Friday, 13 February 2015

Proposed Dietary Guidelines Not a Green Light to Eat What You Want


By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- People who follow a heart-healthy diet won't see much change in their eating habits if, as reported, this year's U.S. Dietary Guidelines report rescinds previous warnings against eating certain cholesterol-rich foods, dietitians say.

That's because people still need to limit their consumption of saturated fats and trans fats, which are the two leading dietary contributors to high blood cholesterol.

The proposed change in the guidelines "doesn't give you free license to eat as much high-cholesterol food as you want, because those foods most often are high in saturated fat as well," said Connie Diekman, a registered dietitian and director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.

Only a handful of common foods are high in cholesterol but low in saturated fat -- eggs, shellfish and liver, mainly, Diekman said.

People looking to eat a heart-healthy diet will still have to avoid foods such as fatty cuts of meat, and cheese or ice cream made from whole milk, because those are high in saturated fat. Same goes for bacon, fried chicken, hot dogs and cheeseburgers.

They also will have to avoid processed foods high in trans fats due to ingredients like partially hydrogenated vegetable oils -- think packaged cookies and cakes. Trans fats have been shown to simultaneously increase levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood and decrease levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, experts say.

Much confusion has arisen from published reports Tuesday that a U.S. Department of Agriculture panel is preparing to bow to new research that has undermined the role that dietary cholesterol plays in a person's heart health.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee plans to drop limits on dietary cholesterol intake when it issues its 2015 update of the USDA Dietary Guidelines, according to news reports.

Cholesterol is an organic molecule naturally produced by humans and animals. A waxy substance, cholesterol is used by the body to create hormones, produce bile acids for digestion, make vitamin D and maintain healthy cell walls, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

source : Proposed Dietary Guidelines Not a Green Light to Eat What You Want

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