Don’t go to work on an egg – have a handful of nuts instead! Scientists say simple breakfast swap could slash your risk of a heart attack
Go to work with an egg used to be the well-known advice, but a handful of nuts in the morning could reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Replacing a daily egg with 25 to 28 grams of nuts can reduce the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease by 17 percent, researchers conclude.
Some experts believe that the cholesterol in eggs is bad for the heart, although others say more evidence is needed to know for sure.
But anyway, nuts are known to lower cholesterol, making them a good alternative.
The finding comes from a large-scale scientific review of the evidence on how fashionable ‘plant-based’ foods, when eaten in place of animal foods, can influence the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and premature death.
Replacing a daily egg with 25 to 28 grams of nuts can reduce the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease by 17 percent, researchers conclude. Some experts believe that the cholesterol in eggs is bad for the heart, although others say more evidence is needed to know for sure. But anyway, nuts are known to lower cholesterol, making them a good alternative
The results show no benefit from swapping fish and seafood for plant-based options, and no evidence that replacing dairy can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, although swapping it for nuts is associated with a very small reduction in heart disease. risk of premature death.
However, the scientific review highlights the known benefits of replacing processed meat with healthier options.
People who replaced 50 grams of processed meat – the equivalent of a sausage or almost two slices of bacon – with the same amount of legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas and beans, had a 23 percent lower risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease.
What are the risks of eating too much red meat?
Red meat – such as beef, lamb and pork – and processed meat – such as bacon, sausages and deli meats – have been linked to health complications.
Health officials therefore recommend that adults reduce their intake to 70 grams per day and not above 90 grams.
Processed meat often contains nitrogen-based preservatives that prevent it from spoiling during transportation or storage.
These preservatives have been linked to both colon and stomach cancer.
When red meat is digested, the pigment heme is broken down in our intestines into chemicals called N-nitroso compounds.
These compounds have been found to damage the DNA of cells that line our digestive tract.
Our bodies can also respond to this damage by causing cells to divide more quickly to replace those that are lost.
This ‘extra’ cell division can increase the risk of cancer.
Red and processed meats have also been linked to type 2 diabetes.
This may be due to the preservatives used or to the higher saturated fat content in the meat than in chicken and fish.
Their risk was 27 percent lower if they ate 28 to 50 grams of nuts instead of the processed meat.
Replacing an egg per day with 10 grams of nuts, or a 30-gram serving of whole grains, such as those found in healthy breakfast cereals and whole-grain breads, was associated with an approximately one-fifth lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes or diabetes. die from it. .
The review even suggests that trendy millennials may be right to enjoy avocado on toast.
Replacing processed meat, eggs, cheese, butter or yogurt with avocado was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
But the authors caution that this is only based on the results of a single study.
The review defined cardiovascular disease as having a heart attack, stroke or coronary artery disease, or dying from one of these diseases.
Dr. Sabrina Schlesinger, co-author of the review from the German Center for Diabetes Research, said: ‘Many people start the day with an egg or cup breakfast, but the results of this analysis suggest that it may be better to supplement these foods with plant-based foods.
‘There is also some evidence that people might benefit from replacing poultry with plant-based foods, although there was little evidence for replacing dairy.’
The review, published in the journal BMC Medicine, does not conclude that people should stop eating eggs altogether.
It only suggests that one less egg per day, replaced with nuts, could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 17 percent, type 2 diabetes by 18 percent and early death by 15 percent, if replaced with 25 to 28 grams. of nuts.
The results also suggest that every five grams of teaspoon of butter a person eats per day, if replaced with the same amount of olive oil, could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by four percent.
The greatest reduction in heart disease risk – of 36 percent – would be seen in people who replaced 50 grams of processed meat per day with 30 grams of whole grains, the analysis suggests.
Replacing red or processed meat with nuts, whole grains or grains reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Replacing 50 grams of poultry, which is about a third of a chicken breast, for 30 grams of whole grains per day was associated with a 13 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
The greatest reduction in the risk of premature death, by 21 percent, was observed when processed meat was replaced with nuts.
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, preferably whole grains, according to the NHS
• Eat at least five portions of varied fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count
• Basic meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, preferably whole wheat
• 30 grams of fiber per day: This is the same as eating all of the following: five servings of fruits and vegetables, two whole-grain cereal biscuits, two thick slices of whole-grain bread, and a large baked potato with the skin still on.
• Provide some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks), opting for lower fat and lower sugar options
• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including two servings of fish per week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in small quantities
• Drink six to eight cups/glasses of water per day
• Adults should have less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day
Source: NHS Eatwell guide