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.
The finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that, for healthy adults, eating foods high in cholesterol may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease.
The people who gave you the scourge that is the egg-white omelette, plain whole-grain toast for breakfast, and carb-laden, tasteless, low-fat foods that make you fat, have changed their minds about all that. One wonders when these new recommendations might be reflected in the slop First Lady Michelle Obama insists be served to growing kids.
The cholesterol bogeyman matches a pattern I’ve noted before, last time writing about fat, which they’re also changing their minds about:
The thing is, though, it’s not just the science of the last 40 years that was to blame for steering people wrong. It’s a coalition of nanny-staters in the government, media, and compliant and opportunistic food manufacturers who hype every trend in nutrition research. Scientists offer findings, media extrapolates those findings wildly, government rushes to threaten or place restrictions on whatever has just recently been called “bad,” and food manufacturers perform a combination of folding to government threats and capitalizing on a health trend. And, that my friends, is why I can’t find full-fat Greek yogurt to save my ever-loving life. It’s yogurt. It’s a dairy product. It should have all the fat in it. That’s what it’s for.
Experts say this would mean that recommendations are finally catching up with the evidence, which suggests that dietary cholesterol bears little impact on a person’s risk of heart disease.
“There have been multiple analyses and meta-analyses now looking at intake of dietary cholesterol and the risk of heart disease,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “In the general population, there’s really not any strong evidence for a link.” However, a few studies have shown that there may be increased risk in people with type-2 diabetes, he says.
Remember this when they try to take away your salt, despite evidence that suggests there’s no reason to.