Are Eggs Healthy?

Are they friend or foe? There has been talk for a long time saying that consuming too many eggs can lead to high cholesterol levels. Is this true, should we slow down on eggs? Let us dig into some research and see what science has to say about this..

Humans have been eating eggs for a very long time, one article says approximately 6 million years and counting. Eggs back in the good ol hunting days were one of the easiest things for us to hunt and gather because unlike the mammoths and wild animals, the fragile egg never wanted to fight back. Hmm to hunt a saber tooth tiger or eggs… decisions, decisions.

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is described in this article as a waxy fat substance in the body, particularly in the cells of your body. Cholesterol can also be found in foods we eat such as eggs, fatty meats and cheese. It isn’t always a bad thing however. Cholesterol helps the body by helping the body with producing new cells and hormones as well as helping the body with dissolving vitamins. Most of the production happens in the liver, but researchers say that it isn’t necessarily the amount of cholesterol we consume but how much saturated fat is consumed with ones diet. (MedicalNewsToday.com was a huge resource where I got some of this information above)

The article I read on Medlineplus.gov discusses how too much cholesterol can be a bad thing:

“If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can combine with other substances in the blood to form plaque. Plaque sticks to the walls of your arteries. This buildup of plaque is known as atherosclerosis. It can lead to coronary artery disease, where your coronary arteries become narrow or even blocked.”

Good and Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol is broken down into 2 categories. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein). These are important to remember because this is pretty much how we can tell if we have good cholesterol or not. The goal is to have more HDL and less LDL. This is because HDL helps with transferring cholesterol from around your body back to your liver, which is good because as it is moved to the liver, it processes it and gets rid of the bad cholesterol for you. Now on the other hand, LDL is the bad kind because this is the kind we hear about causing heart attacks and strokes due to it increasing a build up of plaque in the arteries.

What Causes High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol is a mixture of a handful of things. The main things that tend to increase the chances of having high cholesterol is having too many LDL in your body as learned above. Also not being active, eating a lot of saturated fats from items such as deep-fried and processed foods. Smoking also lowers our HDL which is our good cholesterol as it raises the LDL count which is our bad cholesterol, this part is especially true for women according to this article I read. Also pay attention to your family health history, if your family has had problems with cholesterol then take precautions by getting checked by your doctor on a regular basis of his recommendation.

So What About The Eggs?

Eggs do indeed have a yolk that can include up to 200mg of cholesterol which is one of the richest among other foods however eggs also contain a bunch of health benefits including some benefits that can decrease chances of heart disease.

Some things that we like to see in eggs are:

  • Vitamins A, B, B12, D
  • Iodine
  • Folate
  • protein
  • Healthy fat

It is a plus having the option to get eggs in organic forms and cage free which are a good option. If not the normal eggs are still there and for a very good price which makes it a convenient food to have in the fridge.

This is a part of an article I read from Harvard that I wanted to include for those who may have a health history of high cholesterol, diabetes or anything that would need to be discussed with their doctor:
“In studies including the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, heart disease risk was increased among men and women with diabetes who ate one or more eggs a day.  For people who have diabetes and heart disease, it may be best to limit egg consumption to no more than three yolks per week.”

Here is another part of the same article from above, I believe this was apart of their conclusion:
“While eggs may be a much better choice than sugary, refined grain-based options like sweetened breakfast cereals, pancakes with syrup, muffins, or bagels, they may fall short of other options. A bowl of steel-cut oats with nuts and berries, for example, will be a much better choice for heart health than an egg-centric breakfast. Consumption of whole grains and fruit predict lower risk of heart disease, and when it comes to protein, plant sources like nuts and seeds are related to lower cardiovascular and overall mortality, especially when compared to red meat or eggs.”

That is something I do want to point out for your health because I am not saying to go eat a stack of eggs everyday, I am saying to do your research. Talk to your doctor about your cholesterol and overall health and what diet would be best for you.

Conclusion

In any dieting advice you chose to follow, I always recommend talking to your family physician and a registered dietitian to ensure you are healthy enough to participate in any new diet. I also highly recommend getting your blood work done regularly/annually depending on your health. It is a good thing to go over your numbers with your doctor and ask any questions you have as well as discuss any nutritional guidance you should be following.

