Are Cholesterol Guidelines Changing?

The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol

The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.

The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of excess cholesterol in the American diet a public health concern.

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Should I binge on eggs for breakfast? Here’s what you need to know

Q: What did the panel actually decide?

The panel, which shapes the Dietary Guidelines, decided that consuming cholesterol-laden foods does not rise to the level of a public health concern. It’s important to recognize that this panel is dealing with diet and consuming cholesterol. It is not downgrading the dangers of high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Q: Does this mean I should eat as many eggs as I’d like?

In general, for healthy adults, nutritionists increasingly say that an egg a day is fine.

These scientists say that eating cholesterol-laden foods doesn’t necessarily lead to higher levels of cholesterol in the blood. In fact, most of the cholesterol in your blood comes not from what you eat but from what your liver produces.

Q: Where does most of the cholesterol in American diets come from?

Eggs, liver, shrimp and lobster are among the foods with the highest cholesterol content. But federal figures show that Americans actually get a lot of their cholesterol intake from foods such as beef, burgers and cheese simply because they eat a lot more of those items.

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photo credit Flickr/Jos, Joanna, Micaela, Finn  https://www.flickr.com/photos/singingbeagle/3701204435/i

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