August 16, 2016

Making Sense of the New Dietary Guidelines on Cholesterol and “Good & Bad” Fats

Check out my Splenda Living blog focused on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans on Chlosterol and "Good & Bad" fats. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines were published early in 2016. The basis of these guidelines stem from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report published early in 2015. The DGAC report recaps the latest nutrition guidance based on currently available science. Combined, the DGAC report and the Dietary Guidelines help the public eat a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet and inform federal food, nutrition, and health policies and programs.

The 2015 DGAC report sparked controversy on a few topics. One was the recommendation to remove dietary cholesterol from the existing list of “nutrients of concern for overconsumption.” In essence this recommendation declares there’s no longer a strong connection between the amount of cholesterol Americans eat and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, and critical to note, the committee did keep saturated fat on the nutrients of concern list because research continues to show that we eat too much of it and a high intake is linked to a higher incidence of CVD.

Regarding this cholesterol recommendation, don’t think for a minute that the Dietary Guidelines intend for you to overdo it on foods that contain large amounts of cholesterol. As a reference point, the DGAC report notes that Americans now eat less than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day, on average. The Guidelines recommend that “individuals should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible.”

To cut through what can be a confusing topic, let’s define a few important terms on the topic of cholesterol in your blood and in foods, as well as how fat travels in your body. Then let’s explore how to interpret these new cholesterol and fat recommendations as you make efforts to eat more healthfully. Read more ...