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DoctorGetWell's Monthly Column
Dr. Alex Tatevian has maintained a monthly acupuncture column in the health section of the Federal Hill Gazette since 1999.      
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  Federall Hill Gazette; November 2002

More about fat, “controversial” foods and surprises.

   Do you recall this old nursery rhyme?
   “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
   All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
   Couldn’t put Humpty together again...”
    Remember? And there is a modern joke to this dramatic story. My patient, a distinguished gentleman, who I have the privilege to treat, told me:
   “So they called a doctor. He examined Humpty and said: “I can fix the breaks. It’s your cholesterol that I’m worried about.”
   
   Well, worry no more. Eggs have staged a turnaround. Dietary guidelines from the American Heart Association now allow for a whole egg a day. An egg has a surprisingly small amount of bad saturated fats. What eggs do have is lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that help ward off eye diseases such as cataracts. They are rich with choline, which is critical to fetal brain development, making eggs especially good for pregnant women.
    “Eggs are loaded, absolutely loaded, with a lot of key nutrients,” says nutrition researcher Liz Applegate from the University of California. “They’re rich in protein, B vitamins, and a whole long list of beneficial ingredients. That’s a lot of good nutrition for just 75 calories.” For comparison, one slice of bread has 100 calories.
   
   Chocolate is another surprise. Besides being a potent antidepressant and a tonic, chocolate and cacao beans are extremely rich in flavonoids, the same antioxidant compounds found in red wine and tea, and offer heart benefits.
   Chocolate has fat, yet contributes little to the total saturated fat most folks scarf – one percent or so, depending, of course, how much chocolate they eat. There is no such thing as “the more the better”, and chocolate is definitely not an exception.
   Perhaps chocolate should be described as an herb and approached as such. One to two ounces per day may be considered quite enough.
   And by eating dark instead of milk chocolate, you’ll cut down on the bad fat and, most importantly, on sugar. Milk chocolate is reserved for children. If a child cannot keep up with you after a ten-mile shopping marathon in the mall, a little Kit-Kat can boost his morale. But indulging children with tonics like chocolate can do more harm than good.
   
   And how about chocolate with nuts? Maybe we'll look at this in the next issue.
    So, do not feel like a perpetrator when you eat what you like. It very well may happen to be good for you and soon-to-be endorsed as a health food. There are more surprises to come.
   
   Alex Tatevian, DA
   
   We welcome all questions that you may have.
   You can ask your questions on-line at DoctorGetWell.org, e-mail them to getwell@doctor.com , or send them to:
   
   Alex Tatevian, DA
   Acu Well Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine
   141 Airport Road, Warwick, Rhode Island (RI) 02889
   Phone (401) 738-9355
 
 
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