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 dietary cholesterol” a public health concern. The most current finding was discussed at the group’s last meeting.
The new view on cholesterol in the diet does not reverse warnings about high levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which have been linked to heart disease. Moreover, some experts warned that people with particular health problems, such as diabetes, should continue to avoid cholesterol-rich diets.
But the finding, which may offer a measure of relief to breakfast diners who prefer eggs, follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that for a healthy adult cholesterol intake may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease. The greater danger, according to this line of thought, lies in foods heavy with trans fats and saturated fats.
The panel laid out the cholesterol decision in December, at its last meeting before it writes a report that will serve as the basis for the next version of the “Dietary Guidelines,” a federal publication that has broad effects on the American diet. A video of the meeting was later posted online and a person with direct knowledge of the proceedings said the cholesterol finding would make it to the group’s final report, which is due within weeks.
After Marian Neuhouser, chair of the relevant subcommittee, announced the decision to the panel at the December meeting, one panelist appeared to bridle.
“So we’re not making a [cholesterol] recommendation?” panel member Miriam Nelson, a Tufts University professor, said at the meeting as if trying to absorb the thought. “Okay … Bummer.”
Members of the panel, called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, said they would not comment until the publication of their report.
You need to read this long article at the Washington Post.
Unbelievable. (Actually it’s believable-for as long as I’ve been a nurse, about 49 year,these changes in expert opinion occur at regular intervals.)
There really should be much more coming down the pike in dietary changes. But it will be slow. Don’t hold your breath.