Updated Federal Dietary Guidelines to Include Cholesterol, Coffee, and a Plant-Based Diet

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Updated Federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans to Include Cholesterol, Coffee, and a Plant-Based Diet

Cholesterol, saturated fats and sodium were all demonized by doctors in the 1980s and 1990s, but a modernized version of the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans is taking another look. It appears that cholesterol is back on the table: an advisory panel making recommendations for the guidelines has said cholesterol is no longer considered a "nutrient of concern," which means eggs will no longer be shunned by cholesterol-fearing consumers.

Americans may also enjoy coffee with their eggs. The new dietary guidelines will likely give a nod to moderate coffee consumption (about 3-5 cups per day), which may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, the panel is recommending a plant-based diet with ample fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes for both health and environmental reasons. This is the first such update to the dietary guidelines in five years, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The advisory panel is made up of medical experts at the top of their game who've been tasked to come up with dietary guidelines that mirror current research. Cholesterol is a great example: only 20 percent of cholesterol in the body comes from our food, so it doesn't actually have as much of an impact on reducing overall cholesterol. Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen says that saturated fats should also be reconsidered as a "nutrient of concern" and in some cases, sodium as well.

“It’s very hard for the people who were the source of all of this conventional wisdom to say, ‘Oh my God, we were wrong,’” Nissen told the Los Angeles Times. “Hubris is a tough thing.”

The modernized interpretation will give recommendations that help Americans use the most updated information we have.

“You can’t just tell Americans to eat less saturated fat,” said Tom Brenna, a professor of nutrition and chemistry at Cornell University. “We not only have to tell them what to reduce, but we have to tell them what to substitute it with that won’t worsen their health. You don’t want to substitute one poison for another.”

Related on Organic Authority

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Image of egg via Shuttershock

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