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New Health Guidelines has Cholesterol Back on the Menu

By Kai Wade - Director of Communications & Social Media | February 24th, 2015

Reversing decades of federal sanctions regarding the way Americans eat, the government has now set new guidelines poised to challenge collective views on whether cholesterol should be on your daily menu.  

Nutrition and public health experts recommended on Thursday that cholesterol no longer be labeled a "nutrient of concern" — but rather a healthy complement to our daily food intake. The new advice appeared in fine print on the latest scientific report prepared for the secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.

It’s a recommendation that has left many individuals scrambling to get their hands on a highly voguish serving of eggs.

Healthy Nod for Cholesterol

In a lengthy and pardoning approval, the advisory panel also gave Americans the green light on moderate coffee consumption — further indicating that daily caffeine intake equivalent to three to five cups of coffee is not only safe, but appears to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults. Caffeine also has been linked to protecting against Parkinson's disease, as evidence suggests.

With coffee and eggs back on the menu, how will this change America? The report breaks new ground in considering the environmental impact of American diets, noting that compared with average eating patterns, a more healthful diet with less animal products and more plant-based foods — including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes would generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions and use up less land, water and energy.

Dietary Guidelines set nutritional standards for state and federal programs such as school lunches, food stamps, and programs benefiting children and pregnant women; they will be the first update of federal food policy in five years.

Lifestyle Changes

It should be noted that cholesterol represents only 20 percent of the cholesterol circulating in the human bloodstream, so lowering cholesterol intake affects blood cholesterol levels only marginally.

But lifestyle changes — that’s an entirely different story. Individuals who are getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce worrisome cholesterol.

In recommending a reversal on cholesterol intake, the advisory panel has "moved gently in the right direction," said Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen. Like much dietary advice given to Americans, strict limits on dietary cholesterol "were never supported by science," he said.

About half of all U.S. adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases relating to poor diets and physical inactivity such as hypertension, diabetes and diet-related cancers, according to the government. More than two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of youth are overweight or obese.

The proposed recommendations delivered to the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services will be approved for the final federal guidelines released later this year.

To learn more about cholesterol treatments, contact a doctor near you.


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