I personally eat eggs almost everyday, I try to substitute 1-3 days with a different alternative. After reading all of the articles and studies, I will try throwing other healthy options such as the steel cut oats with berries and nuts. I still believe for me personally, eating a few eggs on a regular basis shouldn’t hurt but I will be discussing topics like this with my doctor to get a professional opinion.

I hope this article helps you, I know cholesterol can be an important topic for many. Especially with an alarming number like 3,000,000 cases each year having high cholesterol. So please share this on social media and with friends and family because this could really help someone with their health and wellness.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!
-Alex Costa-

Resources:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323001.php
https://medlineplus.gov/cholesterol.html

8 Foods That Can Scientifically Improve Memory

With finals coming up for all of my students out there, studying can get exhausting and tiring. One big thing you can do to help is focus on your health, especially what you’re eating.

I want to give you some foods you can try to throw into your diet to help increase your memory!

#1 Broccoli


Broccoli is known for its health benefits and one of the most popular veggies among the rest. It is high in vitamin K which has been revealed in a couple studies to be linked to an increase in memory. However this study was conducted on 320 conductees that were between 70-85 years old that had no cognitive impairment. I believe it is safe to say if you don’t completely get the memory benefits, it will be very beneficial in other areas of your health!

#2 Pumpkin seeds


I went through very bad anxiety/panic attacks consistently a couple years ago until I read more on the nutrition aspect of the mental health industry. I found that magnesium can help immensely with your brain function which in turn can help with things such as anxiety and depression. I recently found that magnesium can be essential for your memory and learning!

With Pumpkin seeds being high in magnesium, they make a super simple snack to incorporate, especially during finals week!

#3 Spinach


Time to break out the spinach like Pop-Eye. Spinach is very high in vitamin k and in magnesium. Based off of what we have learned so far, that is a good sign. Start throwing in some more salads or throw some spinach in with a meal. This is a food that will help in more ways than one!

#4 Avocados


No surprise, avocados are in most top food list due to numerous health benefits they offer. Avocados are high in vitamin k and folate. These two nutrients combined with the mono-saturated fat content can decrease chances of stroke because it can help reduce the chances of blood clots. Avocados can also help with memory and concentration which is what we like to hear! Hit up my easy guacomole recipe!

#5 Fatty Fish


With the brain being comprised of about 60% of fat (mainly omega -3), it makes sense that this would be a good one to add to the list. If you look closely, most of this list is made up of healthy fats.

A study found that regularly eating fish that was baked or broiled could increase grey matter in the brain. Grey matter holds the nerve cells that make decisions, memories and control your emotions. Some of the best options you can get are salmon, tuna, trout and sardines.

#6 Berries


Berries are something you can throw in with cereal, yogurt, smoothies and shakes or just have as a snack. This makes it super easy to add them in immediately.

A study says that “the berry fruit may exert their effects directly through alterations in cell signaling to improve/increase neuronal communication, calcium buffering, neuroprotective stress shock proteins, plasticity, antioxidant/anti-inflammatory action, stress signaling pathways and inhibition of acetylcholinesterase.

So in other words, berries are high in antioxidants, improve neuron communication in the cell, increases the plasticity, which will help brain cells form new connections promoting learning and memory enhancement. This same study also mentions that more clinical trials need to be done to see the effects of berries on therapeutic agents for brain-related diseases.

A good example of berries to go for regarding this article suggest blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.

#7 Walnuts


Every nut is a powerhouse of nutrients but nothing compares to the walnut on the charts in this study. Walnuts are a great source of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), the plant form of omega-3 fats. They had a count of 2.5 grams compared to the others such as pecans which was the closest having 0.5 grams, then followed by peanuts, almonds and pistachios which all come in at 0 grams. I have a chart below I used to show you a visual of this.

This graph is being used from bebrainfit.com, they had a great article on this!

There was an interesting study showing that an increase consumption of walnuts showed a significant increase in reaction time, learning, and memory recall compared to those who did not eat them. The study was done with conductees that were the ages of 20-90 years old and they saw an increase all across the board no matter what gender you are or the age. So I would go out and start looking for walnuts for better brain function!

