The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the panel of experts who review the Dietary Guidelines for revision every five years (published most recently in 2010), will change their recommendation about dietary cholesterol in the report they will send to the federal government in the next few weeks.
The current guidelines, and those of the past 40 years, restricted dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams a day. For reference, an egg yolk has around 200 milligrams and a 6-ounce T-bone steak has 90 milligrams. In 2013, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology dropped their advice about cholesterol as well.
True, cholesterol is a major part of the plaque that narrows the arteries in atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart disease and strokes, but only 20 percent of our blood cholesterol comes from diet. Our liver makes the rest. The issue is confounded because many high cholesterol foods are high in saturated fat and saturated fat and trans fat do add to blood lipid levels. Dietary cholesterol, which is found in animal-derived foods, is usually accompanied by saturated fats as in full-fat dairy products and the meat of domesticated animals. Egg yolks and crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish) are high in dietary cholesterol but low in saturated fat. (more…)
Are saturated fats inherently bad for you? For years, the idea drilled into our heads has been that the saturated fats found in meat, cheese, and butter are to be largely avoided due to the increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease. But now we’re not so sure.
A new analysis of research was released in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine this week, and reported by the New York Times health blog here, cast doubt upon this guideline.
The new research reviewed over 80 studies that looked at what the participants reportedly ate, plus blood test results that measured fatty acids and cholesterol levels. This analysis did not find increased heart disease in those who ate less saturated fat, nor did it find less disease in those eating more unsaturated fat—the good stuff found in natural foods like olive oil, fish, and avocados. It did, however, notice a benefit in those taking Omega-3 fish-oil supplements in preventing the onset of heart disease. (more…)
Earlier this year the USDA unveiled the MyPlate icon, replacing the MyPyramid graphic in an effort to simplify dietary recommendations for the American public. Yet despite the early excitement surrounding its unveiling, it appears not many Americans are choosing to implement the MyPlate guidelines.
In fact, most Americans are only meeting the MyPlate guidelines an average of one week out of the year. And this probably isn’t altogether that shocking given that most Americans fail to include vegetables or dairy at most meals. Additionally, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendations visually depicted by the MyPlate icon, often require more than three meals to be eaten each day in order to be achieved which can also prove difficult for individuals who don’t snack in between meals.
So are the MyPlate guidelines really a diet in disguise that most people can’t stick to for longer than a week? Not exactly. The guidelines behind MyPlate result from years of study and observation of eating behaviors among thousands of Americans. These guidelines outline a lifestyle, not a diet, however without proper guidance they can be just as difficult to stick to.
When implementing the MyPlate guidelines, it’s important to know where to start and to have a little background information on what these guidelines mean. This, of course, requires you to go beyond the plate and develop your own MyPlate-based plan that works over the long-term. And although it’s easy to say this is something you want to do, actually doing it is a lot harder.
Since the announcement of the new 2010 dietary guidelines for Americans, culinary experts and dietitians have been working to help their clients adjust their diets to reflect the new guidelines. One of these suggestions includes eating less sodium.
Registered dietitian Michelle Dudash, RD is working to help Americans do just that. Here are a few tips straight from her kitchen to help cut down your salt intake, which promotes overall heart health and may even help you slim down.
Hold the salt: Instead of adding salt throughout the preparation process, only add it at the end of cooking when it’s needed. This method requires less salt, while still reaching your taste buds upon first bite.
Think fresh: Use good quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, which results in maximum flavor and leaves little need for added salt.