Every five years, the US Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Department of Agriculture, issues "Dietary Guidelines for Americans." Sure enough, there it is, buried on page 91 of the 572-page Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: "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 (blood) cholesterol, consistent with the AHA/ACC (American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology) report. Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”
Talk about a major tectonic shift. What follows below is a recent article beautifully summarising the position in the Deccan Chronicle , which I have reproduced here with my highlighting in bold:
Cholesterol has been on the "naughty" list of nutrients for nearly 40 years, with health officials warning us to stay away from high-cholesterol foods since the 1970s to avoid heart disease and clogged arteries.
But US officials have finally given the green light for a U-turn on previous warnings, which means eggs, butter, full-fat dairy products, nuts, coconut oil and meat have now been classified as "safe" and have been officially removed from the "nutrients of concern" list.
The US Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for updating the guidelines every five years, stated in its findings for 2015: "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 (blood) cholesterol, consistent with the AHA/ACC (American Heart Association / American College of Cardiology) report.
"Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption."
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will, in response, no longer warn people against eating high-cholesterol foods and will instead focus on sugar as the main substance of dietary concern.
The 70s, 80s and 90s were the 'non fat' years, with the government warning people to limit the amount of high-cholesterol foods in their diets to avoid heart disease and strokes.
But nutritionists and scientists have long been campaigning for the U-turn, which started with introducing "good cholesterols" back into the 'safe zone'.
US cardiologist Dr Steven Nissen said: "It's the right decision. We got the dietary guidelines wrong. They've been wrong for decades."
He estimated that about 20 per cent of cholesterol levels in your blood come from your diet, which means the rest is produced by your liver and is actually needed by the body.
Dr Chris Masterjohn added: “Since we cannot possibly eat enough cholesterol to use for our bodies’ daily functions, our bodies make their own.
"When we eat more foods rich in this compound, our bodies make less. If we deprive ourselves of foods high in cholesterol - such as eggs, butter, and liver - our body revs up its cholesterol synthesis."
Sugar has now been identified as the "worst" food culprit for health problems, with GPs now focusing on weaning patients off the sweet stuff.
Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, who works with group Action On Sugar, says a clamp-down on the food industry is next.
He said: "It's very clear that added sugar has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever and, contrary to what the food industry want you to believe, the body doesn't require any carbohydrate for energy from added sugar.
"And we know the food industry have been spiking our food with added sugars. We also know that carbohydrates and particularly refined carbohydrates - so carbohydrates that lack fibre, sugar being one of them - have the biggest impact on insulin in terms of surges of insulin in our body. And insulin is a fat storing hormone."