Septem­ber is the month for heart and stroke aware­ness

The Poultry Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - By Madeleine de Villiers

Septem­ber is ear­marked by the Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion South Africa (HSFSA) ev­ery year to en­cour­age South Africans to re-eval­u­ate their heart health and to start mak­ing health­ier choices to eat bet­ter, stop smok­ing, and get more active. Ac­cord­ing to HSFSA, 1 in ev­ery 5 deaths in South Africa is caused by heart dis­eases and strokes, to­tal­ing nearly 82 000 lives lost an­nu­ally.

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween di­etary choles­terol in­take and heart dis­ease risk has been hotly de­bated for

sev­eral decades, though a big num­ber of stud­ies as well as rec­om­men­da­tions put forth by the 2015 US Di­etary Guide­lines Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee have all in­di­cated that ev­i­dence shows no ap­pre­cia­ble re­la­tion­ship be­tween con­sump­tion of di­etary choles­terol and blood choles­terol. The 2015 Guide­lines for Amer­i­cans elim­i­nated di­etary choles­terol lim­its and rec­om­mended reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of eggs among lean pro­tein choices. It also builds on a 2015 meta­anal­y­sis that demon­strated di­etary choles­terol had no as­so­ci­a­tion with car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

On the heels of the 2015 Di­etary Guide­lines for Amer­i­cans that placed no daily limit on di­etary choles­terol, a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the American Col­lege of Nu­tri­tion shows eggs are as­so­ci­ated with a 12 per­cent re­duc­tion in the risk of stroke. By con­duct­ing a sys­tem­atic re­view and meta-anal­y­sis of stud­ies be­tween 1982 and 2015, the study an­a­lysed the re­la­tion­ships be­tween con­sump­tion of eggs and coro­nary heart dis­ease (276 000 sub­jects) and stroke (308 000 sub­jects).

Over­all, the re­sults of this meta-anal­y­sis do not sup­port an in­creased risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease based on daily egg con­sump­tion and in­di­cate that in­take of up to 1 egg daily may be as­so­ci­ated with a sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant 12% re­duc­tion in stroke risk com­pared to those who ate less than 2 eggs per week.

A heart-healthy di­etary pat­tern is based largely on min­i­mally pro­cessed foods and in­cludes plenty of veg­eta­bles and fruit, some whole grains in place of re­fined grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and other sources of healthy un­sat­u­rated fats such as oily fish. Non­pro­cessed lean meat, poul­try, eggs and low-fat dairy prod­ucts are also part of a heart healthy eat­ing plan.

Eggs are listed along with veg­eta­bles, fruits, whole grains, fish, and nuts as “nu­tri­ent­dense foods” by the US Di­etary Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee.¡

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