Americans are aware that diet plays a significant role in the development of certain diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and obesity. Nutritionists and doctors have recommended cutting fat from the diet and replacing it with complex carbohydrates, and Americans have reduced their intake of meat, eggs and cheese in favor of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this approach has not helped reduce the number of weight-related ailments. A balanced diet can include meat, eggs and cheese without further health problems. However, consult your physician before re-introducing these foods into your diet.
Eating meat, eggs and cheese dates back millions of years, according to Dr. Robert Atkins. Between 1910 and 1960 heart disease was on the rise, but there was not a recognized reason for the increase. America's diet changed by decreasing the amount of meat, eggs and cheese in favor of refined carbohydrates like sugar, corn syrup and white flour. The increase in simple carbohydrates spiked insulin levels and was the culprit for weight gain. Now a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that includes meat, eggs and cheese is being encouraged in new programs such as Atkins, The Zone and the Abs Diet.
Benefits of Meat
Meats such as steak, fish, chicken and turkey have been identified as a super food by David Zinczenko in "The Abs Diet." Meat offers muscle-building protein, which should be the base of well-balanced diet. It takes more energy for the body to digest protein in meat than other foods, such as carbohydrates and fat. The more protein you eat from meat, the more calories you will be burning. Meat such as fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that decrease a hormone called leptin. Fish helps lower leptin levels so that you will have a faster metabolism.
Benefits of Eggs
You should take advantage of eggs in your diet as a source of protein. The protein in eggs builds more muscles than protein from other sources, such as cheese and beef. Eggs contain the vitamin B12, which is important for breaking down fat cells. Eggs also contain concentrated amounts of other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins B2 and K, selenium and iodine. Egg yolk is a source of choline, which plays a role in healthy nerve and brain cells. Egg yolks also provide lutein, which is a carotenoid that protects the eyes.
Benefits of Cheese
Cheese is most known for not only being a protein source but also providing ample doses of calcium and vitamin D, which play a role in the growth, development and strengthening of bones. A University of Tennessee study found that dieters who ate up to 1,300mg of calcium lost nearly twice as much weight than dieters who were consuming less calcium. Cheese prevents weight gain by increasing the breakdown of body fat.
Meat, eggs and cheese contain a high amount of calories and saturated fats. Saturated fat is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and strokes. Choose extra-lean cuts of red meats to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Cheese should be low-fat or nonfat versions. The yolks of eggs contain 5 to 6g of fat, and about 1/3 of this fat is saturated fat. When eating eggs, avoid eating the yolks by switching to just egg whites. This can also cut the amount of cholesterol eggs contain to avoid raising cholesterol levels.
- "Protein Power"; Michael R. Eades and Mary Dan Eades; 1996
- "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution"; Robert C. Atkins, M.D.; 2002
- "The Abs Diet: Eat Right Every Time Guide"; David Zinczenko; 2005
- "The World's Healthiest Foods"; George Mateljan; 2007