In a time when ‘medical science’ has everyone so scared to eat even the most wholesome of things comes a 117-year-old reminder that good, clean food is the key to long life, not that pre-packaged, processed stuff lining most grocery store shelves these days.
As noted by the “Today” show, just a year after a New York super-centenarian told the world that she ate bacon every day, an Italian woman who has succeeded her as the world’s oldest living person is revealing that she is an egg lover, and that it’s been a daily part of her diet for nearly a century.
Emma Morano, who was born in 1899, turns 117 in November. And she says she eats two eggs per day and that’s it, along with some cookies. She says she can’t eat much more than that “because I have no teeth.”
In an interview with Agence France Presse Morano said she turns 117 on Nov. 27. She said that her daily egg routine began when she was suffering from a health crisis at the age of 20. Diagnosed with anemia, she consulted a doctor who told her she should eat three eggs per day – two raw and one cooked. And she continued to keep that dietary advice for more than 90 years, meaning she has eaten more than 100,000 eggs.
Emma Morano, 116, poses for AFP photographer in Verbania, North Italy, on May 14, 2016.
Emma Morano is the oldest living person in the world, and the only one left who has touched three centuries.
Eggs have been getting a bad rap for years
Dr. Carlo Bava, her current physician, told AFP that his patient “has always eaten very few vegetables, very little fruit.” He said that when he first met her she was eating three eggs per day, with two raw eggs in the morning and an omelet for lunch around noon. He added that she would have chicken for dinner.
NBC News Health and Nutrition Editor Madelyn Fernstrom told Today that eggs are a major nutritional powerhouse, noting that a single egg only contains about 75 calories but 7 grams of high quality protein along with 5 grams of fat and 1.6 grams of saturated fat. In addition, she said, eggs are packed with 13 essential nutrients including iron. They are associated with healthy weight control, good brain and eye function, and enhancing muscle mass, said Fernstrom.
“While eggs have gotten a bad reputation because of the high cholesterol content — and many people have avoided whole eggs for many years — new science has resulted in revised dietary guidelines for egg consumption,” she said.
Currently government recommendations allow for moderate, not restricted, egg consumption, if that’s what you want to do. Guidelines are for one egg per day, or about seven whole eggs per week. And though consumption results will vary from person to person, Morano has proven that for some people, egg consumption very likely has contributed to a healthy longevity (always consult, and then follow, your primary care provider’s advice, though). Fernstrom added that you can consume as many egg whites as you want. Also, the Today Show added this reminder: That brown and white eggs have the same nutrients, just the same as organic, cage-free and other “specialty” eggs (but organic is always a better choice).
Maybe someone will bring eggs to her birthday
As for Morano, in addition to her meager diet she also eats biscuits but no meats “because she doesn’t like it anymore and someone told her it causes cancer,” Dr. Bava told AFP.
In fact, Morano – who lives in northern Italy on Lake Maggiore – said she isn’t even sure that she’ll have a piece of her birthday cake at the end of the month. She said that “the last time I ate a little,” she “did not feel good” afterward.
The previous record for the oldest living person was held by France’s Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122. Morano has a ways to go, but for this oldest of eight children who has now outlived all her siblings, turning 117 will be a big deal.
“People come. I don’t invite anybody but they come. From America, Switzerland, Austria, Turin, Milan… They come from all over to see me,” she says with an amused smile.
Maybe someone will bring some eggs.