Category Archives for "Fats/Cholesterol"


Dietary cholesterol finally acquitted

I just read an article referencing the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. This report is prepared by a body of distinguished scholars in the arena of nutrition and human health, and it its purpose is to provide suggestions to the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture for revising the Dietary Guidelines for Americans put forward by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).


Well, dietary cholesterol seems to finally have been acquitted. Here is what the Committee has to say about dietary cholesterol and the recommendations it makes:

[blockquote quote=”Previously, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that cholesterol intake be limited to no more than 300 mg/day. The 2015 DGAC will not bring forward this recommendation because available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol, consistent with the conclusions of the AHA/ACC report. Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”]

“What took them so long?”, you may want to ask. Well, you know how it is – when someone makes a mistake he doesn’t want to admit right away that a mistake was made (this someone could be the government, too). Some time has to pass. Something like half a century is reasonable…

Note that dietary cholesterol and LDL are two different things and you and I should steel keep a close eye on the serum levels of LDL. But again, LDL has little if anything to do with dietary cholesterol (like in egg yolks and meat).

Other notable recommendations that were made in this report are:

Eat more plant-based food and less meat and meat products – it’s not only healthier but also environmentally more sustainable. I agree.

Up to 400 mg of caffeine a day (3-5 cups) is good for you – there is evidence that caffeine in these doses may help prevent Type 2 Diabetes, Cardio-vascular Disease (CVD), and Parkinson’s disease. Also, at these doses caffeine “is not associated with increased long-term health risks among healthy individuals”. Just the coffee, however, is what the committee means – not all the added sugar and whip cream, etc. that usually comes with it.

Limit added sugars to no more than 10 percent of daily calories. This one doesn’t make much sense to me. If we take the average recommended 2000 calories diet 10 percent would mean not more than 200 calories of it should come from added sugars (sugary drinks, etc.) – that’s 50 grams of sugar! That’s a lot any way you look at it!

I suspect that in a few decades this recommendation will be brought to zero grams of added sugar. All the sugar recommended at this future time will be coming from natural sources, like fruit. Then again, we still have some time to wait to see this improved.

Truth is some added sugar won’t kill you – it won’t even cause damage. But not every day and not 10 percent of your calorie intake. And, when you consider that most individuals well surpass the recommended average daily calorie intake…

More dairy but in low- or non-fat version. This is another one that will be fixed in the future, I’m sure. Full-fat dairy is shown to be more beneficial for health than low- and non-fat dairy.. And, it makes sense to be that way. Aren’t we evolutionarily more adapted to full-fat dairy since that’s how we’ve been consuming it for millennia? Check out this scientific article by Stephan Guyenet for more science-based info – New Review Paper by Yours Truly: High-Fat Dairy, Obesity, Metabolic Health and Cardiovascular Disease.

As Stephen states in his article:

[blockquote quote=”Typical dietary advice includes the recommendation to eat low-fat or skim dairy products. This is based on the hypothesis that avoiding the (mostly saturated) fat in dairy will reduce the risk of obesity, metabolic problems, and cardiovascular disease. This idea is logical, but not every idea that is logical is correct when tested scientifically, particularly when it pertains to a complex natural food.”]

If you want to read the whole Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee you’ll find other discussions and suggestions that may be interesting, like taxation on higher sugar- and sodium-containing foods, etc. My goal in this article was to make a mention mainly on dietary cholesterol and a couple of other key recommendations that stood out to me.