer:


1. Fish Oil – Omega-3’s are an amazing fat burning tool, they turn on lipolytic genes and turn off lipogenic genes. Lipolytic genes are fat burning genes and lipogenic genes are fat storing genes! With fish oil quality definitely matters, don’t get the cheap stuff!


2. Meat – Especially for breakfast. Meat at your first meal will boost important neurotransmitters like dopamine and acetylcholine. These two guys give you ‘drive’ and energy for the entire day!


3. Nuts – Preferably raw and unsalted. Nuts are a great source of smart fats that will keep you feeling full and also boost important neurotransmitters. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans to name a few, however don’t go crazy because too many can limit fat loss!


4. Green Veggies – Green vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. They also help to alkalize the body (opposite of toxic) and keep you feeling full! An acidic body will not let go of body fat, get your veggies in!


5. Coffee – I know this isn’t a food but it can really help your fat loss efforts. Grind it fresh right before you drink it and make sure it’s organic because it’s the #2 most sprayed crop in the world (next to strawberries). Its best to drink it black but if you must add something make it stevia (natural sweetener) or cream.

[Bear – If you’re like me, and don’t drink coffee, then green tea will also do the trick in boosting your metabolism]







Follow Marcus at or on twitter @MarcusSidhu



Coconut Water

Anyone who has known me, will likely know that I used to drink gatorade religiously. It was the greatest compliment to the college lifestyle–it rehydrated after workouts and sports and also combated those inevitable hangovers.

After years of consuming the sugary sweet beverage known as gatorade, I’ve finally made the transition to its naturally superior* replacement.

Coconut Water.

It’s all natural, has no food colouring, and no added sugar. It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than gatorade. Marketers have been calling it “Mother Nature’s Sports Drink,” and they may just be on to something. I’ve taken the liberty of investigating a few recent studies and have compiled FIVE reasons why YOU should be drinking coconut water.

1. Coconut water has more potassium than a banana.
Most North Americans don’t meet their daily requirement of potassium intake, don’t get left in the dust.

2. It contains naturally occurring elements such as Chloride, Magnesium and lauric acid.
Chloride is an electrolyte which brings alkaline levels back in balance. Magnesium maintains bodily nerves, muscles and bones. What’s lauric acid? Well its a substance present in breast milk, so you know it’s going to get you jacked.

3. Natural vs. Artificial.
This was the main selling point for me. As long you don’t buy some cheap imitation from concentrate, coconut water is 100% natural. The main reason it can pull this off without additives and preservatives is its sterility. When the water is produced, it permeates through the filtering husk. Furthermore, the sugars that are found in it are 5mg of naturally occurring, compared to gatorades 20mg of altered sugars.

4. Coconut water has successfully been used for intravenous hydration. 
It sounds absurd, but here’s the proof. It is naturally isotonic, possessing the same balance as the plasma in human blood. Next test, inject gatorade into our blood and record the results…

Well, there you have it. The taste may not be as tantalizing as a melted freezie, but give it a week and I guarantee you’ll prefer its nutty sweetness over that of a sports drink. Whether its post spin class or post bar night, it’ll rehydrate you and keep you one step ahead of the game.

A Sun Tropics 100% natural variety just came in at Costco, get it before it gets too mainstream.


*Now, don’t get me wrong, gatorade is still a very effective drink, in fact its higher sodium and engineered electrolytes are sometimes more ideal for very high calibre athletes. But unless you’re working out like Mike Cammalleri, coconut water will more than meet your needs. On top of that, the food dyes used in gatorade are not great for your health.


Green Tea

Drink it like it’s going out of style.

3 cups a day is a good amount to shoot for.








Here are FOUR excellent reasons why:

1) Simply put: it will increase your overall health.

It is packed with polyphenols (most notably EGCG) which possess an array of health benefits including antioxidant qualities and other biochemical activities. Studies over time have only revealed more benefits, most notably in cancer fighting and cardiovascular disease. Want to live longer? Drink 3-5 cups a day. Try a cup in the morning, 2-3 throughout the day, and a nice cup of decaf before bed.

2) It will make you smarter

Didn’t know this one, but it probably explains why my GPA skyrocketed after I jumped on the green tea train. Two different studies have revealed that green tea increases cognitive function. A more recent one concluded that regular green tea consumption may enhance learning and memory ability.

3) It burns fat

That’s right, green tea boosts your metabolism, energy expenditure and fat oxidation; effectively controlling your weight and–with proper exercise–making you SHREDDED. Sound too good to be true? Check out this recent study.

4) It will increase exercise endurance

As an added bonus, green tea will also bring you one step closer to that 4-minute mile, VO2 max, or beep test high score. The catechins in green tea increase both metabolic activity and the utilization of fatty acid as source of energy in muscles during physical exertion. Need that extra push? It’s a cup of tea away.

If you’re still not convinced, then check out this article to read all about its other marvellous benefits including:

UV protection, lowering cholesterol, diabetes and blood glucose levels, heart protection, anti-hypertension, stroke prevention, reduction of CNS disorders, prevention of osteoporosis, bone-loss, and teeth decay, antimicrobal activity, and finally, for all those party-goers, liver protection.