Not so long ago, Americans were advised to limit eggs because of their cholesterol content and to restrict daily cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg daily. Now, the influential Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) has virtually eliminated cholesterol concerns from its latest report:
“[A]vailable evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol, consistent with the conclusions of the AHA/ACC [American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology] report.Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”
Cholesterol is more complicated than once believed. Beyond cholesterol consumption from foods, the liver itself manufactures cholesterol. There’s “good” HDL cholesterol, and there’s “bad” LDL cholesterol. The way individuals metabolize cholesterol also varies.
Physicians need to be ready to address patient questions about this major shift in cholesterol recommendations. The DGAC report is typically used for updating the U.S. Dietary Guidelines every 5 years. The new guidelines will affect school menus, how food manufacturers advertise, and, literally, the dietary habits of millions of people in the U.S. See Peter Whoriskey's Washington Post article, below, to learn more.
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.