#8 Olive Oil


There is always a lot of controversial conversations surrounding olive oil. “It’s the healthiest thing for you”, “it’s bad news”. Here’s the thing, no matter what in my opinion, we can’t deny how olive oil is better that some other choices out there for you. I have read articles claiming both health benefits and no health benefits. It gets even more confusing when you start reading into studies.

Olive oil is high in vitamin K and E, paired with being a monounsaturated fat, we have a formula for something here that could improve brain performance based off of what we read today so far.

An article I read explains that diets such as the Mediterranean diet higher in olive oil can reduce chances of Alzheimer’s up to 40%. The MIND diet has the ability to reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s more than 50%. If you are a younger adult this may not interest you as much as an older or even mid aged adult. This is still a very important topic because it can decrease chances so it may not be a bad idea to look more into this topic especially if Alzheimer’s runs in your family.

The other benefit I enjoy about olive oil is that it is pretty easy to incorporate into a diet. You can use it for cooking which makes it easy to get more olive oil into your diet. One more remark I would like to add on olive oil is that although I use it in my diet, I try not to overdue it when I use it, as many vitamins out there, too much may be as bad as too little.

In conclusion
I believe that healthy fats can definitely play a role in our brain function as well as other nuts, berries and seeds. There are more things out there, I just researched many articles and studies to see which ones came up the most and why. It is a good idea to eat healthy not only for your future self and body but you should also do so because it can help increase performance mentally as well as physically.

I really value your opinions and feedback so please feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me and let me know how you liked this article. Would you like to see more like this and on what topics? Thank you again for taking the time to better yourself today. By reading this, I know you take your health seriously, so make sure you keep coming back for more new content on the website. Also follow me on my social media links shown below for even more helpful tips including exercises, workouts, nutrition, increased athletic performance and so much more!

Follow me on Instagram
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Add me on SnapChat: Costa_1

Thank you and have an awesome day!
-Alex Costa-

Disclaimer:
Please check with your physician before using anything on this article. I am not a registered dietitian and although I researched and used scientific studies in a lot of the material here, your health history or medical stand point may need assistance of other foods, vitamins or supplements so check in with your doctor / physician before making any drastic changes in your diet.
Thank you.

Other resources:

-https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-brain-foods#section1
-https://www.ncu.edu/blog/best-brain-foods-studying-and-memory-boosts#gref
-https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324044.php

Pictures from:
-https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/vegetable-of-the-month-broccoli
-https://loveonetoday.com/how-to/pick-buy-fresh-avocados/
-https://bebrainfit.com/brain-foods/
-https://www.tannersfish.com/product/alaskan-king-salmon/
-https://atasteofolive.com/products/novello-di-gradassi
-https://nuts.com/nuts/walnuts/english-in-shell.html
-https://www.nutritionadvance.com/types-of-berries/
-https://www.livescience.com/51324-spinach-nutrition.html
-https://nuts.com/snacks/pumpkinseeds/organic.html

Simple Eating Plan To Follow

Important Disclaimer

I would like to start this article off by saying that I am not a registered dietitian, so I can not give you a plan and say “do this”, “eat that”, “take this”. That goes outside of my profession. I will say that I do know my fair share on nutrition, supplements and health topics so I am no rookie when it comes to it. This eating plan is used as an example and for content purposes only. Speak with your physician before starting any diet or taking any supplements to ensure you are all good to go. If you use this, I am not at fault, for using anything on this website is YOUR DECISION.

Now that we have that all cleared up, lets get started!!

One common thing I am asked about is “what should I be eating?”, “whats a good option for my meal?” So here in todays article, I figured I would make a super simple example eating plan that you can use to follow along with or use as a template. This plan is not really a “bulking” plan and not necessarily a “cutting” plan either. It is just a basic healthy meal plan with good options. I am not claiming that this is the best meal plan out there, you would need to find one that suits your needs, goals and health history. As mentioned before this is just a plan of healthy options so if you have a hard time eating healthy and you need a first step or just want some more options then this could be for you.

Each meal is listed out below. For some options I put an amount for example “2-3 eggs”. That is something I would use but may not be the same for another persons caloric needs. Keep that in mind, I good option in my opinion for foods like meats are about 4-10 ounces. Veggies for me would be 1-2 cups.

Breakfast: 2-3 eggs, half cup of plain oatmeal with almond milk or water, add cinnamon and berries for flavor. One of the most important meals of the day!

