Cholesterol Is Not A Nutrient Of Concern For Overconsumption

| December 16, 2015

In their latest update on dietary guidelines, it seems that the US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) are making a sharp U-turn on some of their outdated dietary advice. For one, warnings about dietary cholesterol, which for decades has been wrongfully blamed for causing heart disease, have been eliminated. In fact, the latest guidelines accurately state that there is no such link.

According to the report, “cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

Hallelujah

One of the 15 panel members who decide these guidelines, Steven Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said: “Many of us for a long time have believed the dietary guidelines were pointing in the wrong direction. It is long overdue.”

For as long as I can remember, cholesterol has been the main culprit behind heart disease and eating as many as two eggs a week was considered a dietary taboo — until now the recommended dietary cholesterol intake was limited to 300 milligrams (mg) per day.

Suffice to say, I was really surprised to read about this latest radical turn-around.

However, while high-cholesterol foods like eggs are off the hook, the saturated-fat myth still remains and fat is still viewed as a major cause behind high cholesterol blood levels, thereby promoting heart disease.

The new dietary guidelines recommend limiting both trans-fats (very harmful indeed) and saturated-fat (shown to be essential for optimum health) to less than 10 per cent of daily calories. The panel is also still far off the mark when it comes to its recommendation of sticking to a low- and non-fat dairy regime to promote weight-loss.

So, it seems that we still have some way to go before the mainstream realises that saturated fat isn’t harmful and before it wakes up to the fact that low-fat products are not beneficial to our health — in fact, they are likely to do far more harm than good across the board and may even be counterproductive if you’re trying to lose weight.

Another change, which also came as a surprise to me, is the partial turnaround on artificial sweeteners. While the new guidelines say artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame) are probably okay in moderation, they “should not be promoted for weight loss”.

Spot on! Although artificial sweeteners like aspartame should be avoided at all costs. Mounting evidence has shown that artificial sweeteners actually promote weight gain because they interfere with the normal functioning of your digestive system, confusing your body into storing fat and inducing diabetes.

Overall, it looks like these new guidelines are moving in the right direction (one small step at a time). The bottom line is, to get the most out of your diet and to optimise nutrition, focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed or minimally processed foods and trade refined sugar and processed fructose for healthy fat, which is particularly important for optimal memory, brain and heart function.

Here's to keeping your heart strong and healthy

Francois Lubbe
Editor
for The Cholesterol Truth



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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


Sources:

J Am Diet Assoc. 1991 Jun;91(6):686-90

PLOS One October 14, 2014 [Epub ahead of print]

Appetite January 1, 2012, Volume 60, Pages 203-207

Health.gov 2015 Dietary Guidelines

Health.gov, 2015 DGAC December 15, 2014 (PDF)

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Comments (1)

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  1. Ellis says:

    So, let’s get this right: I can eat as much cholesterol-containing foods as I want to?

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