07 January 2010

Good Health Begins With a Good Breakfast - of Fried Eggs and Bacon

Supports Chapter 18: Prevention is better - and more

The Daily Mirror published an article on 6 January 2010 about a new study showing that, for an expectant mother, the traditional English breakfast of fried eggs and bacon was the best for supplying the choline necessary for her fetus's proper brain development. But, when I looked into it, higher levels of choline are beneficial for everyone. For example, it turns out that a fried English breakfast is even good for the heart!

With blankets of snow all around, and drifts to dig out, it made my day! My article is here


Nightingale said...

Since I started eating real eggs in the morning (usually scrambled with full cream) I have noticed my usually thin, fine hair becoming noticeably thicker and shinier.

There used to be a advert for eggs in America: "The incredible, edible egg." They weren't kidding.


Barry Groves said...

Hi Nightingale

Not really amazing when you consider that eggs contain practically every nutrient needed for health and vitality, whereas breakfast cereals contain very few.

When I started to study nutrition in the early 1980s, I came across a study of breakfast cereals using laboratory rats. The rats were divided into about 20 groups and each group was fed a different breakfast cereal, and one group was fed the chopped-up cardboard cereal boxes. Guess which group was the healthiest at the end of the study - yes, it was the one that ate the boxes.

I wish I could find the reference now, but in those early years, I didn't keep such detailed notes.


Anonymous said...

If one tires of bacon -- try replacing with authentic Spanish Chorizo. Sliced Spanish Chorizo fried up with eggs is a gastronomical delight. The Spanish chorizo only has the following ingredients: pork, paprika and salt. The Paprika colors the eggs a beautiful color -- delicious!

I purchased Natural Health and Weightloss as well as your first book -- excellent additions to my low-carb library. I am now interested in learning more about the pitfalls of vitamin supplements. Does your book Trick and Treat address this issue? I live in America and we are sort of brainwashed that supplements are necessary. Even the low carb friendly docs here advocate the use of things like R-Lipoic Acid and Uquiquinol (pre-formed co-q10)... I maintain normal weight through low-carb but do have a low thyroid condition for which I take armour and cytomel.

Barry Groves said...

I agree about the chorizo. All European sausages, wursts, salamis, etc are far better than the cereal-filled ones usually found in the UK (I can't speak for the US, but I doubt they compare with the ones I buy while in Spain. Here are three Spanish sausages I like, but the Salchichon is the best:

This is the most famous Spanish sausage, and is basically ground pork seasoned with liberal amounts of paprika, salt and perhaps garlic. The classic chorizos come from Spain's heartland and are thick, knobbly preserved sausages that are hung from a hook in the kitchen and sliced as and when needed, but there are other, smaller versions for use in cooking. Chorizo parilla is a fresh sausage for barbecuing and the finger sized chorizos from Galicia (smoked) and Asturias (unsmoked) are for use in stews, and are also delicious sliced into scrambled eggs for a Spanish version of the Mexican classic huevos rancheros.

Salchichon is a sausage made of coarsely ground and often heavily larded pork, lightly spiced and seasoned.
There are a number of varieties, from mass-produced sausages that are sold at delis alongside salami to the expensive versions made with Iberian ham. These often contain large chunks of fragrant melt-in-the-mouth fat, which is greatly prized by Spanish gourmets. In fact, some connoisseurs even claim that this fat is good for you. Health conscious Brits, on the other hand, will see it as Public Enemy No. 1. The truth, of course, is that, as part of the Mediterranean diet, the fat is healthy.

Blood sausages are found worldwide and include the English black pudding as well as the French boudin noir and German blutwurst.
Morcilla, the Spanish version, is closer to the French version and usually includes pig’s blood, onions, spices and perhaps rice in a casing. The sausage is boiled or fried and eaten directly from the split-open casing. Small morcillas are a popular addition to stews and pucheros (casseroles).

Bacon and ham is also not only far superior in Europe, but about half the price of UK supermarket 'stuff'.

I am not a fan of supplements as your food, if it is sourced wisely, contains all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements your body needs. However, there is one supplement I would recommend and that is Co-enzyme Q10.

Our bodies make Co-Q10 so you shouldn't need to supplement - in your youth. However, production does drop off as you get older, so if you are over 50 I would recommend taking Co-Q10 as it has so many vital jobs to perform.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Barry. I supplement with the Ubiquinol (pre-formed) form of co-q10. I used to use the plain co-q10 version but supposedly the pre-formed is better for people over 40. Kaneka of Japan is the manufacturer and supplier of both forms for many many companies who then private label the products for various companies around the world.