Snack: Cheese stick and an apple. Simple yet delicious!

Lunch: Grilled chicken salad (salad made of baby spinach or kale or both)
Add a very small pinch of cheese, and mixed veggies such as carrots, mushrooms, peppers. If you add dressing, try using a vinaigrette as these tend to be a healthier option.

Snack #2 (if you get a hungry): 1 serving size of almonds or cashews, let me repeat the “1 serving size”. Nuts can be high in calories due to the fat count so make sure you weigh these or measure them out so you can control your portions.

Dinner: Ground turkey (93% lean, 7% fat is a good option in my opinion), veggies ( I like to use broccoli or mixed veggies) and an avocado or baked potato (alternate on different nights. Both are going to add quiet a bit of calories in one serving)

*Please keep an eye out for allergies, this layout has foods that are a common allergy for many such as nuts and cheese/dairy.

So there you have it, this is something super simple and very easy to put together for the week. Just write a list for the grocery store, get everything needed and bring it back and make some food to pack in containers for the week. You can store them in the fridge if you’d like and that way they are ready to take on the go or ready to pop in the microwave for a healthy meal.

Nutrition is one of the most important things you have to have in check if you are looking to make some serious progress. I hope this helps you even if it’s just seeing an example eating plan laid out for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me through email or social media!

Have a great Monday!
-Alex Costa-

How To Make Healthy Stir Fry

Im am bringing you a recipe from the kitchen today! Stir fry is a popular food option but it can be made with high sodium levels and not be as healthy. I am showing you a recipe from scratch you can do at home within 20-30 minutes!

Subscribe to the YouTube Channel!

The thing I really enjoy about stir fry is that you can personalize it to your favorite foods, at least to an extent if you’re trying to be healthy. 

You can do things such as add pasta noodles, rice, beans, etc for carbs. You can do this with thinks such as chicken, shrimp, beef, steak, turkey and more for a protein source. You can also add a nice variety of veggies for more micronutrients. It can be changed around to a different taste each time if wanted.

A few main Saftey points when preparing this meal:

  • Be careful cutting chicken, if you are a younger viewer then have a parent or guardian help you.
  • Wash your hands very throughly after dealing with raw products such as chicken.
  • Make sure you cook the chicken all the way to make sure any and all bacteria is out of the product.

I hope you enjoy this post and enjoy the video! Let me know how yours turns out! Post it on Instagram and tag me @costalottamoney1 or @ironstrengthandconditioning 

Have a great Monday!
-Alex Costa-

Easy Guacamole Recipe

This isn’t any chipotle guac but it still taste great👌🏼 Plus it is super easy to make. All you need is an avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper and some onion.
IMG_5276.JPG
1. First you need to mash up the avocado with a fork. Mash it until it becomes a smooth texture.

2. Now we will chop up onions and throw them in. If you do not like onion, then you can add in something else! Make it unique and use ingredients you would prefer.

3. From here, I add in the lime juice, pepper and a little salt to help with flavoring. Then continue mixing it up and mashing with the fork.

After you are done, take a chip and try it out! You could even put this with a quesadilla or whatever you’d like. It took me about 5 minutes total to do all this. I always put a little less of the ingredients into the mashed up avocado because you can always add more if it is too plain. If you throw too much in it could be too strong. One of the best things about making guac is that you can make it your own by adding whatever you like. Mine was a little more of a healthy option so if you are trying to keep the eating clean but also taste good then try mine out! Hope everyone is having a great week!

-Alex Costa-

Immune System Boosting Smoothie

Autumn is here

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a great day! I have been doing a lot of research into some foods that I would consider to be “super foods”. one that I came across was ginger root and I was blown away from all of the health benefits!! The health benefits consists of things like:

  • relieving nausea
  • Helps digestion
  • protects your immune system from getting sick
  • stops infections in their tracks
  • has the ability to fight against cancer
  • helps with weight loss

And so much more!!

With that being said, I knew I had to keep reading into this. I found so much and I can’t wait to share it with you but I will save that for a different article coming up very soon! I want to focus on this smoothie recipe that can help protect your immune system, especially with a bad flu virus moving around the United States. I incorporate ginger root into this smoothie recipe above.

