Since the 1970s, daily cholesterol levels were closely monitored by the United States especially in accordance to its dietary guidelines. In fact, US Dietary Guidelines require people to restrict cholesterol consumption to less than 300 mg daily. However, with the updated guidelines released recently, it looks like cholesterol is not in their watch list anymore.
This means that adults will no longer be recommended to limit their cholesterol intake to just 300 mg a day. In the past, the move to limit cholesterol in the diet was based on 'soft science' with no direct evidence supporting their claim that cholesterol is bad for the health. However, with modern science in place nowadays, US health organizations have lifted the limit on cholesterol based on tangible and factual evidence.
Every five years, the United States government issues updated dietary guidelines and this year, they are about to release a new one. However, a sneak-peak was reported in December 2014 saying that dietary cholesterol is no longer considered a nutrient of concern for over consumption, as per report by CBC News.
Developing new guidelines every five years is a daunting task because every bit should be based from science and new breakthrough researches. Five years ago, they were still restricting cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg. But with modern science in place, they discovered that the levels of cholesterol levels should not be limited.
Low-fat diet fads started in the 1990s wherein 'fats' are all considered bad for the health. A physiologist in the 1990s has persuaded not only the United States but the whole world that high-fat diet can eventually lead to heart diseases and heart attack. With the growing fear of people on heart diseases, they believed his study of 12,000 men that countries with a high-fat diet have more levels of cholesterol and more rates of heart attack deaths.
Since then, health agencies have proposed that Americans should cut out most fats from their diet and eat more carbohydrates. Hence, in 1992, the United States Department of Agriculture has created the food pyramid.
Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise: Why butter, meat & cheese belong in a healthy diet, said, "So, it was get rid of meat, butter, dairy, cheese, eggs and switch over to pasta, grains, rice, potatoes - and those are all carbs."
Also, for the past 35 years, Americans have been eating more carbohydrates (25% more) than ever before.
"If you look at the clinical trial evidence, it shows that the low-fat diet is at best useless at citing obesity and any kind of disease - cancer, heart disease, diabetes - and at worst, possibly provoking them," adds Teicholz.
Carbohydrates are equally fattening and causes surges in blood sugar that makes people become hungry easily. Fats, on the other hand, have many types including the good ones and the bad ones. She advises people to consume the good fats like olive oils, nuts, seeds and fatty fish that are rich in Omega-3. She also advises to limit the intake of trans fats.