Diet myths series – #1 Eating cholesterol raises your cholesterol

Yup, I said it.


Every 5 years the USDA releases new dietary guidelines for Americans.
Limiting cholesterol has always been a key part of these guidelines, that is, until 2015 (potentially).

The 2010 guidelines recommended a daily consumption of 300mg cholesterol or less per day: that’s equal to about less than 1 and 1\2 eggs! as a meat loving girl, that’s not a whole lot, i agree.

To be fair, the 2015 guidelines have actually not yet been released.

However, they did release the preliminary scientific report which now specifies that: “cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for over-consumption”, and also, that “no available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol, consistent with the conclusions of the AHA/ACC report”.


I know as a nation we are still in the “carbs are bad” phase, but I don’t think we all got over the “low fat” phase of the 70’s into 90’s.

Ironically, saturated fat does remain among the category of nutrients of over consumption. I say ironically because usually , foods that are high in saturated fat are also packing a punch of cholesterol. So it goes without saying that in limiting saturated fat, you are often limiting cholesterol without trying. The USDA does continue to recommend that you monitor and limit your consumption of saturated fat to 10% of less of total daily calories.

This isn’t denying that elevated serum cholesterol levels are a risk factor for heart disease. That still remains true. But the question now is, does dietary cholesterol contribute to serum cholesterol levels as much as we previously thought??

More research is needed, and as you can imagine, there are lots of opposing comments to this new research.

Did you know that the body actually NEEDS cholesterol to survive?

Did you know that the body actually produces cholesterol on it’s own, without any help from your diet? Its responsible for the production of vitamin D, as well as healthy brain function.

Off topic, it’s limitations on SUGAR that should have been specified years ago in terms of heart disease, obesity and other co-morbidities…ever wonder why there is no “percentage of daily value” of sugar on the nutrition label of any food item on the market?? …. but more on that in another post.. 😉

What’s my opinion? I believe that if you limit your intake of processed and starchy foods, you won’t have to worry abut whether or not you’re exceeding a specified limit. Trans fat and sugar won’t even be an issue, which are the components that we should really be limiting.
Food for thought 🙂


today’s dietitian

Dietary Guidelines 2015 – Advisory

Egg photo credit

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