Cholesterol is a divisive topic in the health community. Most people aren’t even sure what it is, let alone if they should avoid it, and many aren’t sure how to keep their cholesterol levels in check. For those of us who are still confused, there may be some abatement on the “bad cholesterol” front: the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has decided that cholesterol is “no longer a dietary concern.” This comes despite their own strict guidelines that had, as recently as 2010, advised people to consume no more than 300 milligrams per day: about the amount of cholesterol in one egg. The committee will be releasing a report on their 2015 dietary guidelines some time in the coming weeks.
Why the sudden turnaround? Most doctors now believe that consuming foods with cholesterol will not actually impact your heart health or raise bad cholesterol in your blood levels. Dr. Dan Rader from the University of Pennsylvania explained to Forbes that humans actually need some amounts of cholesterol (our bodies naturally produce the substance). However, when our bodies have trouble getting rid of excess cholesterol — which can be due to a variety of factors, including poor diet and unlucky genetics — it poses a problem four our heart health.
This isn’t actually news, but what’s embarrassing is that it took so long for the dietary guidelines to be updated with what scientists have known for a while. According to NPR, the American Heart Association changed its stance on cholesterol in 2013, citing “insufficient evidence,” and now the government looks to be following suit.
In conclusion, egg yolks, which are fairly high in cholesterol, aren’t the enemy.
“You want the fat, because it not only satiates you, but also slows the absorption of your food,” Laura Cipullo, a registered dietician in New York City, told Fox News. “So you stay fuller longer, and it won’t increase blood sugar. A lot of people have toast with just egg whites, but it’s giving them a quicker rise in their blood sugar. But if you have the yolk with it or a different form of fat like avocado, your blood sugar won’t rise as quickly, because it takes longer to break (the food) down.”