Wednesday, 11 February 2015

U.S. Advisers Rethink Cholesterol Risk From Foods: Report


Trans fats are a bigger threat to heart health, doctors and dietitians say

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Decades-old advice to Americans against eating foods high in cholesterol likely will not appear in the next update of the nation's Dietary Guidelines, according to published reports.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture panel assigned the task of revamping the guidelines every five years has indicated that it will bow to new research that has undermined the role that dietary cholesterol plays in a person's heart health, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee plans to no longer warn people to avoid eggs, shellfish and other cholesterol-laden foods, the newspaper reported.

One of America's top cardiologists endorsed the move.

"It's the right decision," Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, told USA Today. For years, "we got the dietary guidelines wrong. They've been wrong for decades."

Nissen said recent research has found that diet influences only about 20 percent of a person's blood cholesterol levels. The rest is governed by genetics.

However, dietitians and other heart doctors noted that saturated fat plays a direct and more important role in blood cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol -- or cholesterol consumed through foods. And they expect the forthcoming federal guidelines to maintain their strict stance on limiting such fats.

"I have long recommended to my clients that the type of fat they eat is a much bigger issue to their blood cholesterol level than the amount of cholesterol they consume," said registered dietitian Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.

That means that, while a person might be able to eat more eggs, shrimp and lobster under the new guidelines, they would still need to limit foods heavy in saturated fat like prime rib, bacon, cheese and butter, she said.

"The challenge for the Dietary Guidelines has been the fact that they need to relate to all Americans and they need to convey a broad message," Diekman said. "The potential elimination of a cholesterol recommendation isn't a concern in terms of health but is a concern in that many will view this as, 'Good, I can eat what I want.' "

source : U.S. Advisers Rethink Cholesterol Risk From Foods: Report

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