It’s about time

365 - 41 - Half a Dozen

As I recall, the whole dietary cholesterol-restriction thing was completely discredited some 15 or so years ago. So that was a long time for people to be derived of a cheap, healthy source of protein. Why does it take doctors so damned long to come around to the research?

Dietary cholesterol, one of the most closely monitored and regulated ingredients on American plates because of its believed link to heart disease, is making a comeback. When the federal government updates the guidelines of what we should be eating every day for good health — if it takes the advice of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee— cholesterol will no longer be listed as a “nutrient of concern.”

That means adults will no longer be advised to limit cholesterol in the diet to 300 milligrams a day because it is not associated with increased risk of heart disease.

The federal government’s new guidelines, which are expected in the next few weeks, don’t mean we can eat unlimited amounts of liver, shrimp or other cholesterol-rich foods. Moderation is still encouraged, but it does mean you can enjoy whole eggs in an omelet, instead of only egg whites.

The advice on dietary cholesterol is one of the most anticipated, surprising changes in the U.S. nutrition guidelines. Every 5 years a massive effort is made by the federal government to update recommendations for what makes up a nutritious and healthful diet.

Developing the guidelines is a daunting task which starts with expert scientific panels convening in small subcommittees to discuss the newest research in a particular area. They provide recommendations to the DGAC committee; the committee’s job is submit a report on the best scientific information available, and any changes reflected in the new science.

It’s quite a turnaround on cholesterol advice, but after reviewing new scientific papers, the DGAC committee, the major advisory panel to the U.S. government, did not find a health reason to restrict or limit intake to 300 mg a day for most people (a large egg has about 200 mg, all in the yolk).

2 thoughts on “It’s about time

  1. “Everything in moderation.” Somebody famous said that. Whoever it was stole it from Aristotle.
    Then again it might have been “Which came first cholesterol or the egg?”

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