U.S. Nutrition Advisory Panel Reconsiders Longstanding Recommendations Regarding Cholesterol

February 11, 2015|5:03 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the United States’ top nutrition advisory panel and creator of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, has decided to reverse decades of standards warning Americans against foods high in cholesterol.

Doctors and nutritionists have advised Americans against eating high-cholesterol foods since 1961, when an American Heart Association report detailed these items’ connection to heart attack and stroke. However, recent findings have shown that eating high-cholesterol food does not actually contribute to the high levels of cholesterol in the blood that can lead to heart disease. Instead, the committee reports, these complications are more likely to be caused by eating saturated fats, which are found in certain oils and dairy desserts, among other foods.

The committee is clear to note that some people, including individuals with diabetes, should still avoid high-cholesterol foods, but that the general public does not need to limit consumption of eggs and other such items in order to protect against heart disease. The committee will include its cholesterol findings in the 2015 update to the Dietary Guidelines alongside recommendations regarding consumption of salt, red meat, sugar, and other items.

For more information, see this article in The Washington Post.