Luddite_Jean said...

Thanks for the suggestions re breakfast - I do admit to sometimes feeling a bit 'bacon-weary'. I've started making my own sausages but finding pork which is fatty enough is a bit difficult - even pork belly is too lean! I have asked my local butcher to save me all the back fat and flail fat he removes and I'm hopeful the next batch of sausages will be more succulent.

In continental sausage, Aldi sell an Italian Payesano sausage which is full of melt-in-mouth fat pieces, which tastes wonderful.

Barry Groves said...

Hi Anon
Thanks for the information on ubiquinol. It certainly does look to be better, but the price . . .

Hi Jean
It's funny how we are told that the Mediterranean Diet is healthier and we should eat it, but then the Food Standards Agency makes darned sure we cannot buy the foods that they eat around the Mediterranean!

I like your idea of getting your butcher to add fat to sausages for you. If he makes them exclusively for your consumption, I don't see why anyone else should complain, and you'll be doing him a favour.


George must lose weight said...

Is this article:


evidence against the goodness of saturated fats?

Doug said...

Hello Dr. Groves,

I've been a steady reader of your website and blog. Thanks for taking the time put forth all of the valuable information contained within both. What is your view of vitamin D3 supplementation, especially during the winter. I live in NJ. Thanks again.

Barry Groves said...

Hi George

There are so many answers which refute this scenario, it's difficult to know where to start.

1. Indians have been using ghee for centuries - without getting blocked arteries. This is admitted in the BBC article:

"Mr Kolvekar said when he became a consultant cardiac surgeon eight years ago the bulk of bypass operations he did were on older people.

"Now he is seeing people in their 40s and 50s needing triple bypasses."

So are Indians eating more ghee than they did just eight years ago? NO! It's something else.

2. The Indian Paradox, is an observation that a high prevalence of coronary artery disease in urban Indians is associated with low saturated fat intake.

In 1967 Dr S. L. Malhotra, Chief Medical Officer for the Western Railway system, reported that in Madras, in the south of India, the population was vegetarian, living mainly on rice.[1] The principal fat in their diet was polyunsaturated peanut oil.
Malhotra compared the Madrasis with a population who lived in the north near Udaipur. Their religion allowed them to eat meat and their fat intake was almost entirely from animal sources and highly saturated. They cooked in ghee (clarified butter) and had what was probably the highest butterfat consumption in the world.

Present-day wisdom would predict that the vegetarians would have the lower rate of heart disease, but Malhotra found the opposite: the vegetarian Madrasis had 15 times the death rate from heart attacks compared with the northern Indians even though those in the north ate 9 times as much fat - and that fat was animal fat.

Twenty years later, a paper in the Lancet noted an increase in heart-attack deaths amongst the northern Indians.[2] By this time the northerners' diet had been made 'healthier' by replacing the traditional ghee in their diets with margarine and refined vegetable oils.

This finding was confirmed by a third study conducted 10 years later when researchers found that a low saturated fat diet did not prevent heart disease in the citizens of the city of Moradabad in northern India.[3]

The subject of the BBC article lives in the UK. His blocked arteries are not caused by the ghee, but by emigrating to this country and adopting some or all of our 'healthy' western diet. This is backed up by many studies showing that south Asians in the UK have higher heart disease rates than they do in India.


1. Malhotra SL. Serum lipids, dietary factors and ischemic heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 1967; 20: 462-475.
2. (No authors listed.) Ghee, cholesterol, and heart disease. Lancet 1987; 2: 1144-1145.
3. Singh RB, et al. Low fat intake and coronary artery disease in a population with higher prevalence of coronary artery disease: The Indian paradox. J Am Coll Nutr 1998; 17: 342-350.

Barry Groves said...

Hi Doug

Vitamin D is essential for health and, in NJ, at about 40 degrees north, I doubt you get enough UVB to make vitamin D3 yourself for about 4 months of the year during the winter

Vitamin D, being fat-soluble, is stored in the body but, even if you are an avid naturist, you could be running on empty by the end of that period. Therefore, I think it might be a good idea to supplement, say, between New Year and the end of February.


Luddite_Jean said...

What I thought was the strangest aspect of the news story about the surgeon who wants butter to be banned, is the surgeon himself. From his photo, he is extremely overweight if not obese. If that's what following his advice does, I'll stick to my butter!

ganesh said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Good Health