Eating Bacon And Eggs For Longevity

By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer

You have been told that less than 7 per cent of your total daily calorie intake should come from saturated fat. From a daily intake of 2,000 calories it amounts to 140 calories. Saturated fat seems to raise the bad cholesterol LDL in your blood which raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. On the other hand you are supposed to eat between 25 and 35 per cent of your daily calories as unsaturated fats from foods like fish, nuts and vegetables.

For good health, the majority of fats you eat should be mono or polyunsaturated fats, and less than ’02 per cent should come from trans-fats.
Such guidelines have been given by the American Heart Association and practiced by most health conscious people round the world for decades. Once it was saturated fats that were demonised, then people started eating more sugar containing foods and the obesity problem got out of control. Then, you were told to cut down on sugar and forget about your fat intake.

Now we have gone further and say that saturated fats are no risk for cardiovascular disease. An interventional cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra asked the question, “Is saturated fat really the health hazard it’s been made out to be?” Dr. Malhotra is an interventional cardiologist practicing in London, and he says the “mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades.” He further says that saturated fat has been ‘demonised’ and any link with heart disease is not fully supported by scientific evidence.

If you ask the centenarians to reveal their secret of longevity they would attribute to a diet contrary to that advocated by the American Heart Foundation. For instance, a super centenarian from New York, Susannah Mushatt Jones at Vandalia Senior Centre in New York, pronounced that she ate bacon everyday from her young days. She would say that she would eat bacon all day long if given a chance. She gets up at 9.30 and has scrambled eggs and bacon an hour later: For lunch there’s fruit and for dinner she prefers to eat the meat on her plate with any vegetables or potatoes.

The Italian woman who succeeded her as the world’s oldest living person said that she loves eggs and that was the part of her daily diet for over a century. Born in 1899, Emma Morano will turn 117 next month. She said, “I eat two eggs a day, and that’s it, and cookies but I do not eat much because I have no teeth,” she told AFP news agency. Morano started eating eggs from the age of 20. Suffering from anaemia, she consulted a doctor who told her to eat three eggs a day: Two raw and one cooked, the agency reported. She’s kept that diet for more than 90 years, which would amount to consuming more than 100,000 eggs.

Emma has eaten very few vegetables, very little fruit. As a routine she eats three eggs per day, two raw in the morning and then an omelette at noon, and chicken at dinner.

Then there is Joyce Caffee, a golfer turned 100. Now she is 105. She would say that she enjoys life every day and that is her secret to living longer. She has been playing golf twice a week for over 80 years. She lives by herself in her own home in Scottsdale, Arizona, still has a driver’s licence so she can drive to get groceries and enjoy the simple life. When asked what’s the key to long life. She would say probably being born to the right parents. She ate chicken and fish and occasionally red meat and vegetables. She knew from her early days that sugar was really poisonous and not a good food. She says that she never had much sugar in her diet and still don’t. She enjoys a glass of wine with dinner, occasionally. She also likes a sip of brandy now and then.

There are an estimated 600 super centenarians in the world and exceeding 600,000 centenarians. There are over 100,000 centenarians in the US, 40,000 in Japan and 8,500 in England and Wales.

The oldest person who lived up to 122 was Jeanne Calment.

Most of these centenarians don’t bother about eating healthy diet as we are geared into. They are mostly on high saturated and monounsaturated fat and low carb diets. Jeanne attributes her youthful appearance for her age to olive oil which she poured on all the food and rubbed on to her skin. She also drank wine and ate chocolate every day. She also didn’t bother eating much sugar: Her mantra is olive oil, wine and chocolate for longevity.

Gertrude Baines of Los Angeles lived to 115 on extremely healthy diet – bacon, chicken, and ice cream.  Edna Parker of Indiana died at the age of 115; She too enjoyed eggs daily, sausages, bacon and fried chicken. So, Dr. Malhotra is not wrong when he recommends his heart patients to eat plenty of saturated fat-containing food.

Fatty food for diabetics
Fatty foods, especially lumprai, biriyani and ghee rice are allowable foods for diabetics as the absorption of sugar is very low and slow on such a diet. The starch in the rice gets more resistant due to the cooking in oil. It is suggested that you put in about two tablespoons of coconut oil into the boiling water before the well washed rice is added.

Eggs
We have been saying for the last two decades that you should eat two eggs a day. One thing you are allowed to take in 300mg of cholesterol in your food daily, and two eggs would give you only about 150 mgs of cholesterol.

Eggs relatively have few calories and they are packed with proteins, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and various trace nutrients.

The way you prepare the egg can affect their nutrient profile. Cooking destroys any dangerous bacteria, making them safe to eat. Eggs can be poached, fried, baked, scrambled, or made into omelette.

Microwaving is not a good idea, because pressure can quickly build-up inside and they may explode.

Proteins in eggs are more digestible when heated. Structural changes do occur in the proteins in eggs and as such they are easily digestible. Eggs are a good source of biotin, which is an important nutrient used in fat and sugar metabolism.

It is known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H. In raw eggs a protein in the egg white called avidin binds to biotin, making it unavailable for your body to use, unless cooked.

Cooking eggs can reduce their vitamin and antioxidant content but still high in nutrients.

So enjoy two eggs daily with no guilt. Saturated fats are good for you according to the current thought and now proved that they are not risk factors for heart disease.

Notice that all super-centenarians are women!

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