It is important that you do all you can to help keep yourself healthy so you have a better chance of avoiding the flu. This involves:

  • Washing your hands A LOT
  • take a vitamin
  • eat healthy
  • keep hydrated
  • use germ sanitizer when you’re out in public
  • cover your mouth if you need to cough
  • exercise
  • Disinfect common house hold items

When it comes to eating healthier, it does not guarantee you from getting sick but it builds a strong immune system to fight off the thousands of viruses we are face to face with everyday.

As you can see, I have the recipe and macros shown in the image at the top of this post. I will explain how to use the ginger root for if you have never used it before.

First, cut off about an inch of the root, maybe a little less. A little goes a long way with this and it can be quite strong when used in a recipe. From there, you will peel the skin off of the root. You can then throw it in the blender.

Throw everything else in the blender and mix it up well. I do about at least a minute to ensure everything is mixed.

From there, it is the best part, enjoy the smoothie!

There are a couple things I would like to point out.

  1. I used a little dash of cinnamon to spice it up a tad. It is optional for you.
  2. The fresh ginger root is STRONG. It was the main thing I tasted in this smoothie so you may want to increase the serving size of fruits you use to even out the taste.

This smoothie is full of antioxidants and vitamins that will aid you in the flu season. I hope you enjoy it!! Please let me know how you like it and if you see any benefits.

Have a great day!!
-Alex Costa-

How To Make Sweet Potato Fries

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you are all doing well. I did a video this weekend on sweet potato fries and wanted to share this with you.

I post a lot of pictures of what I eat on social media and people ask about the recipes so in this video, I walk you through everything you need to know!

A couple important things to note are that when you bake these in the oven, you may need to adjust cooking time. I did 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I may try these again at 450 for 15ish minutes to get more of a crisp.

The good thing about this is you can mess around with this recipe and do a couple different spices or even do some brown sugar if you have more of a sweet tooth.

I really enjoy these with a little ketchup on the side so try these out and let me know how you like them!!

 

 

Have a great day!
-Alex Costa-

Delicious Smoothie Recipe (Taste Like PB&J)

2 post in 1 day, what?!? haha I put this together and was pretty proud of the design so I wanted to share this recipe with all of you!

This smoothie is pretty simple, the picture below will show you what I used as ingredients and I made a nutrition label for those of you that track macros. If you want a healthier base for the smoothie, you can trade out the normal milk for almond milk or a soy milk. Whatever you would like to try!

This one was delicious and it kinda taste like a PB & J so if you are a fan of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches then you’ll love this!

Also I just wanted to take a second to say hello to all of my new followers! I’ve had a big jump of followers these last couple weeks so I just wanted to say I appreciate each and everyone of you. I hope that you enjoy the content that I bring to the table. I would love to hear any ideas about what you would like me to cover! So if you have any fitness questions then please feel free to ask in the comments below!

 

Have a great day!!

   -Alex Costa-

 

smooooothie

5 Weight Loss Tips You AREN’T Doing

Welcome to day #2 of the video project where I am bringing you a video piece of content EVERYDAY for 30 days straight.

TODAY, I am giving you 5 weight loss tips most of us aren’t doing or don’t pay attention to. If you follow these and stay consistent then you have a higher chance of losing weight and cutting a lot faster! With that being said, lets jump into todays video!!

 

 

Thank you for running in today for video #2, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss a video and keep coming back to costafitness.org for more content!

Have a great Tuesday!
-Alex Costa-

CONTENT EVERYDAY FOR NEXT 30 DAYS!

I am excited to bring you something I will be doing for this month of October! This is my introduction video to the whole month of DAILY CONTENT. I will be posting a video to YouTube and Costafitness.org EVRYDAY this month. The videos will be over a lot whether its a vlog for your entertainment or a nutrional video, exercise tips, speed/agility, Q&A, or even one of our workouts, you will have something NEW EVERYDAY! Sometimes the computer I use has issues uploading but we’re going for broke here! Tune in everyday to both platforms and see what I post to help you! I will probably have the daily post up anywhere around 9am -12pm each day. I hope you guys enjoy this, I am excited to bring you all of this free content!!

Make sure you click the link below the video here and hit the “SUBSCRIBE” button on my YouTube page so you never miss a video!

 

SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE:

My YouTube Channel

 

Thank you for the support, I hope you all have a great start to your week!
-Alex Costa-