Heard that you don't have to be concerned about cholesterol anymore?

“It’s OK to eat foods rich in cholesterol,” the Los Angeles Times claimed about the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines for 2015-2020.

“Go ahead and have some eggs,” wrote the Washington Post. The Guidelines are “stepping back” from previous advice about cholesterol, the newspaper explained.


Boy, does the news media love “man-bites-dog stories” to attract their readers’ attention, even if the stories are wrong.

The new U.S. Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture do not say the limits are off on cholesterol.

Yes, the Guidelines did stop suggesting a specific daily limit of 300 mg. “But this change does not suggest that dietary cholesterol is no longer important to consider when building healthy eating patterns,” the Guidelines stated.

In fact, according to the Guidelines, “individuals should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible while consuming a healthy eating pattern.” A healthy diet would contain 100 to 300 mg of cholesterol a day, it suggested.

Why the continued attention to cholesterol?

“Strong evidence” from scientific studies “has shown that eating patterns that include lower intake of dietary cholesterol are associated with reduced risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease).”

That hasn’t changed.

Dietary cholesterol is found only in animal foods such as egg yolk, dairy products, shellfish, meats, and poultry. A few foods, notably egg yolks and some shellfish, are higher in dietary cholesterol but not saturated fats.

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8 Replies to “Heard that you don't have to be concerned about cholesterol anymore?”

  1. Why is it that the Eiropean health agency does not feel the scientific evidence is convincing enough to suggest limits on cholesterol.

  2. I have been dismayed by the number of people I have encountered on line who have read articles like this or books like The Big Fat Lie and taken that to mean that there is NO concern for dietary cholesterol or saturated fats. I understand the desire to sieze on any reason to justify their traditional eating patterns, but it is a sorry thing for the health of the nation.

  3. Wrong, Nutrition Action!

    The controlling recommendation/guideline/standard should be
    “2013 AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk:
    A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines”

    “There is insufficient evidence to determine whether lowering dietary cholesterol reduces LDL–C.”
    [3.4.2. Dietary Fat and Cholesterol, ES16]

    The emphasis should be on reducing Saturated Fat and Trans Fat.
    [Table 5. Summary of Recommendations for Lifestyle Management]

    Your citation and link to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines confirms this.
    “More research is needed regarding the dose-response relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels.
    Adequate evidence is not available for a quantitative limit for dietary cholesterol specific to the Dietary Guidelines.”

    1. I believe you are correct. Cholesterol in foods are of minimal importance compared to dietary fats, especially saturated fats. Hydrogenated fats should be completely eliminated from all foods. Some fats may be protective such as monosaturated fats like olive oil and polyunsaturated like canola oil, soybean oil, etc. We need oil and fats to maintain good health and provide satiety, a feeling of having eaten enough in a meal (about 30% of our diet).

  4. I believe that most of the cholesterol in our bodies is produced by our liver and some people produce too much no matter what they eat. Many years ago when we were hearing that you should have no more than 2 eggs per week even with no cholesterol issues I read an article by a physician who was concerned that people on low budgets may cut out a cheap source of protein due to a fear of eating eggs. I don’t think we should demonize this food but concentrate on decreasing the amount of fast foods we eat.

  5. I have subscribed to Nutrition Action since early 1970’s…..when it was known only as: CSPI. It is one periodical I can trust totally. Keep it up!
    Service unavailable zero size objectService unavailable zero size objectService unavailable zero size objectAnd yes, I did lower my cholesterol from a high of 289 to lower than normal. I simply followed the teachings of Dr. McDougall, Joel Fuhrman, Esselstyn and others promoting Whole Foods Plant based diet and it has worked for me. I’m turning 90 in a few months and attribute my good health from following that diet and NO cholesterol (since it only comes from animal products!!)

  6. Anyone have any valid information on reducing LDL and increasing HDL by taking the supplement Bergamot Extract or aka Bergamote / Bergamonte? I’m fully knowledgeable of the origin and the claimed results. I’ve also been consuming it for more than a year, but I haven’t found any reliable clinical results based on verifiable studies?

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